Title: The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Suspense, Romance
Length: 354 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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.
Poignant and heartfelt, The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas is a captivating novel of healing, reconciliation and love.
When Ruby Baxter discovers her fourteen year old daughter Mia following in her dysfunctional footsteps, she decides it is time to leave her small hometown and string of bad decisions behind. After accepting a job in Kansas, Ruby is stunned to learn her biological father Hank McArthur would like to meet her. Intending only a short layover in Unforgiven, OK, she is dismayed by Mia’s instant rapport with Hank and her growing attachment to his rescue horses. Never anticipating how much this decision will irrevocably change her life, Ruby agrees to remain a few extra weeks at the Devil’s Wind Ranch in order to continue mending her fractured relationship with her daughter.
Ruby has learned the hard way not to trust anyone and her deep seated abandonment issues cause her to maintain an emotional distance from the people in her life. She is quick to end relationships due to her fears and in doing so, she hurts both herself and Mia. Unwilling to risk further pain, Ruby initially has no intention of forgiving Hank for his decision to give her up for adoption, but the crusty rancher slowly begins to slip past her rather formidable defenses. Amid growing concerns for his health and safety, Ruby begins to entertain the idea of remaining permanently but will she find it in her heart to forgive both herself and Hank for past mistakes?
Ruby is also taken aback by her growing attraction to Hank’s ranch hand, Joe Dawson. Joe is a quiet man whose tragic loss lead to a somewhat itinerant lifestyle until he began working for Hank. Before meeting Ruby, he never entertained the possibility of a lasting relationship but he is willing to give their fledgling romance a chance. However, Ruby and Joe are both a little skittish when it comes to risking their hearts and with their unresolved issues sometimes ruling their decisions, a future together is far from certain.
A secondary story arc about the unsolved vandalism on the ranch adds an element of suspense to the storyline. With growing concern for not only Mia’s safety but Hank’s as well, Ruby pressures local law enforcement to take the investigation more seriously. Ruby has her suspicions about who is behind the sabotage and she takes matters in her own hands when the sheriff refuses to listen to her. The resolution of this storyline is somewhat surprising as are the motives for the crimes.
The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas is a heartwarming novel about the importance of forgiveness and learning to trust despite having been let down in the past. Another equally valuable lesson in the story is recognizing then consciously taking steps to break the cycle of destructive behavior in order to forge healthy relationships and become a better role model for our children.
The Promise of Forgiveness is an emotional and meaningful novel that will linger in readers’ hearts and minds long after the last page is turned. An outstanding read that I absolutely loved and highly recommend.