Not to long ago I mentioned how sad I was that Tom and Sharon Curtis were no longer writing romance. Well I have another author to add to the list. Theresa Weir. Although she still is writing, she is no longer writing romance but rather mysteries under the name Anne Frasier. I have one in my TBR pile but that’s it
I just finished this book and it was absolutely wonderful.
Johnny Irish is a dissolute bad boy Hollywood actor who has come back to his small Texas hometown to participate in their local parade. He is bitter towards the whole town and has planned something else up his sleeve. Maggie is the school drama teacher who has been roped into picking him up at the airport. She was one of the few who were against asking him back but she was outvoted. She doesn’t seem to impressed with his wild lifestyle. Halfway through the parade in one wacky yet poignant scene, Johnny falls off the back of the car he’s riding on. Maggie is horrified when she sees a syringe and assumes the worst.
Johnny is one of the most interesting and vulnerable heroes I’ve read in a very long time. His outward mask of comic actor and dissipated celebrity is hiding a sad and lonely guy who doesn’t really seem to care if he lives or dies. Maggie slowly begins to see what’s beneath the surface and very reluctantly falls in love. What’s different about this book is Johnny is continually leaving and coming back to Hope Texas. The book spans at least two years although book wise they aren’t apart that much. Because Maggie doesn’t really understand how vulnerable Johnny really is, she is constantly hurting him and my heart ached reading about his pain. This is a book that came oh so close to making me cry. It’s rich and it’s deep and it’s surely one that shouldn’t be missed.
After I closed the cover, I went looking for reviews on this book. I was astonished at how hard it was to find any. Neither AAR or TRR have one and Amazon only has two. Theresa Weir has the rights to her books and I remember some months back she posted at AAR wondering if there was much of an interest in her earlier works. IIRC she got a pretty good response. She then followed up that her editor who didn’t think it was a good idea, that there wouldn’t be a demand for them. My question? IS SHE FREAKIN’ NUTS????? I’ve read a number of Ms. Weir’s books thanks to the trading group I’m in and while so far Last Summer is my favourite, each and every one of them is different and unique and a breath of fresh air.
It makes me want to take up a rallying cry to “get them published!” I need to read more by this wonderful author!!
It makes me shake my head yet again at the publishers as I remember one of the reasons she switched to mysteries is they weren’t interested any longer in her romances.
Grade: 5 out of 5