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Customer Reviews for Revell Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1

Revell Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1

The red warning light on her car dashboard drove Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico. But as she encounters the people who make Last Chance 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 for Lainie's comfort-especially since she's on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie finds that she is increasingly drawn in to the dramas of small town life. An old church lady who always has room for a stranger. A handsome bartender with a secret life. A single mom running her diner and worrying over her teenage son. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little hick town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

Average Customer Rating:
4 out of 5
4
 out of 
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10 out of 1283%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Review 1 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

I really enjoyed this small town story!

Date:May 11, 2014
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Britt98
Location:Grand Prairie, TX
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Welcome to Last Chance was a fun book to read. After reading this book, I really felt connected to these characters in the small town of Last Chance, New Mexico. Lainie Davis started out in the book as a pretty rough character who had obviously lived a hard life. She was distrustful and didn’t really fit in with the long-time residents of this small town.
I enjoyed seeing Lainie grow, both in learning about a relationship with God and in learning how to allow herself to be loved by the people living in Last Chance. She is very drawn to one man in particular, named Ray. I enjoyed their sweet romance develop, but was pretty nervous that Lainie would mess it up or that her past would find her.
This is really a great collection of characters, an enjoyable setting to read about, and there is plenty of drama to make for a very interesting story. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Review 2 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Great townspeople

Date:February 21, 2014
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Heidi
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
This book has a great supporting cast. I enjoyed the townspeople and their personalities. The author struck a good balance between quirky and realistic. The main character seemed disconnected to me, like she held herself aloof, which was part of her personality, but it affected my ability to connect or relate to her. Her emotions were withheld not only from the other characters but from the reader as well. The relationship she had with Ray seemed a matter of convenience- their reasons for being together or caring for each other were not developed or communicated. There was some character growth, but it was very subtle. The ending was too abrupt for me, and the epilogue didn't make up for the lack of resolution.
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Review 3 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A One-Evening-Read: It was *that* good!

Date:August 29, 2013
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Sufficient in Jesus
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
From the really good beginning to the really *sweet* ending, Welcome to Last Chance is an excellent read!
I have a hard time believing this is a debut novel-but I'm really glad about that, because now, Lord willing, I can follow Cathleen Armstrong's future writing career, hopefully through many more novels!
So what makes Welcome to Last Chance so special?
Well, first I'm going to talk about The Characters. Let's meet a few of them.
Lainie, a woman a woman on the run, whose sharp, hard demeanor is a shield over a heart that longs to stop running, but's she's been forced to run all her life.
Elizabeth, the elderly lady who takes Lainie in. Elizabeth is "soft, like pillows" and loves watching cop shows. She lets Lainie right into her house, giving her a neat little room with a quilt on the bed, and she also lets Lainie right into her heart... a place Lainie isn't sure she should go with anyone.
Then there's Ray, the steady, solid grandson of sweet Elizabeth. A man who doesn't drink and is stuck tending a bar that he can't wait to be done with, all because of a promise to his dying father.
Then you need to hear about The Setting. I love small towns, and Last Chance is a great example of why.
And then, of course, The Plot is what places the characters in the setting.
The plot here had everything I like: Sheriff's deputies, moral choices that must be made, redemption, regeneration, and real people coming to care for each other.
Really, it is all three (Characters, Setting and Plot) that come together like bacon, eggs and biscuits fresh from the oven that make this story so delicious.
As Cathleen's tag-line says, It's Grace, served with a side of green chile.
Thank you Revell for my copy of Welcome to Last Chance!
*Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*
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Review 4 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Escape The Past For A Future and Romance

Date:August 26, 2013
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Janice Thompson in her new book, “Welcome To Last Chance” Book One in the A Place To Call Home series published by Revell introduces us to Lainie Davis.
From the back cover: She’s learned you can’t count on anyone–but she didn’t count on landing in Last Chance.
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?
I like the name of this series, “A Place To Call Home”. I like the title of this book, ”Welcome To Last Chance”. I think Ms. Armstrong has hit the ground running and brought in a winner with this series. I also think she brought about everything that the series and book names suggest. Last Chance, NM is a place to call home and is Lainie’s last chance though she doesn’t know it. Lainie is on the run and the old car she has dies in Last Chance. Here Lainie meets the residents of this small town and finds people who reach out with love to her. She could actually start a new life here if the old one wasn’t hunting for her. And then, of course, there is the romance. This book is all about relationships, good and bad, and how these relationships can affect those we come in contact with. All the characters are likable and Ms. Armstrong has a way of bringing you into the story and making the characters lives very real. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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Review 5 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

IN THIS DEAD END LAINIE'S LAST CHANCE?

