Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong

Last Chance Hero: A NovelOverview: 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.

With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

ISBN-13: 9780800726478 | Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/15/2015 | Series: A Place to Call Home Series, #4
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: Last Chance Hero took me back to my good ol' high school days. Football games, traditions, and all of the in between. I loved coming back to Last Chance and catching up with characters from other stories. Cathleen Armstrong has a way of making me feel right at home in Last Chance. Like I could walk into the Dip n' Dine and chat with Juanita, or walk down the street and visit with Sarah, Elizabeth Cooley, and Kaitlyn and Olivia.

While I enjoyed the setting and the folks in the town, I didn't connect well with either of the main characters in this story. I found Dr. Jessica MacLeod to be kind of "high and mighty" in the beginning, and only slightly better towards the end. Andy Ryan seemed like a genuinely good guy, but the development for his character just wasn't there. I felt like the whole situation with his dad was just kind of thrown in at the last minute. Their romance was a little lacking as well. I just couldn't picture them together at all.

I also think Jess' sudden belief in God was a little shallow. There was no real transformation that I could see. The point of the story was about God's plan for your life. While I didn't really feel that was portrayed through either of the main characters, Kaitlyn makes a good point in her conversation with Jess that I feel I need to share: "..I have no idea why I got the results I did. It certainly wasn't because I deserved it. It was just part of the plan God has for my life. And if the results would have come back the way I was afraid they might, well, that would have been part of God's plan for my life too. Not as punishment, or judgement, but as a natural consequence of my actions. and he would have had a plan for my life that included that too. And you know what? It would have been a good plan." So many times as Christians we think bad things happen because God is punishing us. That is not at all the case. Bad things happen, not as punishment, but as a part of God's bigger plan and picture for our life.

Overall, while I enjoyed coming back to Last Chance and while the author does a good job of making me feel at home there, I didn't connect well with the main characters. It kind of took away from the story for me, but I still enjoyed it.

*I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher through the Revell Reads blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*

Cathleen ArmstrongAbout the Author: Cathleen Armstrong is the author of Welcome to Last Chance, winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction in 2009 and the first volume in the series “A Place to Call Home.” She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. Contact Cathleen:

Event inquiries: info@cathleenarmstrong.com
Media and review copy requests: RBarnett@BakerPublishingGroup.com
Social media links: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
All other inquiries: info@cathleenarmstrong.com

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