The Promise of Forgiveness
About the Book:
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.
I enjoyed this story of love, family and new beginnings. Ruby is a woman who has had to make her own way in the world. One year when she was a young teen her father inexplicably seemed to reject her; and as often happens when girls do not feel loved by their dads, Ruby sought love from another male--a boy who impregnated her but who was not ready to be a father. Shortly thereafter, her parents died in a car wreck so she was a young single mother with no family. Years later, she was the mother and her teen daughter was looking for love in all the wrong places, so she decided to move to a new town. As they were preparing for the move, Ruby received a letter from someone she did not know existed, her biological father, offering her an inheritance. She decides to stop and see him during their move.
During the story we come to see how much living in the past can limit our futures. In a lot of ways Ruby is still mourning the loss of her father's love and the lack of love she got from the father of her daughter. She is afraid to trust men and that lack of trust keeps her from loving and being loved. Jack is mourning the loss of the love of his life and had never chosen to move past it. All the main characters in this book have a lot going for them--they are their own worst enemies and I enjoyed watching them help each other to grow and learn to take chances again.
There is a "who dunnit" subplot to the story that just never rang true. Still, it was a minor enough part of the story that it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
While it is mentioned that couples are intimate, we are on the other side of the door when it happens.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Grade: B.