In this second installment to the Bright Lights, Big Sky series, author Terry McLaughlin has penned a heartwarming “second chance at love” story that will grab readers’ hearts. Wayne and Maggie are two wounded souls who find themselves complete only through each other yet try their hardest to deny the feelings each engenders.
Maggie has come home. After moving away from the small town of Tucker, Maggie’s life is not what she envisioned when she left to begin a career in Chicago; she is divorced and her self esteem has taken quite a blow. Teaching temporarily at Tucker High School, Maggie is licking her wounds; buying time to get her life back in order before moving on once again. After all, she can never be happy living in the small town she grew up in. Once she crosses paths with her old school friend, Wayne Hammond, things take a different turn in Maggies’ mind; who knew the abused son of an alcoholic father would grow up to be such a fine specimen and successful citizen of Tucker…
Wayne Hammond’s only desire is for a wife and family to share his life. His first marriage was short-lived and ended in divorce and he is skittish about committing to another big-city girl; even if she was originally a Tucker native and his old high school crush. Maggie sure makes his life more exciting lately, but she has placed him in the untenable position of decision-making regarding a contribution made by the town movie star that affects the entire town. Wayne knows Maggie is going to leave as soon as she can, but he is willing to risk his fragile heart in order to share what little time she stays in Tucker with her.
With the talent to capture the emotion and heart of human nature, author, Terry McLaughlin has added another success to her repertoire with this charming and emotional story. The characters are well drawn and feel remarkably like friends, engaged in a battle of school priorities that is realistic and entertaining. The chemistry between Maggie and Wayne is palpable, though each cleverly sidesteps the feelings apparent to the reader. Heartwarming and poignant, the underlying sexual tension hums along, keeping this reader turning pages to see which character would surrender first. The internal struggles each character is feeling was easily seen and felt by this reader; have the tissues handy just to be safe. For anyone who loves a love story of “opposites attracting”, THE RANCHER NEEDS A WIFE is the book for you. Terry McLaughlin is an author I will watch out for; I look forward to Nora’s story in future.