cover image The Wedding Ranch

The Wedding Ranch

Nancy Naigle. Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-79413-0

With this sweet, folksy contemporary, Naigle (What Remains True) proves it’s never too late to find love, as sparks fly between a widower and a divorcée. Lorri Walker’s husband, Craig, tries to repair their relationship by giving her a massive mastiff puppy for Valentine’s Day—but ends up leaving her for the dog trainer. Eager for a fresh start, Lori sells the home she and Craig shared and moves with her puppy to “farmhouse-chic,” small-town Dalton Mill, N.C. A trip to the county fair ends with handsome widower Ryder Bolt saving Lorri from a runaway steer, sparking an easy friendship and a surprising attraction. Their relationship solidifies at the celebrity wedding of country singer Cody Tuggle, a friend of Lorri’s from high school, which takes place at the eponymous venue, owned by Ryder and run by his niece and nephew. But when Lorri discovers a connection between her family and the death of Ryder’s wife and son, she fears the truth will fracture their newfound love beyond repair. The theme of overcoming grief and tragedy to embrace new love resonates on every page. This is sure to tug at readers’ heartstrings. Agent: Steve Laube, Steve Laube Agency. (Dec.)