While “Welcome to Last Chance”, the debut novel by Cathleen Armstrong is not perfect, it definitely shows plenty of promise for future novels by this author. The story is set in the small New Mexico town of Last Chance whose very name is indicative of the point Lainie Davis has reached in her life. The first person Lainie meets is Ray, a bartender whose life has been on hold for awhile.
One thing I usually enjoy in novels about small towns is the eclectic blend of local characters. “Welcome to Last Chance” has its share of them. Lainie was not exactly a likeable character at first. A product of an unfortunate background, she has learned to protect herself by not allowing anyone to get very close and the walls around her heart discourage trust in any form. After some time passes the residents of Last Chance manage to penetrate her walls through their loving and nonjudgmental acceptance.
“Welcome to Last Chance” includes both drama and a bit of humor with the romance between Ray and Lainie playing a prominent role with its ups and downs. At times the plot gets a little busy but keeps on track most of the time. The author is not afraid to write about real life issues and is to be commended for the way she handled them. I will definitely be on the lookout for her next novel.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico, where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. Her debut novel, Welcome to Last Chance, has already won the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction.
Praise for Welcome to Last Chance
“With equal parts hope, charm, and tender faith, Cathleen Armstrong spins a tale as warm and welcoming as a roadside cafe on a dusty highway. Exit from the fast lane and visit Last Chance. It’s a place you won’t soon forget.”
Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Firefly Island and Blue Moon Bay
“Cathleen Armstrong packs a lot into her debut novel: the suspense of danger lurking on the edges of Lainie Davis’s life, a touch of can-this-really-go-anywhere romance, small-town friendships becoming like family, and the disappointment of family being less than ideal. With an eclectic cast of characters and well-developed plot, Welcome to Last Chance pulls the reader in from the first blink of the warning light on the dashboard of Lainie’s car to the happily-ever-after waiting at the end of her last chance to get her life right.”
Beth K. Vogt, author of Catch a Falling Star and Wish You Were Here
“An outstanding debut novel! Welcome to Last Chance gives us a warm but never sentimental view of small-town life, sprinkled with characters full of quirks and faults–all seen through the eyes of a tough but fragile heroine. Cathleen Armstrong has crafted a story to cherish.”
Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of With Every Letter