Mary Goode has spent nearly a decade hiding her sweet, off-kilter brother, Robin, and two fellow misfits after she rescued them from a brutal institution. But unknown to Mary, the trio’s fascination with Robin Hood and their hero’s crusade to “steal from the rich and give to the poor” may have led to a few actual robberies.
U.S. Marshal Shane Latimer is on the trail of the inept Robin Hood and his shabby band of not-so-tough Merry Men when his rattlesnake-spooked-horse lands him in care of Robin’s fiercely protective sister, Mary, aka Maid Marian.
He’s instantly charmed by Mary’s devotion to her whimsical brood, but worries that she may be hiding the truth. Still, for a loner like Shane, the appeal of their family affection, love and loyalty, combined with Mary’s growing hold on his heart, is hard to resist.
Mary is equally torn. For the first time in her life she has someone to share the challenges of keeping her brood out of trouble. But will her quest for happiness forever shatter the idyllic life she’s forged for her special family…?
And how will Shane reconcile his duties as a lawman and his love for Maid Marian and her outlaw brood?
Publisher and Release Date: Belle Bridge Books, December 2013
Time and Setting: Oklahoma Indian Territory, 1896
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Rating: 1
Reviewer Rating: 3 stars
Review by Susan
Romance author Deb Stover explores the emotions of her heroine Mary Goode (nicknamed “Maid Marian”) in this novel. Set after the Civil War in the sparsely occupied landscapes of Oklahoma, Mary is faced with the task of protecting her brother Robin and two of his friends, an Indian dubbed Little John and a cheery-faced man given the sobriquet Friar Tuck. They are accused of robbing from the rich and are on the brink of serving life-time sentences of hard labor when Mary rescues them. As most may have gleaned, the story is a western romance built on the Robin Hood myth with Mary’s small homestead hailed as Sherwood Forest.
Shane Latimer, the US Marshall on the trail of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, is introduced early into the story. He is at the mercy of Robin and Mary when he is bitten by a rattlesnake outside of their homestead. Convinced Shane is really their friend Will Scarlet, the Marshall plays along until he can no longer hide his true identity and he has fallen in love with Mary and taken a liking to Robin and his friends. His struggle between honoring the role of his post as a US Marshall and honoring a company of outlaws whose motives are altruistic is what drives the story and hooks the reader into the plot.
The story is written with a lot of heart as Stover continuously provides readers with proof of Mary’s commitment to Robin and his friends. There is a Dale Evans-like quality about Mary reminiscent of Evans’s role in the popular 1950’s TV series The Roy Rogers Show. Like Evans, Mary has a homey, domesticated air about her combined with the strength and tenacity of a cattle wrangler. Shane displays the courtesy of manner of a southern gentlemen. His ability to see both sides is admirable and reflective of the Roy Rogers character.
Maid Marian and the Lawman isn’t a repeat of the Robin Hood legend but another way to look at the heroic symbol and love story put into an Old West frame. Though Mary and Shane’s instantaneous love at first sight is predictable, it’s a story that has its moments of suspense as the reader isn’t sure if Shane will choose his job as a lawman or his friendship with a company of outlaws, or if it is possible for him to find a middle ground.
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About the Author
Once upon a time Deb Stover wanted to be Lois Lane until she discovered Clark Kent is a fraud and there is no Superman. Since publication of Shades of Rose in 1995, Stover has received dozens of awards for her cross-genre fiction and published more than two dozen projects in a variety of languages. For more information, please visit www.debstover.com.