I received a review copy
author Marin Thomas . . .
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.
Full disclosure – I’ve been in a reading funk. Not many books have thrilled me lately and I may be a little burnt out. As a book reviewer, I must read on – and in this instance, I’m glad I did. As believer in the power of forgiveness, the title of this book intrigued me. I confess though, the first chapter of this book made me nervous. I don’t want to give anything away, but as the mother of a pre-teen girl, there are some aspects of this book that made me very uncomfortable. Still, I think the unpleasant elements are what made Thomas’s story so compelling, because I kept reading. I finished the book in one day – and it’s been a while since I’ve done that. Fast moving plot, complicated characters and the theme of abandonment and forgiveness made for a story that will stay with me for a while. I didn’t love the Oklahoma panhandle setting – but kudos to the author for her vivid descriptions. She described it with such detail, I could feel dirt on my skin. Or maybe that was my mom-fear about the dramas of having a teen daughter. The book is very well written, I was just a little bummed out by everyone’s sad stories. I was so relieved that the ending made me smile.