The Promise of Forgiveness

img_4769Author: Marin Thomas

Publisher: Berkley/NAL

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel

Provided by Publisher


Blurb: When it comes to family, Ruby Baxter hasn’t had much luck. The important men in her early life abandoned her, and any time a decent boyfriend came along, she ran away. But now Ruby is thirty-one and convinced she is failing her teenage daughter. Mia is the one good thing in her life, and Ruby hopes a move to Kansas will fix what’s broken between them. 

But the road to redemption takes a detour. Hank McArthur, the biological father Ruby never knew existed, would like her to claim her inheritance: a dusty oil ranch just outside of Unforgiven, Oklahoma.  

As far as first impressions go, the gruff, emotionally distant rancher isn’t what Ruby has hoped for in a father. Yet Hank seems to have a gift for rehabilitating abused horses—and for reaching Mia. And if Ruby wants to entertain the possibility of a relationship with Joe Dawson, the ranch foreman, she must find a way to open her heart to the very first man who left her behind.


Review: I would consider this book almost more of a novel instead of a romance, but it does have a HEA. It traveled a long road to make its point, and I really enjoyed it along the way. Plus, who wouldn’t love a town named Unforgiven, Oklahoma as the catalyst for change in a family’s life?

Ruby Baxter is making a stop on the way from Pineville, Missouri to her new job in Elkhart, Kansas. She and her daughter Mia are visiting Unforgiven, Oklahoma to meet her birth father, Hank McArthur. Not having known she was adopted until she’d gotten the letter from Hank’s lawyer, she’s both mad at him and her adoptive parents, who are dead. Her fourteen-year-old daughter Mia is mad at her for up-ending her life.

As Ruby and Mia visit the ranch and Ruby finds out more about her birth parents, she starts wondering how much of what’s happened in her life was genetic and how much was fate. Would forgiving them let her move on with her life and have a real, meaningful relationship? And salvage her relationship with her daughter?

Joe Dawson was devastated before by the loss of his son, and he’s determined to never feel that way again. Working at the ranch with Hank had given him a place to hide and heal. When he hooks up with Ruby, it starts out as sexual but quickly becomes more. Is he ready to gamble his heart again? And will Ruby settle down long enough to let him?

This engaging heartfelt novel catches you at the start and keeps you reading until the end. The dusty ranch not only saves Ruby, Mia and Joe but becomes a character alongside them in this story about redemption and coming home. Great read, thanks!

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