Published: March 2016
A novel of love, forgiveness, and the unbreakable bonds of family from award-nominated 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.
The blurb of The Promise of Forgiveness was enough to get me curious. At first, the story of Ruby and Mia was getting of at a slow pace, so I was wondering if I should read on, or that the blurb just gave the total story away. However, halfway through the book I got hooked on Joe and the curious incidents happening at the range. The strain in the relationship between Ruby and Mia is perfectly shown and having a near teenager myself, I got a little prevision of what my life will look like in a few years with a stubborn teenager… So totally recognizable. Hank was the grumpy old man character, with a hidden golden heart. Of course he has done wrong by abandoning Ruby, but if you read all he has been through, you start to feel sympathy for the man, just like Ruby. And Joe, what a lovely character. I just wanted to hug him for all the sorrow he must feel. I actually think that in real life, he is much too nice for Ruby, because she can be a little closed off and just… mean. But after all the events and incidents at the range, maybe Ruby will settle and become a better version of herself. The underlying story of the sheriff and the women in Unforgiven was a little confusing at some points, but it was certainly entertaining. Let’s just say: never get caught with your pants down… Hilarious. So in all an easy read, which kept you wondering about several things, including the motives of Ruby’s mother to leave Hank and her whereabouts in the last twenty years. There wasn’t a very satisfying answer to this, so when I was done with the book I still had a little nagging feeling about this. However, it was a good read. So three out of five stars for The Promise of Forgiveness. I received an ARC from FirstToRead in exchange of an honest review.