Title: Welcome to Last Chance
Author: Hope RamsayPublisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre(s): contemporary, romance, coming-of-age
Part of a Series: Yes, book 1
Why I read it: Because Amazon recommended it
Summary: Last Chance is a sleepy little town in South Carolina. Everyone knows everyone else, so newcomers are noticed very quickly. Mary Smith learns this when she steps off the bus and heads to the nearest bar. There, she meets songwriter and musician Clayton P. Rhodes, who is nursing a broken heart after his girlfriend left him for the lead singer of the band he used to write for. They have a random hookup as a hurricane barrels down on the town. In the days after, the two have to figure out their feelings and their lives as chaos follows them. Not one but two of Clay’s past loves return to town while Mary’s past starts to catch up with her. Will they get together or be torn apart?
Review: I’m not sure where to begin, honestly. There were times I was eager to keep reading, to see what happened next. But I had a lot of problems with it.
It was published in 2011, but it almost feels like it was set decades ago. All the attitudes, even from the younger generations, seems old-fashioned. And there is a bit of slut shaming going on, like how it seems we’re supposed to think Wanda’s modeling past is something to be hidden. Or that having a one night stand is something shameful. Maybe it’s my more liberal Northern sensibilities not understanding conservative Southern values, but it just seemed so negative.
All the investigations in the book seemed absolute train wrecks with everyone being downright incompetent. I get a small town might not have a crime scene unit but they have to be able to finger print a crime scene. There’s a whole plot point that could easily be resolved with fingerprint analysis. So, yes, law enforcement doesn’t come across so well.
Let’s move on to the main characters. They’re…okay. You’ve got a Tortured Artist and a Misguided Girl with a Heart of Gold. There’s not much else that makes Clay or Wanda really stand out beyond those tropes. Though I did find myself rooting for Wanda to finally get her life together, so there’s that. And I wasn’t too sure if I wanted the main couple to get together or not. I think both might have been too broken to really succeed in their relationship.
The action bits, though, were very well done. I think Ms. Ramsay may have missed her mark when she chose romance and small town shmaltz.
Bottom line: Probably one you can bypass.
Sex: Yes, but nothing too descriptive.
Honestly, I can’t think of something. This book hasn’t really left me with much to muse about except for how much some of the plots were needlessly dragged out.