In light of 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 will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.
Oh, I soooo hope this is the beginning of a series!!!! I'm already so attached to the characters (including ones who have yet to make an appearance!) that I'm not ready to let them go. Hillman has woven a riveting Western tale complete with an unsolved mystery to figure out. Fast-paced and packing an emotional punch, I just couldn't put it down and finished it in a day.
Slade's struggle with forgiveness and the desire to extract his own vengeance has defined him since boyhood. Being a party to this chivalrous, decent, compassionate hero's conflicting struggle made for a fascinating read. He's such an enigma.
Mariah is spunky and determined but oh so stubborn and she clashes with Slade from their first meeting. Understandably since he's determined to uproot her family from the only home she's ever known but that stubbornness doesn't help her cause. Watching their attraction develop and grow amidst all that conflict makes for a roller coaster read!
There are some swoonworthy romantic scenes within these pages as well. In fact, I'll never look at a glass of lemonade the same way again. Blissful sigh.
I can't say enough about this wonderful book. Claiming Mariah is a definite candidate for your virtual TBR pile (it comes only in e-book format).
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Claiming Mariah (e-book), please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 6 2013 Offer open to international readers. Good luck!