Category Archives: Marin Thomas

Review: The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas

Title: The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas
Publisher: Berkely
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 332 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


One woman’s journey home gets derailed by her soon-to-be ex-mother-in-law in a novel filled with humor, small-town charm, rekindled love, and the resilient ties of family.

Cast aside by her cheating husband, Katelyn Chandler is ready to pack it all in and drive home to Little Springs, Texas. She wants a chance to regroup, reconnect with her mother, and get back to her art.

But Shirley Pratt—master manipulator, elitist snob, and Katelyn’s terror of a live-in monster-in-law—has other ideas. Shirley insists on joining Katelyn’s trip after her son tries to pack her off to a retirement community. Katelyn has no choice but to play peacekeeper between the ornery old woman and the proud matrons of Little Springs. Yet the small town seems to be changing Shirley. And as Katelyn weighs the wisdom of picking up where she left off with Jackson Mendoza, the town bad boy and her high school sweetheart, she must find a way to believe in the strength of her dreams.


The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas is a captivating novel of new beginnings and rediscovering one’s self in the wake of divorce.

Katelyn Chandler Pratt is absolutely stunned when her husband Don unceremoniously divorces her after nineteen years of marriage. With her disagreeable mother-in-law Shirley in tow, Katelyn returns to her small hometown in Texas to regroup and spend some long overdue time with her mom, Birdie.  Having lost touch with her own hopes and goals in the process of raising her children and helping her soon to be ex-husband rise up the corporate ladder, Katelyn hopes to reignite her long neglected dream of becoming an artist.  Returning to her small town roots, Katelyn finds a new appreciation for the small town she once could not wait to leave behind while at the same time she discovers she still has feelings for her high school boyfriend Jackson Mendoza.  With her departure date fast approaching, Katelyn remains torn about what she wants for her future.

The only child of parents who struggled to make ends meet, Katelyn could not wait to forge a life far away from her small hometown. Meeting and marrying Don fulfilled her goal of financial security and she was quite content with her marriage until the day her husband decided to divorce her. As she spends time renewing her somewhat distant relationship with Birdie, Katelyn comes to quite a few realizations about herself and her marriage.  As she encourages her mother to pursue her long abandoned dream, will Katelyn take her own advice when it comes to her own dormant goal to become an artist?

Despite their ease in renewing their friendship, Jackson is uneasy about spending time with Katelyn. His life took a somewhat difficult turn after their breakup and while he has overcome his demons, he keeps to himself in order to avoid backsliding into old habits. Will these fears prevent Jackson from pursuing a relationship with Katelyn?

The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas is an engaging and thought-provoking journey of self-discovery.  With a cast of colorful and entertaining characters, a realistic storyline about returning to your roots and a sweet, understated romance, this charming novel will delight readers who enjoy contemporary women’s fiction.

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Filed under Berkley, Contemporary, Marin Thomas, Rated B+, Review, The Future She Left Behind, Women's Fiction

Review: The Cowboy’s Accidental Baby by Marin Thomas

Title: The Cowboy’s Accidental Baby by Marin Thomas
Cowboys of Stampede, Texas Series Book One
Publisher: Harlequin Western Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 224 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author



Bronc rider Gunner Hardell never plans past the next stop on the rodeo. When he’s home in Stampede, Texas, he’s part-time manager of the run-down Moonlight Motel, to get his crotchety grandpa off his back. Then he meets interior designer Lydia Canter—hired to renovate the motel—and suddenly the gig gets a whole lot more appealing…

Lydia is looking for love, but there’s nothing wrong with some Mr. Right Now while she waits for Mr. Right. But one steamy night with Gunner has unexpected consequences. And she would rather raise their baby alone than give the good-time cowboy a chance to break her heart. When Gunner learns he’s going to be a daddy, he’s determined to prove to Lydia he really is her Mr. Right!


The Cowboy’s Accidental Baby is a delightfully charming opposites attract romance. This newest release by Marin Thomas is the first installment in the Cowboys of Stampede, Texas series and centers around a trio of brothers.

Gunner Hardell  is a fun-loving bronc rider who is quite content with everything about his laidback lifestyle.  In between rodeos, he works as the part-time manager of his Grandpa Emmett’s neglected Moonlight Motel. Gunner enjoys sampling the charms of the ladies he meets at various events but he is strictly a love ’em and leave ’em kind of man. While he is very loyal to his family, his easygoing lifestyle and lack of direction are a source of contention between him and his older brother, Logan.  Gunner is not looking for love or commitment when he meets interior designer Lydia Canter, but will the focused and driven career woman change his mind?

