Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Last Chance #6
Format: ebook via Netgalley
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever (November 19, 2013)
Molly Canaday wishes she could repair her life as easily as she fixes cars. She was all set to open her own body shop in Last Chance when her mother ran off and left her to manage the family yarn shop instead. Now guided by the unsolicited-though well-intended-advice of the weekly knitting club, Molly works to untangle this mess. But her plan unravels when the new landlord turns out to be difficult-as well as tall, dark, and handsome.
Simon Wolfe returns to quickly settle his father's estate and then leave Last Chance for good. Still wounded by a broken heart, Simon is surprised when the town's charming streets and gentle spirit bring back good memories. Soon the beautiful, strong-willed Molly sparks a powerful attraction that tempts him to break his iron-clad no-commitment rule. Can Simon and Molly find a way to share work space-and build a future together in Last Chance?
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Molly Canaday is a mechanic, knitter, and tomboy. She has big plans for herself in her hometown of Last Chance – find a space, open a body shop, live happily ever after. None of those plans include Golden-Boy-Returned-Home Simon Wolfe. Unfortunately, the moment Simon comes back to Last Chance Molly’s plans are burned to ash by the heat of their mutual attraction.
It takes only a few pages of the story to get this information. Author Hope Ramsey does a fantastic job setting up both characters and potential love interest. The opening was informative and seamless and made me want to keep reading. But since Molly is a very headstrong heroine much must be done to steer her off course and into Simon’s trajectory. While the stories of one catastrophic happenstance after another are amusing, they strain the edges of believability. In just a few days’ time Molly’s mother abandons the family, Molly loses her job, her brother is hospitalized, she has to take over the running of the yarn shop (which heralds a cadre of mishaps as well), her house is destroyed, and her current vehicular work in progress is all but stolen. Through it all Molly must somehow not only navigate these rapid fire traumas but must also flirt and fall in love with Simon, who is just there to settle his father’s estate.
Oh, and she’s in a book club, too.
Overall, the book has just too many over the top problems for the heroine to overcome. The passion between Molly and Simon was believable to me; I thoroughly enjoyed the balance they found within each other. But halfway through the book the book club reads Little Women, and at that point the book makes a left turn straight into a reboot of the classic tale. Simon is Professor Bhaer to Molly’s Jo. The end scene between them in the rain where Molly fills his hands with hers is straight from the older book. In addition, Molly wants a non-traditional female career, she cuts off her hair, she has a sick sibling, a missing parent… the list goes on.
Until the book club discussion brought to mind the story of Little Women I was totally in to this story. I enjoyed the characters, both primary and secondary. Molly was a particular joy to me as I love a good non-traditional female character, especially one with interests as complex as Molly’s. However, once I started noticing the parallels I couldn’t un-notice them, and they really started to bug me. If this was intended to be a re-boot it should have said so. If it was trying to be an original story than it should have done so.
The sleek, stainless-steel machine had been disconnected from the water and pulled out from the wall. It looked as if someone had taken a baseball bat to it. The control panel had popped off and hung upside down by a few wires… Molly peered into the machine’s basket.
Someone had thrown a sizeable rock into it. No doubt the a-holes had turned the machine on with it tumbling inside.
Review for other books in series:
Last Chance Beauty Queen #3