Last Chance Hero – Cathleen Armstrong – A Place to Call Home #4 – Revell – Published 15 September 2015
The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she’s never seen a football game, isn’t really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn’t know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it’s not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player–whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field–they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.
In Last Chance Hero readers are returned to the little New Mexico town of Last Chance, where the chilli is hot and football is everything. This was a fun and sweet contemporary romance.
Last Chance is everything Dr. Jess McLeod dreamed when she decided she wanted to open her own medical practice in a small town. She just wasn’t quite prepared for the everyone-knows-everyone reality of small-town life, nor how a non-football-loving, non-chilli-eating Californian female doctor would stand out like a sore thumb. But Jess isn’t the only new face in town. Andy Ryan, Last Chance native and local boy made good, has finished with his NFL career and has returned to coach the high school football team. Despite their obvious differences (namely indifference/love toward football), Jess and Andy form a fast friendship, but aren’t sure if they have what it takes to move their relationship to the next level or if their differences will keep them apart.
I really enjoyed reading Last Chance Hero and quickly became wrapped up in the characters and the crazy drama of the small town setting. The only problem I had was that the ending seemed very abrupt. Maybe it’s because I would happily have read much more of the story, but I was shocked to reach the last page and find that there wasn’t a following chapter, and I still had unanswered questions. It was still a sweet ending, but I think it may have felt more complete with a few things being straightened out earlier (it’s hard to say more without giving anything away.) On the other hand, it’s nice to have a story with ongoing threads, and where everything isn’t wrapped up a little too conveniently. Faith is an undercurrent in the book, but wasn’t a main focus (another fallout of the quick ending).
While this is the fourth book in the Last Chance series and it does share the same setting and characters as the other books, it can be read as a standalone. I hadn’t read book three, which I will now go and do, but I have read books one and two. They are all certainly worth reading, but each book has its own main characters and story arch, with just a little overlap. It was great to return to Last Chance in Last Chance Hero and reconnect with all the familiar faces.
Overall, this was an enjoyable small-town contemporary romance.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Contemporary, Christian
Themes: Small towns, US football, family, romance, doctors, faith.
Published: 15 September 2015 by Revell.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 304 pages.