Lydia knows exactly what she wants in life and she is willing to take whatever steps are necessary to accomplish her goals.  She is a no-nonsense, goal oriented woman who never loses sight of what she wants in a man nor does she intend to slack off on building up her business. However, when her beloved Aunt Amelia requests her help in giving the Moonlight Motel a much needed makeover, she readily agrees to assist her.  The last thing Lydia needs is a smooth-talking cowboy to distract her from the task at hand, but she makes a completely out of character decision that has stunning repercussions. Will Lydia be able to trust Gunner’s assertion that she can count on him in spite of his past?

Lydia and Gunner are an absolutely wonderful couple and although they are nothing alike, there is no denying their sizzling attraction. Of course, Gunner sees no reason not to give in to their desire but Lydia is extremely reluctant to deviate from her plans. She is charmed and exasperated by the always cheerful cowboy and she is quite uncertain that he can follow through with giving her the support she needs. Will Lydia finally believe that Gunner is serious about changing his carefree ways?

The Cowboy’s Accidental Baby is a light-hearted and incredibly sweet love story.  Lydia and Gunner are an incredibly appealing couple who are well suited despite their differences. The supporting cast of characters is quite colorful yet extremely engaging. The storyline has plenty of depth and substance and the issues that must be overcome are realistic and easy to relate to. Marin Thomas’s intriguing glimpses of Logan Hardell will leave readers impatiently the next installment in the marvelous Cowboys of Stampede, Texas series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Cowboys of Stampede Texas Series, Harlequin Western Romance, Marin Thomas, Rated B+, Review, Romance, The Cowboy's Accidental Baby

Review: A Cowboy’s Claim by Marin Thomas

Title: A Cowboy’s Claim by Marin Thomas
Cowboys of the Rio Grande Series Book Three
Publisher: Harlequin American Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 240 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley



Everyone knows Victor Vicario—he’s the scarred loner who’s on his way to the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas. But no one knows about the guilt that drives him. And until he achieves his goal, there’s no room in his life for attachments.

So when Vic is given temporary custody of his young nephew, he is torn. He can’t turn his back on family, but how can he look after a kid when he’s traveling the rodeo circuit? Then he runs into feisty barrel racer Tanya McGee and makes her an offer. She helps him with Alex, and he’ll pay her rodeo expenses. The problem is their little “family” starts to feel all too real.


A Cowboy’s Claim by Marin Thomas is a captivating novel of redemption, forgiveness and letting go of past mistakes.  This third installment in the delightful Cowboys of the Rio Grande series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the entire series.

A fateful decision years earlier forever changed not only Victor “Vic” Vicario’s life, but his best friend Cruz Rivera’s as well. Although he never planned on a rodeo career, Vic is convinced he will find forgiveness and redemption once he wins the saddle bronc championship at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas.  While he has been a contestant at the NFR several times in the past, he has not yet won the gold buckle, but after a strong beginning to the new season, Vic knows he stands a good chance of winning this year.  The last thing he needs are complications taking his attention away from his goal but when he learns his four year old nephew Alex needs a temporary guardian, he agrees to care for him until other arrangements can be made.  Needing help caring for the young boy, Vic makes barrel racer Tanya McGee an offer she cannot refuse: in exchange for watching Alex during competition, he will pay her expenses so she can remain on the circuit.  The mutually beneficial arrangement soon becomes complicated when their simmering attraction becomes impossible to resist and Tanya begins yearning for more than friendship with Vic.

Vic is a loner by choice and while his lack of friendship has never bothered him in the past, once he becomes friendly with Tanya, loneliness begins to creep in.  Just before he learns about Alex’s predicament, their unexpected friendship leads to a passionate night together.  Not wanting her to learn about his sordid past, Vic leaves without explanation and for a short time afterwards, their paths do not cross as they compete at different rodeos.  Understandably hurt and angry, Tanya is not exactly welcoming when they meet again, but Vic is quick to apologize for the way he left things and they are soon back on friendly terms.  Tanya agrees to help him with Alex in the short term but will she agree to stay with them once her circumstances change?

Following a divorce and a long recovery from a devastating injury, Tanya has returned to the circuit for one final season.  Despite her over protective parents’ concerns, she is determined to continue competing as long as she can.   With a temperamental horse, Tanya has been struggling to win enough events to pay for travel expenses and entry season for the remainder of the season.  When her money runs out, she accepts Vic’s offer despite her strong reservations about becoming overly involved with him and Alex.

