A Perfect 10
NAL Accent
ISBN: 978-0-451-47629-5
March 2016
Women's Fiction

Oklahoma the Present

After discovering her fourteen-year-old daughter had sex, a situation thirty-year-old Ruby Baxter is too familiar with, she decided to move to Kansas to prevent her beautiful daughter, Mia, from enduring the humiliation, judgment, and name-calling heaped on her mother when she discovered herself pregnant. Unfortunately, three months after Mia was born, Ruby's adoptive parents were killed in a car accident, leaving her to work to support her baby while finishing high school. Ruby also has abandonment issues when it comes to men, and usually leaves them before they discover who she really is and leave her. Her move to her new job in Kansas is delayed when her biological father, Hank McArthur, contacts her asking her to visit him at his ranch, Devil's Wind, near the small community called Unforgiven. Right now Mia is angry with Ruby, and Ruby's poor self-esteem makes her feel probably rightly so.

As she gets off the bus with Mia, Ruby is sure this will be a very short visit. Unforgiven is an oil workers dominated place, meaning inhabited by men. What woman wants to live in such a dry and dust-riven place? Hank's perplexing ranch foreman, Joe Dawson, picks them up and takes them to the ranch. Hank is in ill-health, and while she is sympathetic, she isn't ready to forgive him for abandoning her. Her plans remain to move to Kansas. But Mia quickly falls in love with her new location, her grandfather, and his three horses, leaving Ruby in a difficult situation.

Slowly the story of Hank and Ruby's birth mother emerges, along with Joe's past and his son's death. Mix these unlucky characters' doubts and desires with the cast of eccentric characters found in Unforgiven, and a strong story of human shortcomings, the beginnings of understanding, forgiveness, and finding love provides a rich story. Throw in a threat against the ranch for suspense, and THE PROMISE OF FORGIVENESS earns a Perfect 10.

Robin Lee