Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

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 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.

Claiming Mariah was an interesting Western novel that was brimming with suspense and romance. The plot line was well developed and contained unexpected twists, moments of danger, romance, and tragedy. In addition, the themes of this movie were well written and included topics such as the importance of forgiveness, leaving revenge for God, trusting God and others, and being honest. There were moments where I was surprised by what happened in the story, but at other points I highly enjoyed what unfolded, such as the blossoming relationship between Slade and Mariah. I like that the relationship began slowly and did not appear to be forced into the storyline. Slade and Mariah were both interesting and realistic characters who each had their own distinct flaws and strengths that I could identify with. At the same time, learned more about themselves, each other, and about God as they learned from their mistakes and learned to trust both God and one another. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and I look forward to reading more of Pam Hillman's works.

I received this novel for free from Tyndale House Press in exchange for an honest review.

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