It starts slow and takes some patience to get to the good parts, but in the end "Claiming Mariah" is an enjoyable Christian romance. The intriguing story follows a woman attracted to the man who takes her land away and whose family has an unpleasant past relationship with her recently deceased father. Meanwhile, someone is rustling the Lazy M's cattle and a "clean, rich" man seeks Mariah's hand in marriage.
Author Pam Hillman slowly unveils her characters, and although that slower pace means the central plot conflict does not arrive until a third of the way through the book, it does allow for character development. Mariah and love interest Slade Donovan are both endearing characters. Hillman tells the majority of the story from their point of view, occasionally taking a very quick detour to tell the story from a ranch hand's point of view. These detours annoyed me a bit. If the extra bits needed to be told at all, I at least wanted more from them. Still, Hillman tastefully used what little she revealed in these detours to lead up to a big finish.
A few other things, such as the simultaneous obvious love and kissing between the two main characters and their insistence on the impossibility of the match. But the last third of "Claiming Mariah" is a page turner. It was a worthwhile read with gentle touches on themes of trusting in God and believing in Him.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.