Janice Thompson in her new book, "Welcome To Last Chance" Book One in the A Place To Call Home series published by Revell introduces us to Lainie Davis.
From the back cover: She's learned you can't count on anyone-but she didn't count on landing in Last Chance.
The red warning light on her car dashboard may have driven Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico, but as she meets the people who make this one-horse town their home, it's her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life-especially since she's on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.
Yet in spite of herself, Lainie is increasingly drawn into the small-town dramas and to a handsome local guy with a secret of his own. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?
I like the name of this series, "A Place To Call Home". I like the title of this book, "Welcome To Last Chance". I think Ms. Armstrong has hit the ground running and brought in a winner with this series. I also think she brought about everything that the series and book names suggest. Last Chance, NM is a place to call home and is Lainie's last chance though she doesn't know it. Lainie is on the run and the old car she has dies in Last Chance. Here Lainie meets the residents of this small town and finds people who reach out with love to her. She could actually start a new life here if the old one wasn't hunting for her. And then, of course, there is the romance. This book is all about relationships, good and bad, and how these relationships can affect those we come in contact with. All the characters are likable and Ms. Armstrong has a way of bringing you into the story and making the characters lives very real. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
What goes on in a small town? Plenty! Lainie Davis was about to find out that dark desolate night her crippled used Mustang rolled to a dead stop in Last Chance, New Mexico, abruptly ending her escape from life in Palm Springs to El Paso where she would be safe with her friend Lindsay_at least for awhile. Her phone was also dead and the only light was in the High Lonesome Saloon across the parking lot where her car had given up the ghost. Was this a dead end to her running as far as possible from the threatening dangerous ex-boyfriend, Nick?
The bartender Ray wasn't too warm toward frazzled Lainie when she dragged into the bar to ask for answers about what to do next. The town's only motel was closed while the owner was attending a mayor's convention. She would need to wait until morning to contact the only mechanic in town. While in the bar, the town drunk Les tried to "be friendly" with her and Ray squelched that, telling Les to go sit in the truck and wait for him to take him home after he closed the bar. Lainie appeared brazen when she asked if Ray had an empty spot for her. In desperate resolve she slept in her car.
And indeed, Lainie had many changes coming! Last Chance was certainly a town where everybody - all 743 - knows your name_.and your business. Cathleen Armstrong wrote her characters well with defining qualities about each one. Everyone has a personality that's either strong, weak or somewhere in between. It was an engrossing read, so much so that it kept me from getting my needed rest at night. Having been born and raised in a small town, I could identify with those things considered normal or unusual that happens in Everytown, USA.
Ms Armstrong writes strongly with color and conveys vivedly the beauty of the country around Last Chance; romance with caution between the characters; the true Christian nature of the Last Chance residents; and problems in single parenting a self-indulgent child. Lainie wasn't familiar with Christian principles and values, but surprised herself when she sought to know more about God_.and particularly when she began singing in the church choir. Cathleen Armstrong left a few conclusions unwrapped and hopefully this fine author will give another chance at a sequel to Lainie's last chance.
"Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
I received this book through the Revell Book Blogger's Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
WELCOME TO LAST CHANCE by Cathleen Armstrong is an delightful inspirational contemporary romance set in Last Chance, New Mexico. #1 in "A Place to Call Home". What a charming debut! Follow, Lainie Davis on a journey of faith, second chances,small town camaraderie, secrets,small town drama,healing,forgiveness,friendship and love. Well written with engaging characters, a powerful storyline,and insight into small town drama. Ms. Armstrong is a wonderful storyteller. Her debut is an awesome read for anyone who enjoys small town stories,romance, contemporary romance and a great read! Well done! I am looking forward to her next release in the "A Place to Call Home" series,we all need a place to call home, and Last Chance, New Mexico is the place to be. A not to miss story. Received for an honest review from the publisher.
*Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
I enjoyed reading Cathleen Armstrong's debut novel, Welcome to Last Chance. The story is sweet, the town is charming, and the characters residing in Last Chance, New Mexico are just thatâ€”charactersâ€”and they certainly provide a lot of color to this small town WAY off the beaten path. I love stories set in small towns. There's something so beautiful about the way people know one another and band together in the midst of struggle. Last Chance was certainly no exception, though I wondered a time or two if they didn't give people the benefit of the doubt a little too quickly at times.
Lainie and Ray piqued my interest from the very beginning. I knew there was more to their stories than initially explained and I enjoyed finding out more about them. Elizabeth, though, was my favorite, though! She was just so warm and caring. I definitely look forward to reading more about Elizabeth in future books in the series.
While the characters and the setting were huge hits for me, I felt that there were a few missteps in the plot. First, there were a ton of characters ... and some with similar names, which always confuses me. I liked seeing a fuller picture of the town, but it did get a little overwhelming at times. Also, the main story was supposedly about Lainie and Ray, but there were three other stories that were pretty fully explained in the book. I almost felt like they could have (should have?) been four separate books in the series. That would have given me the "more" I found myself looking for at times. The second complaint is that there were a couple of plot points that just didn't make sense to meâ€”the trip to Juarez, for instance. And finally, the ending was abrupt. The book was shorter than many, and I felt the buildup, but then it just skipped to the ending. Another 20 pages might have helped me out a bit.
Even with these missteps, I still very much enjoyed the book and look forward to other books in the series! [3.5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Driving in the heat with a car bought for cheap, Lainie is praying even harder as the engine light goes on. From this scene, begins an adventure for Lainie who had planned her path to go in one direction, but God is leading her to where He has planned. Lainie is running away from a future that was looking bleaker with each decision Nick was pursuing. Lainie has known nothing but making her way for years when she ends up in a town no one can see from the highway. As she begins to become acquainted with people, she has never before heard such care, compassion and talk about God.
Throughout the novel, Lainie is a lost soul, afraid to trust or love, yet having no other choice but to allow life to happen as no other paths are open. Ray is taking care of the bar his father opened up before his passing till his brother gets back from his time in the service. All Ray has done is honor his promise to his father and put his dreams on hold. Now he leaves, but his heart isn't complete. What is Ray going to do with him going in one direction and his love leaving for unknown territory? To top it all off, Nick is going to come after Lainie because she has possession of something he clearly isn't going to let her take.
Many of the characters in the novel are reminiscent of a small town persona. They all know each other's pasts including the secrets most never want to talk about. Lainie lives with an older, gentle lady who has just a couple of rules and only one that she will never allow to be broken. The rule? Whoever spends time in her home as her guest also attends church with her on Sundays.
I was really intrigued by the adventure each player's life took, as well as how interdependent the town residents were. Whether triumph or tragedy, these people stuck together. As the reader turns the pages, the story goes deeper into each main player's life, helping us understand more of the bigger picture behind each person's story. Readers will be able to easily get into the tale from page one all the way till the end; personally, I can't wait till the sequel!
Love, anger, hope, sorrow, joy and faith are just a few of the emotions one might feel while reading this book. Those also happen to be some words that describe the interaction of the main personalities presented in various scenes until the very end of the book. I really enjoyed this novel, and I hope you will as well when you sit outside with a cool drink, the sun and the wind.