The Promise Of Forgiveness
By Marin Thomas
Brought to you by OBS reviewer jerjen
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. (Goodreads)
Ruby Baxter has not had an easy life. She has not had much luck with love and feels that any important man in her life has failed her. The only thing she did right was her daughter, Mia. But now even that relationship has hit a rough patch, so she decides that she and her daughter need to move and make a fresh start. But before they reach their destination, they have to make a stop. Ruby has recently learned that she was adopted and her biological father has sent her a letter. She plans on stopping by, meeting him (but not liking him or forgiving him) and finding out about her medical history for her daughter’s sake. Then she and her daughter are leaving to start their new life.
But as they say “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. When they get to the ranch, Mia falls in love with the horses that are on the ranch. And she begins to fall in love with her “grandfather”, Ruby’s biological father, Hank. Mia makes it perfectly clear to Ruby that she does not want to leave the ranch and if Ruby wants to, she can go by herself. With their relationship being so rocky, Ruby does not want to upset Mia any more, if she can avoid it. So she agrees to stay at the ranch through the summer. But she still does not plan on liking or forgiving Hank.
The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional. Ruby is not afraid to speak her mind and wants to make sure that everyone is treated fairly. She is willing to fight any injustices that she observes. But in her personal life, she is not as strong and does not have a lot of confidence, especially when it comes to the men in her life. And she does not know how to fix things with her daughter. But she is willing to try and do what she thinks is right, no matter what it takes. Mia is a typical teenager in many ways, struggling with all things that teenagers struggle with. She has all of the teenage insecurities that teens deal with but she has the added burden of not having any male role models in her life. Hank is not one to try to make excuses for his behavior (giving Ruby up for adoption all those years ago) and he wants to get to know Ruby and Mia and make things right. He has had heartbreak in his life (losing Ruby’s mother many years ago) and he is still in love with her.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented in bringing out emotions in the reader and I experienced happiness, sadness, laughter and suspense. There is a mystery contained in the book, who is behind the incidents that keep happening at the ranch. I did not figure out who was behind all of these things until it was revealed at the end.
This book is such a good read. It is not so much a love story as it is a story about second chances, forgiveness and moving forward. It is about family, lifelong love and commitment, and personal growth. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written women’s fiction. I believe this is the first women’s fictional novel written by Marin Thomas, I sure hope it is not her last. I look forward to reading more of her books.