My latest literary find is “Welcome to Last Chance,” by Cathleen Armstrong. This is the first entry in the “A Place to Call Home series.” Lainie Davis needs a fresh start, and since her new car decided to give out in the middle of nowhere, Last Chance, New Mexico, is as good a place as any other. Not sure what to expect, she ambles into the diner looking for a place to stay, at least until her vehicle is drivable again. The cast of characters she meets is anything but predictable. The handsome bartender has more to delve into than what is on the surface. Fayette, owner of the restaurant where she works, fights to keep everything afloat, simultaneously fretting over her the choices of her teenage son. There is even a sweet woman who offers the stranger a room. The catch? If Lainie avails herself of the hospitality, she must attend church. At first, small town life chafes a bit. After all, who likes it when everyone knows your business? As Miss Davis settles in, though, she begins to grow comfortable among those who have adopted her as their own. When the past she thought she had escaped from threatens her recently achieved security, will Lainie run away again, or will she cling to the budding relationships she has formed, allowing her to obtain the love and happiness she craves?
This debut novel kept me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. Armstrong has created believable personalities, with flesh and blood problems that kept me invested until I learned the outcome. I recommend this work to those who take pleasure in the writing of Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers. Christian romance fans can rejoice in the knowledge that there is no problem sharing this with everyone, especially teenagers and adults. There is no objectionable content as we follow Lainie as she comes to appreciate the sacrifice Jesus made for her. My rating is five out of five stars. I am looking forward to visiting this charming small town in the future. Until we meet again…