Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Second to One, Again.

One More Last Chance

Cathleen Armstrong

Sarah Cooley has come home to Last Chance, New Mexico, for one reason--because it doesn't change. After an engagement gone bad with a man who wanted to change everything about her, Sarah is more than ready for the town whose motto may as well be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Chris Reed, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to spark some change in the little town. As the new owner of the Dip 'n' Dine, he's shaking things up to draw folks from all over the Southwest into his restaurant.

As it turns out, the winds of change are blowing into Last Chance--just not in the ways that Sarah or Chris might expect.

With the same evocative writing and fascinating characters that won fans for her debut novel, Cathleen Armstrong invites readers back to Last Chance for a soul-searching, romantic story of two people navigating the twists and turns of small-town life.

I’ve read a ton of Historical Westerns and I know every single archetype associated with it, and I have found that this contemporary western fit right in with the bunch. The title ties in with one of the smaller plotlines and is also the name of the town: Last Chance. Which I personally think sounds kind of ominous, but it wasn’t. The very small town. The town is very realistic, and I enjoyed the typical small town with larger personalities. The focus wasn’t really on Sarah’s family, as is normal, but on the people who live in town. I liked the change in focus from the family on the ranch to town. The minor characters were very life like and well developed, but I noticed some minor inconsistencies in Sarah. A the beginning she is very hung-ho no change, but that almost disappears with no reason why in the first half. I was under the impression that it was going to be a thing throughout the book so I found it’s rather abrupt abandonment confusing. Other than that, the characters are pretty predictable, which isn’t a bad thing. They acted just like normal humans would in the situations they faced.

The story is obviously a romance, and it is predictable in that facet, but the other plot line did come up quite unexpectedly and surprised me frequently (the plot line following Chris as opposed to the one mainly following Sarah). It switches between Sarah’s and Chris’ point of view and thankfully is not first person. The spiritual undertone is pretty subtle, but it does how through their actions. There is no cursing, nothing inappropriate, nor anything suggestive, but it does mention teenage pregnancy that isn’t aborted. Other than that everything is pretty fly.

It is the second book in a series, and I haven’t read the first one. It would certainly add to parts of it, but I don’t think it is necessary for understanding. It would add to certain parts of the book for deeper knowledge. I don’t know if I would spend the money on a paper copy of the book. I would definitely read it, but I would probably go the inexpensive e-book route or maybe to the library. I have already reread it once and it fell flat. It isn’t captivating enough to withstand too many rereads time after time. I reread books a lot, I actually go to my favorite sections and just relish in those parts. I don’t think this one would end up like those.
 I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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