Late in March, I was visiting author Kristy Harvey's blog,www.kristywoodsonharvey.com. Harvey is the author of fan faves such as Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love. While reading Kristy's posts, I ran across a book giveaway that caught my attention immediately. I entered right away.The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas was that book. Kristy notified me a couple of days later that I had won. Yay me, right?! Thank you, Kristy, for introducing me to Marin Thomas!! Coincidentally, I found Kristy Harvey through a group of talented female authors at www.tallpoppy.org. Marin Thomas is also a part of this fabulous group and I highly recommend that you check each of these ladies out, if you haven't already discovered them for yourself. All are a great, supportive bunch and each brings her own unique charm to Tall Poppy Writers. Now, back to Marin and her brilliant women's fiction debut, which, if you're still following along, I won through a blog giveaway.
Hot diggity dog! As promised, I received my prize package and I was delighted to find not one but TWO SIGNED BOOKS from Marin!! Thomas was kind enough to send a signed copy of A Cowboy's Claim. I quickly sent an email thanking her for her generosity. Marin answered back right away, confirming what I had suspected. Marin Thomas is an author that cares about her fans and those that read her stories. Does this influence my opinions of Thomas's books? Nah. The book stood out on it's own. But it does make me a lifelong fan.
Ruby, accompanied by her fourteen year old daughter Mia, steps off of a Greyhound bus at the desolate, windy four corners of Unforgiven, Oklahoma. Thomas was brilliant here, creating a small town that represents her characters life choices, decisions, and emotions. Unforgiven is Ruby's birthplace but she didn't return to reminisce. Ruby received a summons of sort from her birth father, a man she has never met. To Ruby, Hank McArthur is yet another person that deserted her. Ruby has come to Unforgiven to meet the coward that gave her away when she was but days old. Filled with anger and false pride, Ruby plans to give ole Hank a piece of her mind. But Unforgiven has other plans for the thirty one year old Ruby, a single mother who has made bad decisions of her own. Ruby and Mia have a strained mother/daughter relationship and before Ruby can judge others, perhaps she needs to take a step back and fix herself. Mia is not speaking to her mother, she blames Ruby for almost everything and like a typical teenage girl, rebels against her mother. The bleak and dusty Unforgiven seems like the last place in the world for Ruby and Mia to find happiness and hope. After all, what's to love about a town filled with nothing but grit, grime, secrets, and unrealized dreams? Well, there's Joe, the quiet ranch hand at Devil's Wind that Ruby takes an interest in. Then there's Hank. Mia attaches herself to Hank and his rescued horses immediately, putting more distance between mother and daughter. Ruby didn't plan to spend much time in this Godforsaken town but Unforgiven has plenty in store for Ruby, Mia, Hank, and Joe. Each of these characters are seeking forgiveness and a place to call home. Living in Unforgiven might teach some to forgive and the unlikeliest of families to form, moving past hurt and resentment.
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. I liked that Ruby was raw and oh so flawed. I don't like my protagonists to be perfect. Where's the challenge? Ruby was honest and real, someone easy to root for. In fact, I fell in love with all of the characters and felt a strong connection to each. Again, Unforgiven was the perfect place to put these people who desperately need to work through their own issues. Unforgiven seems hopeless but after the dust settles, hope shines through. I would've liked to stay a bit longer in Unforgiven myself. There's s great story going on here. Please, Marin! Give us more.