Genres: Contemporary, Woman’s Fiction, Mystery, Romance
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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A truly beautiful story of love and forgives. This was not the usual type of romance I read and prefer. Another words, romance was not the focus of this novel. With that being said, there were things I liked and even disliked about this story. I should say that after having read the blurb and several Goodreads reviews, I knew going in this would be different. Because I like author Marin Thomas, I read it anyway. Our main character Ruby has recently discovered she was adopted, after receiving a letter from the man who gave her away thirty years ago. Her birth father, Hank. Needless to say, Ruby is shocked and angry so she decides to go and see him. Nearly everyone Ruby has loved has let het down, left her. She doesn’t trust easily if at all. Mia is Ruby’s fifteen year old daughter who Ruby raised on her own. I have to say that Hank was, hands down, my favorite character in this story. Nearly every time Ruby got him to open up about the past, my eyes teared. My heart broke over and over for Hank. I wanted to jump into the pages and hug this man hard! In addition to all the sadness in the story there was some mystery going on as well that fit nicely. So, yes, I did enjoy this story; it was well rounded and pulled many different emotions from me. However, it did not have the HEA that usually satisfies me. I would have appreciated an epilogue just to ease my mind that everything was going to continue to work out. For example, Hank was in poor health and I wanted (no needed) to know that he lived for many more years. As for the romance growing between Joe and Ruby? There could have been a bit more to that as well. At one point Joe left, (you’ll have to read to find out why) then came back to tell Ruby he wanted to be with her. But he never said those three important words. Did I believe he loved Ruby? I do but hearing him say the words, especially after she did, would have been appropriate. One other issue with this story that fell a bit short for me was how the mystery was resolved so quickly in the last chapter. I wanted to know for sure that the villains got what they deserved. Ruby had a personality that made it very difficult for me to like her. That being said, I’m still glad she along with Mia, Joe and especially Hank were happy at the end.