If you want a book to take you on a journey, I would say this one qualifies. Mariah’s Quest by Dianna Crawford and Sally Laity is an interesting historical fiction book that is the second in the Daughters of Harwood House series. I read this one without reading the first one, Rose’s Pledge, and it still made perfect sense. This book is about Mariah, the second oldest daughter in a family who has gone bankrupt. Mariah and her sisters have sailed from England to America to become indentured servants to pay off their family’s debt.
Mariah Harwood is standing on the block, waiting for someone to bid for her. She is devastated because the ship’s captain is selling her and her sisters separately, even though he promised to keep them together. As Mariah stands before the crowd of wild and dirty men, she is scared of what they would do with her once she is sold. Then, a handsome man on horseback at the back of the crowd raises the bid price on her.
Colin Barclay is in town because of his family’s horse business. He came only to buy and sell horses, but when he sees a beautiful young English girl being bid on, he joins in. He cannot take his eyes off her, and ends up bidding an outrageous sum for a four year indentured servant.
Mariah is amazed at this handsome young man who has come to her rescue and saved her from all the other filthy competition.
Colin is amused when Mariah’s sister makes him promise to not touch Mariah until they both arrive to Colin’s home safely. It is all he can do to keep his promise on the day-long ride to his house, but he does, and is only deterred farther from Mariah when his mother threatens to sell Mariah if he does touch her. Not to be put off, Colin still tries to get to Mariah, but is prevented further when he has to go out of the country on business and then is sent off to war.
Meanwhile, Mariah is having her own struggle. She has been sort of accepted into the family in her role of a tutoress to Colin’s sisters, but when Colin continually has to leave the house, she misses him and is treated a little worse. Mariah is trying hard to keep her eyes off the other men surrounding her on the family’s trips around. She wants to stick with Colin, but, as I said before, he is always being called away.
When Colin finally returns from the war, he has been wounded in a way that will forever affect his and Mariah’s relationship unless she can do something to prevent that.
Thank you so much to Net Galley and Barbour publishers for letting me read and review this book! I really enjoyed it.