The folks in Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica MacLeod has opened an office right on Main Street and Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has come home from the NFL to coach the high school football team. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot with this football-obsessed town 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 goalpost.
Despite having little in common, Jess and Andy find themselves drawn to each other. But when a disagreement over the future of an injured player puts them both on the defensive, it begins to look like this game is over . . .
Read on for my thoughts on Last Chance Hero and for an excerpt from the book.
In a world where book series too often consist of three titles it’s an unexpected joy to visit Last Chance, NM, for a fourth time. Returning readers can visit with Elizabeth and dodge Juanita’s tongue while eating at the Dip n Dine. Will you be having red or green chile with your food? New readers never fear: Andy has been out of town for a while so he needs filling in on recent events, which means you get the backstory on characters met in previous Last Chance books.
Newcomers to Last Chance are a rarity, especially if they don’t already have friends or family in town. Jess is made to feel uncomfortable in various ways. She doesn’t know about New Mexico chile, isn’t a football fan and, while people are glad to finally have a doctor in town, no one is too enthused about actually changing their doctor to someone local. It’s a rough ride for Jess as she tries to fit in while still remaining true to herself, something I understood very well. Andy introduces her to several people, which helps, but their relationship encounters problems when she mentors one of the students on his high school football team.
Last Chance Hero is mostly about Jess finding her place, so it ends when she finds it. Andy could be considered the ‘hero’ because of his past football glories, but the book ends before the Homecoming football game mid-season. I was left frustrated because I wanted to know more about the team after getting so involved. Would the Last Chance team end up with a winning season? What happened when Andy’s friend, a college football scout, came to visit? What about Gabe, the student Jess mentors? Would he get the grades he needed for college?
I hope the Place to Call Home series continues. It has the potential to develop into something similar to the well-known Mitford series. Last Chance is a small southwestern town with characters to like and dislike. Picking up a new book is like a return visit where you can catch up with the people you know and see what may or may not have changed since you were last there. I hope to be making return visits for a long time to come.
Thank you to Revell for my complimentary copy of Last Chance Hero, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read Last Chance Hero? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 15 September 2015
Page Count: 288