This post originally appeared on Christine’s Words.

Have you ever made a really bad choice? Or several bad choices? The hero of my new book, More Than a Rancher, certainly has! Sandro Salazar is reeling from the mistakes he made. He’s abandoned his career as a chef in New York City and returned to his family ranch to regain his focus and start his life again. And he is questioning everything – self-doubt is taking over.

This makes him especially protective of his little brother, Paul, who he loves very much. So when Paul announces that he wants to become a ballroom dancer, Sandro balks. He’s afraid Paul will be ridiculed, even ostracized from their traditional family. And if he is, then he’ll be more likely to make the same types of mistakes that Sandro did.

Enter our heroine, Jenna Stevens. A talented ballroom dancer and dedicated dance teacher, she sees Paul’s enormous talent and wants to help him become a dancer. Jenna believes in dreams and possibilities and it’s very hard for her to understand why Sandro would want to stand in his little brother’s way. And the attraction she feels for Sandro makes her even more confused!

I think Sandro’s journey is about how difficult it can be to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. Yet until we can find a way to accept what we’ve done wrong, it’s so hard to move on. We can get stuck. But hopefully a friend comes along who can help un-stick us. In Sandro’s case, it’s Jenna who gets him moving again.

I very much hope you enjoy their story. And I’ll leave you with a little scene where Sandro struggles with forgiving himself, while Jenna tries to forgive him for walking out on her. Sandro is speaking…

“If you’re telling me to forgive myself, I don’t want to. I don’t want to live in a world where it’s somehow okay for me to treat people the way I used to, or the way I treated you last night. These days I try to show a lot of respect for others. But I don’t always succeed. I screw up, as you’ve seen first-hand.”
“Just promise me that next time you go on a date, you’ll tell the girl if you’re going to leave.”
“Does that mean you’d consider going out with me again?” His jaw was still tense but his mouth curled in a half smile.
“You made it pretty clear this morning that you weren’t interested.”
“I was lying.”
“Lying is bad. Number-one dating rule you need to learn.”
“I’ll learn it. Give me another chance, Jenna. At the very least, I owe you a great evening.”
“I don’t know.” It was flattering that he wanted more time with her. But he’d shown her a glimpse of how much he could hurt her.

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