Ruby (Dakotah Treasures #1)
"My dearest daughters,
...While I had hoped to be able to send for you before now, the sad news is that I am dying. I have enclosed tickets for the two of you to come and claim your inheritance, and God willing, if you come quickly, I will have a chance to see your sweet faces before I pass on into the next life?."
Ruby Torvald sets out on a daunting journey with her young sister, Opal, to hopefully see their long-lost father once more and claim the promised inheritance. But instead of the treasure they expected, the sisters discover something most shocking.
Ruby's bold determination in the face of scandal is the only way to redeem her father's legacy. Does she have it in her?
Twenty-year-old Ruby Torvald gave up long ago on hearing from her father. Then in 1882, Ruby is called to his deathbed in Dakotah Territory, where an inheritance awaits her. She assumes Dove House is a hotel, but is appalled to discover a saloon and brothel plopped in the middle of a beautiful, untamed land. 'Take care of the girls' is her father's dying request. Oh Lord, how? She trusts God to help her transform the saloon into a hotel--and soiled doves into cooks and waitresses--hoping to win the respect of the townsfolk. Now if only that arrogant, skeptical rancher would stop annoying her with his attractive presense. In Ruby, Lauraine Snelling creates a memorable character with courage, determination and honor."
--Romantic Times, Aug. 2003
From its beautiful cover through to the ending, Ruby does not disappoint. I generally stay away from series books because it seems that every story is left unresolved, and by the time the next book comes out I have forgotten what is happening. There is resolution in this novel, and you can feel good about the story even if you don't pick up the sequels. Enough threads are left for anticipation of book two, titled Pearl, which I eagerly await. Ruby leaves you feeling uplifted, and is a treasure readers should mine from the choices available."
"Ruby Torvald, along with her young sister Opal, has been summoned away from a comfortable life as a governess for an affluent New York family, to her father's deathbed in the wilds of the Dakotah territory. Despite misgivings, she is determined to fulfill the last wish of a parent who left his family in search of fortune long ago. It will be a test of Ruby's intelligence, courage and faith as she confronts obstacles and adversaries in everyday life and the added burden of restoring her family's honor. With Ruby, Ms. Snelling has created a truly original and memorable reading experience. The realism and attention to detail comes through in this rich story. One cannot escape being thankful for modern day luxuries when reading of yesterday's struggles to merely exist, let alone thrive. Ms. Snelling's storytelling is such that I found myself becoming completely engrossed in the tale - transporting me back to the Dakotah territory. It did not escape this reviewer's notice that Ruby is somewhat of a cautionary tale - one must not ignore their own needs, specifically the need to nurture their own faith. As with the larger storyline, Ruby's characters are heart wrenching and fantastically portrayed. The sudden onslaught of the title character's repressed angst leaves one empathetic to her plight. Her determination and sense of duty carry the day and won over this reviewer in short order. While sister Opal clearly takes second billing, she is the embodiment of innocence and hope, and serves as a nice contrast to her older, more pragmatic sister. If Ruby is any indication, The DAKOTAH TREASURES series promises to be a wonderful, heart wrenching and ultimately uplifting series. I can hardly wait for more and hope they come soon!"
Books by Lauraine Snelling