This book is different... in a good way.
Maggie Mayfield is a widow living a predictable, albeit relatively boring, life as a drama teacher in a small Texas town. Hope, Texas has little one could call remarkable...isolated in the Texas desert, only one highway goes in or out of the town. The biggest excitement in the town comes every Spring when the school children put on their annual play in the old opera house. The town's only claim to fame is that they produced one of Hollywood's biggest comedic stars - Johnnie Irish. Which is precisely why the town opts to ask Johnnie to appear in their Homecoming Parade. And this is how Maggie meets the notorious playboy celebrity.
Johnnie is screwed up, and he just doesn't care. His only joy comes from being in front of an audience and making them laugh. Beyond that, his life is a whirlwind of pain and shame. The extent of abuse he suffered as a child is revealed slowly over the course of this story, helping the reader to understand, and yet still be baffled by, some of the decisions Johnnie Irish makes. He is not a traditional romance hero by any means, and many of his and the heroine's behaviors are frustrating. Watching these two come together was interesting, to say the least. But they were also tender, and the reader comes to see Johnnie for who he really is. The most refreshing part of the story, the thing that makes it most worth it, is the way Theresa Weir tells it. Her writing style is brilliant, shifting from comedy to tear-inducing drama with ease. The writes the way people think, and when she's writing from a character's POV, the reader really feels like their in the character's head, thinking and feeling from their experiences.
This is a vintage contemporary from 1993, and its nineties-ness is very apparent. It is also a book where the characters are separated for long periods of time without contact.
I enjoyed this book very much, and I really liked the characters. But there were some things I couldn't get past, and which prevented me from giving it a whole 5 stars.
One: That Johnnie didn't ever send Maggie anything in terms of monetary support after he finds out she lied about the paternity of their child. I wasn't mad at Johnnie so much for leaving (he is a bit of an anti-hero, after all), but as a wealthy celebrity, I do not like that he seemed to abandon the situation altogether.
Two: The fact that Maggie never told Johnnie she was pregnant. The author's explanation (that Maggie didn't want Johnnie to think she was trying to trap him) didn't seem plausible to me, considering the fact that Maggie had always made it clear to Johnnie that she didn't want to marry him... barely even liked him. The reason wasn't sound enough for me. I get mad when heroine's hide babies, especially when they have the intent of NEVER telling the father.
Was a great read... if ANYTHING it was a great read solely because of Theresa Weir's amazing ability to tell a story.