Then Came You:A Prequel To The McPhee Clan by Jillian Hart

Then Came You by Jillian Hart

Reviewed by Shirley

Being an indentured servant is no picnic for the servant, but by being one, freedom can be gained. In Maebry O'Riley's case, the terms of service were doubled. Seeking a life for herself and her sister away from her cruel, lecherous stepfather, she agreed to serve the time for both of them, fourteen years, to Maureen McPhee, owner of the Rocking M Ranch in Bluebell, Montana Territory. A crueler, more strict, ungrateful taskmaster could not have possibly been found. But Maebry had her dreams. Only she would never act on them. The debt to be paid to give her the freedom to have them was too great. So she dreamed.

Love blooms under these most impossible odds. With a future uncertain once Maureen McPhee, the owner of her indentured contract dies, Maebry tries to keep the walls around her heart tall and unscaled. Wanting to discourage unwanted attentions from Lawrence Latimer, Maebry asks Gil Blackburn, the new ranch hand, to pretend to be her beau. Secretly she wishes it was true, but from a simple crush true love really does begin to blossom. Only the remaining years on her contract is a mountain neither of them can move. Gil wants to buy it from Maureen, but she refuses to sell, wanting Maebry as unhappy as she is. Maebry refuses to start a life with Gil under the same tremendous debt that wrecked her parents' lives. Through it all, true love continues to flourish. Could their love prevail? Would Maureen's heirs release her or would they simply move her away from the ranch? Or was her future to be a lonely, heartbroken spinster?

I loved this sweet, romantic story. Well developed characters weaved a gentle love story through a well executed plot. From the first page to the last, I was totally engrossed in every page. As I turned each page, I felt as if I was there in their romance, uncertainly, and sacrifice. I empathized and sympathized with their plight as they struggled to grow their love and resign themselves to a distant future happily ever after. The scenery was vividly written and the dialogue was engrossing.

I would recommend to all romance readers who want a good, clean romantic story faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. This prequel to The McPhee Clan series was very well written.

5/5 stars Could love conquer all their demons?