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The Last Chance Cafe    by Linda Lael Miller order for
Last Chance Cafe
by Linda Lael Miller
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Hallie O'Rourke's life takes a turn for the worse when she discovers that her stepfather's murder was not a random act of violence, but rather a crime perpetrated by a small cadre of dirty cops and her DA ex-husband Joel. When Hallie finds key evidence that Lou had hidden away and that clearly identifies the bad guys, she is determined to take it to the authorities. Unfortunately her ex-husband is just as determined to stop her and Hallie and her twin girls suddenly find themselves on the run with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

Twenty-four hours and many miles later Lou's old pick-up truck dies in the middle of a blinding snowstorm on the outskirts of Primrose Creek, Nevada. The closest refuge is a diner called the Last Chance Cafe. Instead of asking questions, the locals extend every kindness to Hallie and her girls. Diner owner Madge is soon offering her a part time job waiting tables. And rancher and horse expert, Chance Qualtrough, offers lodging at his aunt's ranch in exchange for Hallie's doing a few chores around the place. Reluctant to trust him, yet knowing she has no vehicle or money to continue, Hallie agrees. Chance is soon showing 'city girl' Hallie how to take care of his aunt Jesse's menagerie of animals.

Chance knew Hallie was special the minute she walked through the front door of the diner. Yet he also sensed that she was running from something and wants her to trust him and let him help her with whatever it is that's put fear in her eyes. Hallie wants the same thing but can't risk telling him so. After only a few days, the people of Primrose Creek are the closest thing to family that Hallie's ever had. And Chance Qualtrough has stolen her heart. Yet she knows that if she doesn't keep moving, Joel and his minions will eventually track her down. She's already lost her beloved Lou. Dragging her new Primrose Creek family, and most especially Chance, into her own personal nightmare is just too great a risk.

The Last Chance Cafe is Linda Lael Miller's latest installment in her entertaining Primrose Creek series. This time around, not only does she add another layer to the founding ancestors' family history, but she also injects credible romantic suspense into the plot. Overall though, it's the chemistry and the romance between Hallie and Chance that make The Last Chance Cafe another highly entertaining and poignant read.

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