I adore this series.
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.