Book info

Welcome To Last Chance (2011)

Welcome to Last Chance (2011)
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Rating
3.69 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0446576093 (ISBN13: 9780446576093)
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English
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publisher
grand central publishing
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Welcome To Last Chance (2011)
Welcome To Last Chance (2011)

About book: This was a fun book to read. Right at the beginning it seems like both Jane and Clay are hot messes. Jane has come to Last Chance to make a new start to her life after some bad choices. Clay is the first person she meets and proceeds to perhaps continue those bad choices. Clay came back to his hometown after things didn't go so well in Nashville and now feels like he's stuck in neutral. Jane was screwed over by her latest boyfriend who ended up stealing all her money instead of helping her make it big in Nashville. Now she's arrived in Last Chance with five dollars to her name and a determination to turn her life around. She has become a believer in positive thinking and hopes that it will be enough to see her through. She goes to the local bar in hopes that some nice guy will buy her a meal and offer her a sofa to sleep on. The first one she sees is Clay who is playing his fiddle with the band. He wears his hair long, in a pony tail, and is very good looking. She thinks he looks like a bad boy and has resolved to stay away from them. But beggars can't be choosers and she ends up doing more than sleeping on his sofa, which they both regret in the morning. Through a strange series of events, Jane is offered a job by Clay's mom, cutting hair and doing nails in her salon, and watching her grandchildren in the afternoons. It comes with a rent free apartment, so things are looking up. She still has an inconvenient attraction to Clay going on, but she tries to resist that. Jane also has some trouble in her past that she has been trying to outrun for seven years. Some of that trouble is about to catch up with her in both a funny and heartbreaking way. I really liked Jane's determination to make her life better. She also wants to do it on her own, not depend on a white knight to rescue her. She's falling for Clay but he can't seem to make up his mind what he wants. When it comes to things going her way, Jane can't seem to catch a break, to the point where she's even been accused of murdering herself. While she is pretty down on herself for most of the book, by the end she has begun to see that things aren't so bad after all. I really loved the way she took charge at the end and saved Haley and herself.Clay is basically a nice guy. He doesn't look like it, but he is. He is a good son to his momma, a good brother and uncle, a great friend to his handicapped buddy and even plays organ in church on Sundays. He left Last Chance after high school with his girlfriend, where they went to Nashville. He became a pretty good songwriter and fiddle player and had a band. His girlfriend left him for a rich record producer, breaking his heart. When he finally moved on from that and found a new love, she left him for the lead singer in the band. All the women seem to find him a better friend than lover. So he quits the band and goes home to Last Chance. He's just going from day to day there, feeling like there's something missing but not really doing anything about it, until Jane walks into the bar. He falls into instant lust with her which he regrets in the morning. All he really wants at that point is to get her on the road out of town, but the fates intervene there. She doesn't want to go and when his mom offers her a job she stays. Clay has decided it's past time for him to settle down, but Jane is certainly not the type of woman he's looking for. The local matchmaker tells him that his soulmate will arrive in town on the 9:30 bus - the same one Jane arrived on. Over the next couple nights, the two women from his past show up on that same bus and he's more confused than ever. What's really interesting is that Clay can't seem to stay away from Jane, though he really started to bug me at times. First he'd be really supportive of her, then he'd believe every bad thing he was told, then back to support. I was happy to see him get it together at the end. There are also times when I found him to be a little over emotional and wanted to smack him and tell him to man up. A little bit went a long way.Being a small southern town, Last Chance has its share of truly quirky characters. There's Ruby, mom to all the Rhodes and owner of the salon and gossip headquarters. She is a true steel magnolia, running her family with mostly sweetness with the occasional application of a baseball bat. The local church ladies who have their fingers in everything and have no trouble letting people know when they've slipped off the straight and narrow path. The police chief, who is this book is a humorless pain with a stick up his butt. He's borderline abusive to Jane and refuses to believe her when she tells him the truth about who she is. I was glad to see him have to admit he was wrong. I loved Clay's friend Ray and had fun seeing him try to help Clay pick a wife. The arrivals of Clay's two exes added a bit of extra stress to Clay as he tried to figure out what to do about Jane. Young Haley and her "Sorrowful Angel" is a regular in several of the books. And the zaniest "character" of all is the Golfing for God mini golf course and its huge part in the conclusion of the book.

AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 3Let me start with a tiny warning: this book dances around (sometimes directly) with themes of Christianity and prejudice. Neither crosses the line to overt action or preaching, but the elements are there. Those elements, to me, added a sense of honesty and place, while not always a welcome sense, a sense that added greatly to the understanding of the characters. Last Chance, South Carolina has become just that for Jane, who arrived on the bus from Atlanta. Running from a disastrous past, her choices are not always good ones, and she’s trying again to start anew with a (hopefully) different ending. Insane or hopeful, you be the judge because it takes Jane quite a bit of time to learn to distinguish solid people from scrubs. Enter Clay, the ‘knight in shining armor’ with feet of clay. No, I didn’t misphrase that – his constant ‘oh should I’ internal conflict was very old by the halfway point, and bordered on ‘man up” shortly thereafter. Clay’s intentions were good, even if he was scattered all over the place and sorely in need of the backbone and impetus to just DO something that Jane has. Other characters make impressions: Stone, Clay’s brother, who dances around the inappropriate behavior lines in his work, but shows a real heart in dealing with his young daughter. The “Ladies”, a group of seniors who dole out advice freely, meddle in everything but underneath it all just want to be of value to help the ‘youngsters’ find their way with as few mistakes as possible. Plenty of other characters are introduced and pass through – some make more of an impression than others, but each has a moment that shines and is specifically theirs. Starting a bit slowly, with some point of view switches that aren’t always clear early on, those issues soon settled as characters and their voices became familiar. A secondary romance was added to the plot without any great effect on Clay and Jane’s story, and it did wrap a troublesome point, but it felt rather convenient. Otherwise, the writing was solid and entertaining, the dialogue felt natural and the ladies sounded just like those I have encountered with family here. Narration for this story is capably provided by Kristin Kalbli and her southern accent is smooth and easy to listen to. You don’t get much ‘highly twanged’ country here, much to my delight, but she does use slight changes in accent, tone, pace and emotional overlay to voice each character. Jane was a particular favorite with her edge of “so that’s that” sort of attitude. If you want to try a piece of southern fiction, this is a good place to start. A promising debut offering from an author to watch. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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Reviews
Carrie
I loved this book. I picked it up on Saturday night and finished on Sunday morning. I was having a bad weekend and this book helped me smile. WELCOME TO LAST CHANCE features characters that are flawed, funny, rude, and sweet. Jane and Clay are both very flawed. They’ve been abused, screwed over, and have every right to see the glass half-empty. Clay is very negative and is kind of letting life run over him. Jane has been running for a long time, but she believes that life is going to eventually go her way. These two shouldn’t have made a good couple, but they do. I believe it is the writing and the secondary characters. The whole town plays a part in this romance and all of the changes that Jane and Clay go through during the book. I can honestly say that if this book hadn’t been so well written and entertaining that two such sad characters would have made this book a wall-banger. I’m not a big fan of both the hero and the heroine having so many issues, but in WELCOME TO LAST CHANCE it worked! I can’t wait to read more books set in Last Chance.
jenjn79
I hate giving up on a book. I try to push through and finish no matter what. But sometimes a book isn't working for me on any level, and given my limited reading time these days, giving up is just for the best. Which is what I decided to do with this book. I just had no interest in continuing to read it.Series Note:First book in the "Last Chance" series about a small South Caroline town.Summary:Read the summary on the book page. I didn't read enough of the book to give a more accurate summary:"Review:"This was a total random buy. I looked at it in Target several times before figuring I'd give it a try. Sometimes random buys pay off, sometimes these don't. This one, unfortunately, didn't.I'd been hoping for a "Virgin River" type book...and yeah, I suppose there is a sense of that, but I couldn't get past a lot of things in the small chunk of this book I read.I only read 48 pages of this book before I just decided to give up. Nothing about those 48 pages worked for me in any sense. What didn't I like?- you start off with a broke heroine on a bus continually referring to some quack doctor and his theories on "positive thinking"- she lands in Last Chance, South Carolina...a super small town, heads to the nearest bar/restaurant and decides to pick a guy to con into some food and then she thinks about what else she'll have to do and how she'll regret it in the morning.- heroine hooks up with a guy for the night...you're expecting at least a little steam, but you get a kiss then the scene just stops and you start up again the next morning- the hero is a pony-tail wearing supposed bad boy who starts sobbing in the bathroom after realizing he just banged a down-on-her-luck woman, which is just another signal of how bad his life has gotten- "bad boy" hero also has a penchant for saying "for goodness' sake" and other sanitized swears like some kind of choirboy- "bad boy" hero also calls the heroine "little gal" and "girl"- heroine constantly thinks of talks about the quack doctor and his "positive thinking" theories and the hero is all "glass half empty"- there's a God-themed mini-golf course run by the hero's father, who happens to apparently be a bit crazy because he talks to angelsIs that enough to show you why I couldn't go on? Just really not my kind of book. At all.
Marleen
Welcome to Last Chance was so much better than I initially would've thought. Of course it was light and cute and semi-funny - as suspected, but besides the apparent fluffiness it clearly featured appealing and flawed characters who definitely kept me entertained till the very end. I’d rate it somewhere between 3 and 3,5. The main lead female character, Wanda Jane Coblentz, made all the difference; she was engaging, self-deprecating and likeable. At twenty-five, she might have made a lot of bad choices in her young life, but she’s willing to turn that around. Picking a place to live like Last Chance was what she needed, another chance to put her life together. Clayton P. Rhodes was not your regular, average macho-type romantic protagonist. He’s a conflicted and more mellow type of man. He's a song-writer, and having spent years in Nashville is back in his hometown, feeling totally stuck in his life. He’s an amazing friend and brother. Clay would do anything for family and good friend, Ray. I liked the small-town spirit and that strong family bond that clearly is at the heart of this sweet romantic read. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series, featuring the Rhodes family, and hope they’ll deliver the same amount of sweetness and entertainment, because, now and then, that’s all you want from a book.
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