When his aunt dies and leaves Augie Ambrose an inheritance, Augie isn’t sure what to expect. Aunt Grace was kind enough to provide for Augie’s schooling in England, but he didn’t know her well. He discovers he has been left her sprawling New Mexico ranch and enough money to make him comfortable for the first time in his life. It’s like a dream come true for Augie, who has been desperate for a home and a place to call his own. As Augie takes possession of the ranch, he is handed into the care of Griff Taylor, a range witch from the ranch who has come to take Augie back to New Mexico.
Augie knows he doesn’t have much to offer the ranch or a man like Griff. He’s a terrible witch, hates violence, and failed to define himself in the recent civil war that claimed the lives of so many Americans. Yet none of that seems to matter to the handsome and understanding Griff. Griff sees Augie as innocent and in need of care, but stronger than he realizes. As they journey west, it becomes obvious that someone or something wants Augie dead. Griff is going to do everything he can to protect the man, but Augie will have to find the inner strength to save himself.
Ruby Run was just about everything I enjoy in a book. A tad angsty, with well-developed characters and an evenly paced story. It’s a western, at its core, and that appealed to me right away. Additionally, the book also had real heart and that made Ruby Run enjoyable from start to finish. I will say, it’s the third of the Tin Star Witches, a multi-author series, but I had no knowledge of that when I started. This book seemed to stand well enough on its own, so I don’t think it’s critical to read the others in the series first.
Griff and Augie create the core of what make Ruby Run so enjoyable. They read as flesh and bone men who fit perfectly together. Augie is naive and has spent most of his life being hurt by the people who should have loved him most. Still, he’s curious and eager about the world around him and while his innocence was slightly overwrought, he was a sweet protagonist and easy to like. Griff is rough and tumble, but accepts Augie just as he is. They work well as a couple and while Augie was overshadowed by Griff in some ways, I never got the impression that Augie was lesser or weaker.
The plot is structured well and moves swiftly. The only thing lacking was a greater exploration of the paranormal/magical aspects of the world in which Griff and Augie live. We got bits and pieces and had there been more world building, the plot would have only benefited. The overall storyline didn’t suffer from a lack of depth, but I just wanted to know more.
Ruby Run was a wonderful read and Griff and Augie are compelling and engaging. I would love to read more about them. They’re the kind of couple I liked passing time with and Ruby Run felt too short as a result. Anyone who likes historicals with a paranormal flair will probably enjoy this one, but even if you just want a fun read, don’t hesitate to try it.