Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Her Colorado Man
Author: Cheryl St.John
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Release Date: December 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: Colorado, 1882
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Cheryl's Website/Blog: www.cherylstjohn.net
Mariah has a perfect life. Her dream job in her family’s brewery, a loving family, a beautiful son, and a made-up husband to make her pregnancy legitimate. Mariah and her grandfather concocted a way to allow her to remain unwed and keep her baby. She invented a husband who is working in Alaska. Her grandfather’s friend is a postmaster in Alaska and sends mail to her son, John James, and he replies to his ‘father’. They use the name Wes Burrows because Wes never checks his box. Grandfather’s friend can intercept the mail and give John James a ‘real father’ to write to.
Now the real Wes Burrows has discovered their duplicity. He’s on his way from Alaska to Colorado to be a father to the boy he began writing to when he discovered what was going on. Mariah can’t deny him or kick him out because her lies will be exposed. She can’t sleep in separate rooms because of the talk that will ensue. She can’t tell the truth to John James, because he finally has a daddy at home just like all the other boys and Mariah realizes he really had been missing out on the things fathers do with sons.
Oh what a tangled web she has woven…and now to try to get out of it. But the handsome Wes Burrows is attentive to her as well, and his eyes speak of a banked passion towards Mariah. She begins to wonder what she might have been missing, too. Will she be able to end the charade with her dignity and heart in tact?
This story is nestled into a small Colorado town, but the brewery is getting ready for the Exposition in Denver. I loved high-spirited Mariah and her unconventional ways. She’s at home in pants and is being groomed to take over the brewery when her grandfather steps down. She’s at home with men in a man’s world, but knows how to be a feminine mother and sister. She was such an interesting character to me. She has so much love to give to her family and her son, but she holds all men at arms length…even her pretend husband. It took me a long time to figure out the ghosts hiding in her life. I grew to love her as if she were my own sister.
Wes Burrows at first seems to have some sort of score to settle. He’s making up for something in his past and while his intentions are good, he has leaped without truly thinking it all through. He has to prove over and over to Mariah that he doesn’t want to steal her son away. He shows Mariah every kindness and shows such tenderness to her that it made me weep.
Being an avid reader of Cheryl St.John’s works, as the story unfolded, I was convinced I knew what would happen next. It was a little telegraphed and I know the way these stories go. Imagine my surprise when everything I thought had been ‘telegraphed’ in advance was turned upside down and comes out totally different. I had no idea what would happen as surprise after surprise rocked Wes & Mariah’s worlds. Cheryl St.John is a master storyteller and Her Colorado Man will not disappoint.
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