In 1882, Ruby Torvald receives a letter from her long-lost father. He is dying and insists that she and her little sister, Opal, immediately leave their comfortable existence in New York City and journey to the wild frontier of Dakota Territory to claim their inheritance. Reluctantly Ruby relinquishes her job as a governess in a well-to-do-household and, with her sister, embarks on the journey. Their “inheritance” remains a mystery until the girls arrive, and once they do, there is no turning back.
After a sluggish beginning, Ruby picks up the pace and develops into an intriguing story of adaptation and morality, as Ruby’s strict sense of propriety is challenged by her circumstances. The inspirational element adds a sense of perspective to Ruby’s personal crises and is not overwhelming. The untamed roughness of frontier life is colorfully depicted. The personalities of the inhabitants of Medora accentuate the atmosphere, although the portrayal of the cowboys, particularly Rand Harrison, tends to lapse into stereotypical Hollywood fare.
Altogether, Ruby is an entertaining read. Although I could not find definitive information about this series (Dakota Treasures) on the author’s website, with all the untied strings left at the conclusion I am sure that there will be at least a second book.