Date:August 21, 2013
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barbjan10
Location:Arlington, TX
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
What goes on in a small town? Plenty! Lainie Davis was about to find out that dark desolate night her crippled used Mustang rolled to a dead stop in Last Chance, New Mexico, abruptly ending her escape from life in Palm Springs to El Paso where she would be safe with her friend Lindsay…at least for awhile. Her phone was also dead and the only light was in the High Lonesome Saloon across the parking lot where her car had given up the ghost. Was this a dead end to her running as far as possible from the threatening dangerous ex-boyfriend, Nick?
The bartender Ray wasn’t too warm toward frazzled Lainie when she dragged into the bar to ask for answers about what to do next. The town’s only motel was closed while the owner was attending a mayor’s convention. She would need to wait until morning to contact the only mechanic in town. While in the bar, the town drunk Les tried to “be friendly” with her and Ray squelched that, telling Les to go sit in the truck and wait for him to take him home after he closed the bar. Lainie appeared brazen when she asked if Ray had an empty spot for her. In desperate resolve she slept in her car.
Lainie began to experience the kindness offered to strangers when she entered the Dip ‘n’ Dine café across the street from the High Lonesome Saloon the next morning. Fayette, the owner, recognized immediately that Lainie was in desperate straits and offered her a shower, breakfast and even called Elizabeth to ask if Lainie could stay with her while the car was being fixed. That arranged Lainie was uncomfortable over Elizabeth’s insistence that members of her household attend church. However she trudged on to meet this unusual woman with momentary promise of rescue.
After showering, Lainie found something hidden in her backpack that sickened her and filled her with fear. The package she found was evidently put there by Nick. During her time in the café, she was able to contact her friend Lindsay and heard frightening news that Nick had called Lindsay looking for her. Never before had Lainie had so many people, strangers at that be so concerned for her well being. In a way it caused her to feel like running “like the wind.” She noticed a police car pulling up to the café and wasn’t sure what to do by then, so she slapped a ten dollar bill on the counter and headed for the door when Fayette called out that she had change coming.
And indeed, Lainie had many changes coming! Last Chance was certainly a town where everybody – all 743 - knows your name….and your business. Cathleen Armstrong wrote her characters well with defining qualities about each one. Everyone has a personality that’s either strong, weak or somewhere in between. It was an engrossing read, so much so that it kept me from getting my needed rest at night. Having been born and raised in a small town, I could identify with those things considered normal or unusual that happens in Everytown, USA.
Ms Armstrong writes strongly with color and conveys vivedly the beauty of the country around Last Chance; romance with caution between the characters; the true Christian nature of the Last Chance residents; and problems in single parenting a self-indulgent child. Lainie wasn’t familiar with Christian principles and values, but surprised herself when she sought to know more about God….and particularly when she began singing in the church choir. Cathleen Armstrong left a few conclusions unwrapped and hopefully this fine author will give another chance at a sequel to Lainie’s last chance.
“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
I received this book through the Revell Book Blogger's Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 6 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

What a charming debut!

Date:August 18, 2013
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My Book Addiction
Location:North Carolina
Age:55-65
Gender:female
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.*
RATING: 4
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
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Review 7 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A Charming Story!

Date:August 17, 2013
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 that—characters—and 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 me—the 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.
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Review 8 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 17, 2013
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lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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.
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Review 9 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great Read!!!

Date:August 15, 2013
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Larik
Location:San Antonio, TX
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Welcome to Last Chance
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.
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Review 10 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:August 13, 2013
Customer Avatar
Rosie
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A good debut from Armstrong!
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.
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Review 11 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

More a general fiction than a romance

Date:August 11, 2013
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Debbie from ChristFocus
Location:Harrison, AR
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Welcome to Last Chance" is a Christian general fiction novel that involves some romance. The characters were complex and acted like real people with both good and bad points, but they were also likable. I was pleased that the fictional small town was not populated by "quirky characters" but by people from varied backgrounds with realistic personality traits. It felt like this could really have happened somewhere.
The romance read like a side thread rather than the main focus. Most of the scenes didn't involve the romantic pair doing things together, and they didn't act like they expected it to be a lasting relationship. He was going to leave the town to return to his city life and felt that there were too many personality issues between them to overcome. They never really talked about a future together. Yet at the end, though the personality and where-to-live issues were never talked about or resolved, they're suddenly getting married. After making a big deal about these issues, I felt like there was a transitional scene missing where these issues were resolved.
The book covered about a year of time, so the story is a series of highlight moments and life-changing events for a number of different characters. Time frame allowed the changes in Lainie to seem natural and reasonable, but the author also left out a few transitional scenes. For example, a choir member made it clear that Lainie wasn't welcome in the choir and Lainie had no desire to join the choir. Yet the next time the choir is mentioned, Lainie is singing a solo part in the choir. I would have liked to know what changed her mind and the other person's mind.
Many of the main characters were Christians, and they're portrayed realistically with good and bad points. The few mentions of God flowed naturally from the character's beliefs. God wasn't the focus of the story, yet you could see He was at work arranging events, like the car breaking down when it did. There was a very minor amount of fake bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
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Review 12 for Welcome to Last Chance, A Place to Call Home Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

An easy read, fairly predictable

Date:August 8, 2013
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crtnybc
Location:British Columbia, Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
When Lainie finds herself stuck in the tiny town of Last Chance because of car troubles she intends to be on her way in a couple days. She is running away from her increasingly terrifying boyfriend and his drug habit and business and plans to go live in El Paso with her friend Lindsay. she's nearly there, but when she calls to let Lindsay know about her car troubles she finds out Nick has already been asking about her. Time to formulate a new plan.
While she's deciding what to do, she stays in Last Chance and hires on at the local diner. She's also taken in by an older lady, Elizabeth, since the mayor/hotel owner is out of town. She starts dating Ray, Elizabeth's grandson, but they both have a lot to work through before it can go anywhere. Somewhere around here my interest started to fizzle. I kept figuring something would suddenly start happening, but well, not so much. It's fairly predictable and most of the characters are pretty much exactly who you'd expect to see in a small town story - but then one or two are surprising and that didn't feel right either.
It is an easy read and if you need a book to accompany you to the beach, this just might do the trick nicely.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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