As the months pass, Vic grows increasingly attached to both Alex and Tanya, but he cannot give up his quest for the gold buckle that will provide him the absolution and forgiveness he so desperately needs. Although he has forged a successful career as a saddle bronc rider, no one realizes guilt has been driving him to win.  Unwilling (and unable) to reveal his dysfunctional past, Tanya cannot understand why winning is more important to him than giving Alex a stable (and permanent) home.  Can he forgive himself for that long ago mistake that altered so many lives?  Will Vic make peace with his past in order to find happiness?

A Cowboy’s Claim by Marin Thomas is a sweet and endearing romance with an engaging cast of characters and a compelling storyline.  Vic has realistic issues to overcome and his healing journey is poignant. Seeing him finally move past the demons that have haunted him for so long is incredibly uplifting and emotionally satisfying.  This last installment in the Cowboys of the Rio Grande series is a heartwarming finale that old and new fans are sure to love.

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Filed under A Cowboy's Claim, Contemporary, Cowboys of the Rio Grande Series, Harlequin, Harlequin American Romance, Marin Thomas, Rated B+, Review, Romance

Review: The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas

Title: The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas
Publisher: NAL
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.


Filed under Contemporary, Marin Thomas, NAL, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Suspense, The Promise of Forgiveness, Women's Fiction

Review: The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby by Marin Thomas

surgeon babyTitle: The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby by Marin Thomas
Cowboys of the Rio Grande Series Book Two
Release Date: November 1, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin American Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 224 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author



After a tour in Afghanistan and years as a trauma surgeon, Alonso Marquez needs to get out of Albuquerque and away from his past. A trip seems like the perfect solution, but he doesn’t make it far. Sparks fly when Alonso stops to help a gorgeous rancher fix her car, and just like that his road trip is cut short by one very hot night…with some very real consequences.

Hannah Buck didn’t plan on starting a family that night. Her hands are already full managing the ranch and helping her troubled half brother. But Hannah sees the good in Alonso and knows he will be an incredible dad to their baby—if only he could see it, too. Alonso has spent his life saving others. Now, with Hannah at his side, can he finally save himself?


The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby is a delightful addition to Marin Thomas’s Cowboys of the Rio Grande series. This second installment features trauma surgeon Alonso Marquez and his unexpected romance with bison rancher Hannah Buck.

Disheartened by the losses he has experienced in both his professional and personal lives, Alonso is taking a much needed break from his job at an Albuquerque hospital. While hitchhiking across New Mexico, he meets Hannah and her half-brother Luke when he stops to help them change a tire. He and Hannah are immediately attracted to one another and they decide to throw caution to the wind and indulge in a no strings fling. After Luke is suspended from school, Alonso helps secure him a spot at a ranch for troubled youth run by the same people who helped him when he was a teenager. Deciding to stick around for a while to help Hannah, Alonso finds some much needed peace but when their night together leads to unexpected consequences, will he allow his fears to ruin their future together?

After the death of their father, Hannah willingly abandoned her plans to stay on the ranch as Luke’s guardian. She has never regretted her decision but they are barely scraping by and she has her hands full trying to keep Luke out of trouble. While she is trying to keep the ranch afloat, Luke is running wild and skipping out on chores. As if Hannah does not have enough problems to deal with, now she has to deal with a sudden rash of vandalism on the ranch. While she is not worried about taking care of things on her own, she does appreciate Alonso’s willingness to help out while Luke is gone.

Alonso is surprised by how much he enjoys the slower pace of life on Hannah’s ranch. His experiences have left him with an incredibly negative outlook on life and he is dreading his return to job. He has never had time for a relationship and his previous losses have left him with an irrational fear that he finds very difficult to overcome. When Hannah discovers she is pregnant, his kneejerk reaction is to leave but Alonso finds himself grabbing any excuse to delay his departure. Will an unanticipated job opportunity provide him with a reason to stay? Or will Alonso continue to let his fears keep him from fully committing to a future with Hannah?

The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby is another wonderful installment in Marin Thomas’s Cowboys of the Rio Grande series.  The romance between Alonso and Hannah is very sweet and remarkably free of angst or drama. The characters are beautifully developed with realistic issues to overcome. An understated but very enjoyable love story that old and new fans to the series are sure love.


Filed under Contemporary, Cowboys of the Rio Grande Series, Harlequin American Romance, Marin Thomas, Rated B, Review, Romance, The Surgeon's Christmas Baby