This is the second book in the A Place to Call Home series. I did not read the first one but it didn't affect the way I read this one. It was an okay book but it didn't live up to my expectations. This is supposed to be a romance novel and I found the romance lacking. The romance aspect of the book seemed to drag on until the end where it happened fairly quickly. It was almost as if the two fell in love without anything really happening between them. At times I also felt like yelling at Sarah because it seemed like she lacked a backbone when it came to Brandon. He kept manipulating her but she didn't seem to notice or care. She continuously let him get away with it until something happened to let her see what a jerk he was which she should have noticed a long time ago. It was an okay book but it was too slow going until the end for my tastes.
Cathleen Armstrong's books are delectable. Sometimes bittersweet, very down-to-earth and always uplifting, they've got a perfect tagline: Grace with a side of Green Chile.
How could I not love last Chance, New Mexico? The folk of this town are salt of the earth, from Juanita who ends every piece of advice with "Just a word to the wise," to Ben, the Sheriff's Deputy who's right there when you need him.
They appreciate their humble roots, retain their rural ranching heritage, and are active about establishing community.
This second novel, One More Last Chance, is a fine complement to Welcome to Last Chance, and while it can stand alone, I don't think you'd want to miss the whole series.
This is the story of a girl- Sarah Cooley- who loves her hometown, and a guy- Chris Reed- who seems determined to change it.
Well, to be honest, he's not interested in big changes, he just wants to shake up the menu at the Dip 'N Dine.
But that's not the point. The point is that he shouldn't change anything about Last Chance, even if he's the new owner of the cafe!
All Sarah's best memories are wrapped up in this place, and she needs it to stay stable and sane and the same.
But then it seems like Chris needs Last Chance to become his home too, and it seems to Sarah like he could use a friend.
So, why do I love these characters?
Sarah is a school teacher, who genuinely enjoys teaching and working with kids. It's not just thrown in there to make her "maternal," it's a real part of her nature. She values laughter and family and time-tested traditions.
Chris... he reminded me of an uncle of mine, who's also extremely caring, has a great sense of humor, and would drop anything and come help you.
It makes sense that Chris is Uncle Chris before the story is over... no spoilers, but a wonderful part of the story is his niece coming to live with him.
Olivia is a wonderful little person, all by her seven year old self. She's had some tough times in life, and she alternates between being love-hungry and stand-offish, innocent and tough.
Watching Sarah and Chris come together, naturally, out of love for Olivia was my favorite part. It makes the story so rich.
Yep. I'm packing up and moving to Last Chance, and I'm gonna live right next to Sarah's Grandma Elizabeth. We'll crochet away the evenings, and we'll have waffles on Sunday nights. Time to take a chance on Last Chance.
A Place To Call Home is one of the most satisfying contemporary series I've read, and I'd recommend it heartily.
Can I go visit Last Chance? What an endearing town Cathleen has created, a place I would love to call home.
Sarah is a tough kind of girl on the exterior, but maybe not so much on the inside. She's running from something. I love how Cathleen sprinkled little clues, so subtly, through the book that let you know Sarah was avoiding something and someone. She keeps letting the phone ring, admitting she isn't ready to deal with some situation. Hmmm, that made me want to keep reading.
Then there's Chris who is trying to make changes in this small town through his restaurant and it isn't going so well. But there are a few people who reach out to him and encourage him. He is also dealing with the fact that Sarah has captured his attention and he has captured hers but not quit in the same way.
There are a couple of funny/awkward moments that can often happen when you are trying to learn more about another person. Cathleen made this book very real with this budding romance.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good romance set in a small town.
A copy of this book was given to be by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have really started to enjoy contemporary fiction lately, so when I saw One More Last Chance, I knew I wanted to try it. I had heard some good things about Cathleen Armstrong's first book, Welcome to Last Chance.
I enjoyed this small town community. People looked out for each other and helped. It amplified my desire to move to a small town. The main characters really popped in this story, along with the minor characters.
Sarah is desperate to get back to her old way of life. To live in the norm again. She is ready to be who she used to be and enjoy a town that doesn't change. It's amazing when you have dealt with a situation that makes you shift and change ever so slightly over time who you are, how refreshing it is to get back to what you know and comfort. Sarah's portrayal of this was spot on in my eyes as I read this book.
Chris is the polar opposite. He came to Last Chance for the specific purpose to make a name for himself and to change up the only eatery in town and make it into a destination stop. However, Chris isn't just into changing a restaurant, as the story progresses you see that he didn't have the best of childhoods and he is the only one who is responsible in his immediate family. He has a responsibility thrust on him and as you get to know Chris, he really grows on you and his character shines.
The progression of the story unfolded at a good and realistic pace. The trials that were faced were real and the reactions were just as real, as I have seen these situations first hand. When you are apart of the situations, it isn't so clear to see, but when you are an observer, it is clear.
I enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and going back to read the first.
Thank you to the Revell Blog Tour, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Let's just get it out of the way: I had huge problems with the main character. From the get-go, she annoyed me. Although that was one of the reasons I couldn't fully enjoy this book, I also found myself not really being able to get into it, fully emmerse myself in the story.
Now, I will say, I didn't read the first book in the series. But as this was one of those series where the MC's of the first book only make an appearance, and there are all new MC's, I didn't have any issues. There may have been more family background, but nothing vital was missing.
Chris has moved to the little town of Last Chance. He has bought the local diner, and had plans to change things up a bit. He never imagined that he would face such opposition from the people of the town. He also never imagined his sister would leave her 7-year-old, Olivia, with him. The poor guy has hands full trying to run a sinking diner, and now care for a little girl when he has no clue how to do either.
Sarah has moved back after being away at college. After breaking things off with her long-time boyfriend, she just wants a place to refresh, a place where things never change. Except, she finds out that not only is there a new guy in town, he's trying to change things up.
There was no excuse for Sarah to treat Chris the way she did, and that was really set the tone for how I felt about her. She comes back to town, finds out Chris might want to make some changes (additions, really) to the menu at the Dip 'N Dine, and treats him so rudely. _what? I just didn't understand. And then yeah, the poor dude had a very obvious crush on Sarah, but she continues to be rude and embarrass him. She does redeem herself a bit with taking Olivia under her wing, and she seems to mature as the book goes on. Until Brandon comes back into the picture.
This love triangle also got on my nerves. I mean, I'm with Sarah's grandmother in thinking that Chris was the obvious choice. He was sweet, and kind, and shared her faith, and took in his niece. But Brandon, her ex-boyfriend comes back, feeds her some crap about how he loves her, and she falls for it. That wasn't the part that bothered me, necessarily. It was that she should have had some confidence in her new found independence after escaping from under his oppressive thumb (not abusive_more like stifling creativity) the first time. I think the author was trying to write a strong, independent character in Sarah, but it didn't really come through.
The redeeming parts though! Definitely Chris and Olivia. Chris is going through a lot, but he doesn't let it stop him from caring about other people, especially Olivia. The way he cared for her and loved her was just so sweet. And although he is frustrated, he doesn't assert himself as a dictator, which he easily could have done, being his restaurant. Instead, he listened to his employees, and was willing to compromise with them.
Olivia will just break your heart. The poor girl has been through so much, and is so bitter, you forget she's only seven. And while all her problems can't be fixed by the end of the book, there is a lot of change in her. Chris and Olivia were the main thing that kept me so interested, enough to keep going.
Sarah's grandmother was another redeeming part. She was so sweet and caring, even if she was a bit biased toward Chris ;) The rest of the townspeople, with their meddlesome ways, will keep you on your toes and make you laugh.
So do I recommend this book? If this is your usual type of book, then yes. I think you will enjoy it. If it isn't what you usually read, it might be better to hold back. I know most people won't have the issues with Sarah that I did, so take from that what you will.