"Claiming Mariah" is a sweet romance by Pam Hillman which is filled with secrets, suspense and love. Pam dives right into the story and action on the very first page with the two Donovan brothers showing up at Mariah's home to claim the ranch as theirs due to the past between their fathers. Mariah has been living on her family's ranch with her grandmother and she cannot believe the truth; however Mariah is concerned of her father's reputation and carrying for her grandmother and sister. As Slade Donovan comes involved in Mariah's life and in the ranch, secrets are uncovered and things may not be as these two individuals have perceived them to be. As Mariah seeks God's guidance she can feel His leading, but she is not prepared for what all is to come.
This is such a sweet story and one that is filled with action and loveable characters that I was immediately engrossed in and did not want to stop reading! There are things that are uncovered and past issues that need to be dealt with and so much growth and changes for these two main characters that you cannot help but become completely involved in their lives. I highly recommend this historical romance set on a ranch as it will draw you into the story and on a journey with these characters.
The book is set in Wisdom, Wyoming Territory in late spring, 1882. I have always liked historical romances, and this was no exception. Pam Hillman has a way of making you feel transported back in time, you can almost feel the breeze coming off the creek behind the barn.
After Mariah's father dies, she sends a letter which sets in motion events that will change everything she's ever known. Slade Donovan shows up and informs her that the ranch has been bought with money stolen from his father and demands full ownership. A neighboring rancher has offered to take care of her financial problems if she agrees to marry him. But she doesn't love him and finds herself being drawn to Slade instead. She watches the ranch begin to flourish once again under Slade's direction all the while knowing that as soon as his mother and sister arrive, she is out of a home herself. How will she support her sister and grandmother with no where to go?
But there is not just the bad blood between Slade's and Mariah's fathers to deal with, the number of cattle is dwindling and they also have to get to the bottom of what is going on.
Will Slade and Mariah be able to get past the past and move forward with their lives, together?
I thought the characters were well developed and real. You find yourself back in the 1880's and if you just took a stroll down the road, you'd come upon the Lazy M Ranch where Mariah would offer you a biscuit and ham before you went away again.
I also liked how Mariah always turned to pray and God for her answers and relied on Him even in the hard times.
I found myself wanting more story involving Slade's brother Buck and Mariah's sister Amanda. Surely they would find common interests and maybe even romance? Maybe another book could tell their story.
This is the first of Pam's books I've had the privilege to read, and it is a privilege. I love how God provides. I've wanted to read Claiming Mariah for a while now and was overjoyed when I got the chance to read the paperback! It is amazing! It's one of those books that I didn't want to put down! Pam's writing is great as she keeps you going wondering what's gonna happen next! I LOVE all the characters from Mariah and Slade to Mariah's grandmother, Slade's brother, and Cookie the bunk house cook!!! The messages of bitterness and forgiveness weave through the plot gracefully as these characters face loosing far more than just a ranch. I always love to find and read a great western and Pam has written just that. You can always tell when an author doesn't really spend time around ranch life and horses, but Pam sure has!!! She writes in a way that shows she takes every detail into account. Forgiveness, pain, sadness, healing, shocking turns, love, fear, murder and much, much more await you in Claiming Mariah. This has made it to My Favorite Books list and I highly recommend it.
Songs: "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" by Alan Jackson, "Valley Of Pain" by Randy Travis, and "One Day At A Time" by Merle Haggard**
*I requested and received this book for the purpose of reviewing. This in no way affected my opinion and the above is what I truly think about Claiming Mariah. ~ASC
**Songs etc. may change in the future..."One Day At A Time" by Jeannie Seely
Claiming Mariah is the first book that I have read by Pam Hillman; I wasn't disappointed.
After Mariah Malone's father had passed away, she discovered that her father had been involved in theft. In order to right the wrong her father had committed, Mariah wrote a letter of apology to the Donovan's, the family who was wronged. What Mariah didn't expect was for Slade Donovan to appear on her doorstep demanding that she relinquish her childhood home and ranch to him. Losing her ranch is only half of her problems. Mariah soon discovers that not everyone is who they seem to be and she finds herself needing to find someone that she can trust.
From page one, I was drawn into the story wanting to learn what is going to happen to Mariah, her grandmother, and their beloved ranch. I also wanted to understand the reason why Slade was so determined to take the ranch from Mariah and her family. As the story progressed, the answers to my questions were answered.
I liked the characters in this book. I found Mariah to be a strong, honest, and God-fearing woman. I understood why she chose not to correct the assumptions that Slade chose to make. I also understood why she didn't want to lose her childhood home, but that she would do what was right. Slade was a great cowboy, a true man of honor. I also liked the slow progression of feelings between Slade and Mariah that grew as they began to become friends. Woven in between the romance there is mystery and suspense that made the story even more interesting! I will definitely chose to read a book by Pam Hillman again.
**Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
Pam Hillman in her new book "Claiming Mariah" published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. takes us into the life of Mariah Malone.
From the back cover: After her father's death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father's farm, the only home she's ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father's rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.
With the Lazy M ranch now under Slade's careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.
I have never read of two women running a ranch. Mariah and her grandmother are running the Lazy M but the Donovan's feel it is their ranch and they want to take over. Simple enough really. However there is more going on than either Slade or Mariah know about and the two of them must band together to withstand the evil being plotted against them. Ms. Hillman has given us great characters who live and breathe on the pages and draw us into their lives so that we root for the good guys and do not want the bad guys to win. Slade and Mariah are meant for each other but before that can happen they will have to reconcile with their pasts and their fathers so that they can embrace the present and their futures. All I can say is that "Claiming Mariah" is great fun.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."