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 thatÃ¢â¬âcharactersÃ¢â¬âand 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 meÃ¢â¬âthe 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.
For a debute novel this book is impressingly well written. Last Chance people were filled with love and understanding which created a great cushion for a poor lost soul like Lianie's. I love that about the community. Her background and current run from Nick was a great twist. What bugged was Ray's behavior at the beginning.
He treats her like a tramp when he firstmeets her and she was dressed conservative then, their next meeting she blows up and he totally thinks she is a crazy person, the following meeting he offers to pay her ticket to anywhere just to get rid of her split personality.., next day is sunday and our dear Lianie is dressing like a true tramp and goes to church and boom Ray is asking her on a date!! Thats just wrong and upset down, and to top it off at the date after some rich kissing she is trying to pull him in bed and after he refuses she calls herself a tramp and he gets all protective of her reputation. I would have had a better respect for him and their relationship if he was keeping it as friendship at the beginning not blow all the guns and then slow down.
But besides those first chapters the book went smooth and nice. I liked the change in Lianie and all the other excitement in the town.
I appreciate Author's courage to take a really bad girl and turn her into a christian not any author risks to start their story this low and aim so high.. I look forward to more books by this author.
Enjoy reading it dear readers, besides the little spoiler in the beginning the book is great!
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from Revel Publishing, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.
I love stories about small towns. They're attractive because of the close-knit family feel they bring, yet this attractive quality also repels many. Last Chance emanates warmth and kindness. Its residents share the love of Christ to any wanderers, especially people running from something, like Lainie. I loved how Lainie learned to appreciate people, despite their obvious flaws and imperfections.
The change in Lainie from her arrival at Last Chance to the final pages is subtle, though she certainly is different by the end. Personally, I wanted to see more of her internal transition. However, I liked Lainie's courage. As for other characters, Fayette and Elizabeth have left a permanent mark on my memory. Elizabeth's stubbornness and Fayette's determination combined to eventually straighten Lainie out.
I did not like how Armstrong never gave us a description of Ray. I thought he was some older man at first, but after Lainie began to have an interest in him, I decided he must be younger than I thought. If anything, it was a minor frustration for me. The ending felt a little rushed with no post-climax. I finished the book longing for a little more faith presented in the story; however, given Lainie isn't a Christian at the onset that's okay. Armstrong's writing is easy to read and keep up with, but this isn't a favorite. I do look forward to where she takes this series and with whom.
I'd recommend this book to older teens, due to minor adult content (drinking, Ray owns a bar, drug dealing and using are brought up once or twice.)
I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.