Love, loss, second chances and small-town living are hallmarks of Nancy Naigle's fiction. Prolonged grief is added to the mix in The Wedding Ranch, resulting in a tenderly drawn romance about two strangers, both coping with heartbreak, who are leery about love. Just when it appears as though Lorri Walker and her husband have turned the corner after he'd gone astray in their marriage, he suddenly leaves her for another woman. Lorri uproots herself and her mastiff dog, which had been a present from her ex, from their home in Raleigh, N.C., and moves a few hours away to Mill Creek Highlands. It's a quaint, small town, and she believes she can make a fresh start and grow her graphic design business. She meets rancher Ryder Bolt, a grief-stricken widower who, after seven years, is still struggling with the tragic loss of his wife and son. He keeps busy tending to the demands of his family's sprawling property and proudly assisting his niece and nephew as they expand the reach of the Wedding Ranch, a popular venue for authentic farm weddings.
When Lorri and Ryder cross paths, a good-natured friendship begins to develop. But will their respective dark pasts drive a wedge between them? And are they willing to risk their troubled, wounded hearts for something more? Naigle (What Remains True; The Shell Collector; The Secret Ingredient) is a sensible, compassionate storyteller who once again demonstrates a keen understanding for--and deep sensitivity toward--the complexities of true romance and the healing power of forgiveness and love. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines