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Welcome to Last Chance

Title:  Welcome to Last Chance (A Place to Call Home Book 1)
Author:  Cathleen Armstrong
Pages:  288
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
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.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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