SheLove2Read's Reviews > High Plains Wife

High Plains Wife by Jillian Hart
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's review
Feb 17, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011, best-of-2011
Read from March 30 to 31, 2011

Absolutely one of the best reads this year!

Confirmed spinster Mariah Scott (she's 28) is in the right place at the right time to save the young daughter of rancher Nick Gray from an attack by coyotes on the plains. She's glad to have saved the little girl from certain death, even if she was wounded in the process, but did it have to be Nick's child? Nick, who she once was courted by. Nick whom she watched marry another. Nick whom she has never stopped loving from afar.

Nick is grateful to Mariah for saving his daughter. He's had a very hard time since his unfaithful wife committed suicide, trying to keep the ranch afloat and care for two young children has been stressful. He thanks Mariah but she turns away. He gives her his laundry business and it makes her mad. On the advice of a friend who urges him to find another wife quickly, a wife of convenience, he decides on Mariah, whom he's known for years. He knows she is dependable and hardworking, and now trustworthy after having saved his daughter. So why does his respectful offer of marriage incense her?!

Oh this is an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. I loved Mariah and felt so badly for her. Raised by an abusive and alcoholic father, she has never known love or self worth. Told all her life she would never be lovable and no one would want her, she is devastated when Nick courts her and then marries another, not knowing her cruel father chased Nick away and told him never to come back and that Mariah didn't want him. She's lived the last 10 years alone in her family home taking in laundry and trying to come to grips with the fact she will never have a family, never be loved. Its a sad existence and you can help but tear up when Mariah looks upon her friends marriages with envy. When Nick asks her to marry him, she is both humiliated and hurt - knowing he is only asking out of a sense of duty to his children. He doesn't love her and living with him would be pure hell, close but never close enough.

Nick always loved Mariah. Hurt beyond words when her father chased him away, he turned to another and after a fateful night of lust, married her for the sake of the child they created. Unfortunately his wife Lida was never faithful to him, never happy with the life he offered her. Three weeks before his proposal to Mariah, Lida kills herself when the newborn boy of her lover dies. Her selfish act leaves behind two grieving children and a husband who doesn't know where to turn. On the advice of a friend to find a wife of convenience, he decides Mariah would be the best choice and sets out to convince her, and eventually does. He treats her with respect and honor even though he can't love her again. Not the way he wants to. Not the way she wants him to. Heart wrenching.

So much pain and angst could have been avoided if they had only been honest with each other. It was difficult to read but also made for an emotional story. Several times Nick's treatment of Mariah made me cry. Her pain was real and you felt it. For Nick's part, he was doing what he thought was best for them both, even if it cost him his own pain. I didn't agree with that reasoning but its understandable after the way his dead wife treated him. The ending was gut wrenching but I felt not quite long enough, and Nick needed to grovel more than he did to win Mariah back.

Ms. Hart has always been an auto buy author for me and this book is proof of why. 5 stars/A+ read

**Note: this is NOT an inspirational read, as some of her other books have been. There is one graphic love scene and several instances of heated passion between Nick and Mariah.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Bark's Book Nonsense I haven't read a H/H in ages. I'll have to look this one up.

SheLove2Read I'd recommend it - very very good.

Bark's Book Nonsense Thanks, I just ordered a copy from paperbackswap.

message 4: by Sherron (new) - added it

Sherron Just ordered it from PBS also. Thanks

SheLove2Read I think you will like it Sherron, and BarkLessWagMore. Its a very emotional read.

message 6: by MelissaB (last edited Apr 01, 2011 05:19PM) (new)

MelissaB Great review Sherri! Sounds angsty but good.

SheLove2Read It was Melissa, but in a good way.

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