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What happens when the life you’re running from won’t let go of your heart?

At Home in Last Chance is the third book in Cathleen Armstrong’s A Place to Call Home series and the second I’ve read. You’ll find my review of One More Last Chance here

In this story, Kaitlyn Reed comes to Last Chance to turn her life around, but no matter what direction she turns, her past is there to see and regret. Steven Braden is Last Chance’s bad boy—an irresponsible son who can’t settle down. 

At the end of book two of the series, Kaitlyn had come to Last Chance after being dumped by the man she ran off with. She had a chip on her shoulder and a precocious seven-year-old daughter being raised by her brother.

In this book, Kaitlyn is maturing, with the aim of getting her life in order and convincing her daughter, Olivia, to trust she won’t run off again. Steven makes it harder when he sets out to charm her with his glittering smile and “the dimple treatment.”

Steven has his own family issues. No one respects him, especially his aunt and uncle. The only one who shows him any regard is his grandmother, and she warns him away from getting involved with Kaitlyn—for Kaitlyn’s sake! What’s a guy to do when his own grandmother doesn’t trust him?

Readers could dislike these characters with little effort, but I think the author does a good job in showing us that it’s easy to look on the outside—to take the little we know and judge people based on their pasts. We could dislike Kaitlyn for her abandonment of Olivia and her former wild lifestyle. We could see Steven as an arrogant and self-centered jerk. But that doesn’t happen—at least not after his first couple of scenes. 🙂 They are two people trying live down their mistakes and the perceptions of others. 

For that reason, I liked this story better than the second book. I felt for both Kaitlyn and Steven and wanted them to succeed. Is this a book with beautiful setting descriptions and unforgettable depth? Not really. However, it is a well-written, engaging story. Its realistic (sometimes quirky) characters and good conflict remind us not to judge a book by its cover. 

Have you ever gotten to know someone with a questionable past and found they weren’t the same person today? Isn’t that what grace is for?

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Revell, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

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