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Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay
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Last Chance Beauty Queen

by Hope Ramsay

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Another fun visit to Last Chance. Rocky/Caroline shook the dust of Last Chance off her feet when she went to college. She wants more than getting married to her high school sweetheart and reliving her time as Watermelon Queen. She has remade her image into a cool businesswoman who is the administrative assistant to a senator. He has assigned her to take Lord Woolham to Last Chance and convince her father to sell his land to Hugh for his factory. Rocky knows very well that there is no way her dad will sell that land, but her job depends on making this work. She doesn't expect to find Hugh so darned sexy. She also doesn't expect to get sucked back into all the small town dramas that she has tried so hard to escape.

I really liked Rocky. She knows what she wants from her life and is doing her best to get it. Her assignment to get Hugh the land he needs is causing her some real problems. She wants to succeed, thereby ensuring her advancement on the senator's staff. But she is also very loyal to her family and she knows that there is no way that her dad will give up that land. She sets out to convince Hugh of that fact, but he is set on his plans. When she arrives in Last Chance she is dismayed to discover that she is going to have to participate in the town's Watermelon Festival activities - bringing back memories of the disaster of the past. It was a lot of fun seeing the way that Rocky was battling the two sides of her personality. The one side is her professional life, with her suits and her ambitions. The other side is the small town girl that she has never quite been able to leave behind. Both of those sides find Hugh immensely appealing. The professional side sees the importance of the business he is trying to bring to her town. The small town girl sees a kind and charming man who seems to really appreciate all the unique characters of her hometown. She's falling for him and doesn't see any chance of a fairytale ending for herself.

Hugh was great. He had depended on a business partner to make the land purchases and when that partner was lost in a plane crash discovered that things weren't quite what he expected. He may be British nobility but he is poor nobility and if he can't make a go of this factory he's going to have to go home and marry for money. He puts on quite a show of being an uppity Brit when he isn't like that at all. However, he is desperate to get that land. He isn't going to let Caroline talk him out of trying to get her father to sell to him. It doesn't take long after they arrive for him to realize that it isn't going to be as easy as he thought. The more time he spends in Last Chance, though, the more he likes the town and the people. I especially liked seeing the way that he compared Last Chance to his own (small) hometown. While he has put on a good show, he really would rather work on cars, have a beer with the guys, and spend some time getting to know Rocky. I really loved seeing him get so involved with the town, to the point of turning down a good offer to build elsewhere, because he wants to help. I really enjoyed the way that he started falling for Rocky and tried to find a way to make everything work. There were some great scenes with him and various people around town as he tried to get his land. The kiss auction was especially fun.

Things really start to get crazy around town as various factions get involved in the whole land issue. Everyone has an opinion, but it isn't until the end that someone comes up with a viable solution. The town meeting was absolutely hilarious.

I really loved seeing more of all the characters in town. Rocky's brother Stone is still the uptight cop, but there might be a few cracks starting to show up. I really enjoyed seeing all the church ladies and their ongoing efforts to save the Golfing for God miniature golf course. They also continue to use their penchant for gossip to try to "guide" various members of the town. There is more from Haley and her "sorrowful angel". I have a feeling I know the identity of this angel and I'm looking forward to later books to see if I am right. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Nov 18, 2013 |
Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay
caroline has decided to accompany the english man to her hometown of Last Chance so he
can see for himself that her father will never sell the land that he wants to
build a factory on. It also has the mini putt golf course, Golfing for God, although
not open as the storms closed it down last year. When she calls her mom to enlist her help
she is informed there will be an anniversary float of the watermelon queens from
previous years and that she will be on it.
She meets with her girl friend who informs her that the chicken plant is taking short
cuts and safety issues are not being followed properly.
caroline does some investigating on her own about who is buying up all the land in town.
Cissy tells her he's going to marry a woman back home as he has no money and is highly
mortgaged. She's not sure she can believe Cissy.
As she tries to solve everybody's problems it's very hilarious in what happens next and
just when you think nothing else could possibly go wrong, it does. ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
What fun. Stereotypes of the British peerage collide with stereotypes of Southern townfolk, and in the crash most of the clichés fall away.

This was a download from Netgalley (thank you!) which I enjoyed quite a bit: the story of Rocky Rhodes, who, and who can blame her, has remade herself in the city far away from her little Southern hometown: there she is called Caroline, and her beauty queen past is buried as deep as she's been able to shovel. (I'd call myself Tallulahbelle to avoid being called Rocky Rhodes.)(After having killed both my parents for a name that borders on abusive.) Her goal is to ride along with the senator she works for until she makes it to Washington DC: that's the world she wants to live in, not what she's left behind. And things are going pretty well, when the track to DC loops her back home – just in time for the Watermelon Festival. Rocky has a history with the Watermelon Festival.

To her humiliation, she is roped into the anniversary parade, and into the pink and green dress she wore when she was its queen – and from the parade she is roped into another humiliating situation altogether. Every aspect of her life that she would prefer to keep hidden from her boss and from the hunky British peer he's saddled her with naturally comes popping out: the baron, Hugh Debracy, has business with the slightly mad owner of a Scriptural Mini Golf establishment which, though it's seen hard times, is still hanging on – the baron wants to buy it to combine the land with other plots and build a factory, and the owner – who happens to be Caroline's father – refuses to sell. Which is where she comes into the picture.

I have a bit of a hard time reconciling the idea of a Christian romance (in terms of a good Christian girl, if not of a romance novel written for a specifically Christian audience) with the steamy sex scenes: a "good girl" who leaps into what looks like a one-night stand doesn't sit well. Also an ill fit to my mind is the element of the weeping angel with the pragmatism of the rest of the story. It might be an easier path to slip into for someone who has read the other two books in the series, who knows the characters; to me it was jarring to go from a fairly straightforward and mundane (in that there were no supernatural elements) to passages of quirky mysticism.

I liked the characterizations. They flirted with caricature, but never married it: there were some believable personalities here, and likeable ones. Rocky's father's determination to keep the golf course preserved until repairs can be made is never belittled; Rocky is embarrassed by him and it, but loves him wholeheartedly nonetheless. There are several classic Romance Misunderstandings, along with a case of classic You Two Are Meant To Be Together And Just Don't See It. But with the credible personalities, it all works. It was a fun read. ( )
  Stewartry | Apr 29, 2012 |
This is the last installation of the Last Chance Series by the author and tell the story of Caroline or "Rocky". She left town where her family is and eager to prove herself to her family and friends. She was being tasked to assist Lord Woodlams, Hugh to talk to her father in giving up their family's precious land; It was indeed a difficult task for her to accept and she is determine to prove to her superior that she can succeed even in the most difficult situation.

I did not read the earlier two books hence i am at times rather confused with the story; not that it is the fault of the author more it is me. ;) There is just one thing that i m not able to relate; the sullen angel whom Rocky's niece, Haley seems to be able to see when other can't.. am really wondered who she actually each because even up to the end of the book, it was not revealed about the true identity of the angel. ( )
  jolzyn | Feb 21, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446576085, Mass Market Paperback)

Dear Reader,
Gracious me, my beautiful daughter Rocky sure could use my help. I always knew she wasn't much interested in the local boys - but who'd have thought she'd come home with English royalty?
Trouble is, Hugh wants to buy some of our folks' land. We don't want to sell, but Rocky's job depends on her closing the deal. And though Hugh's obviously smitten, I'm not sure he's right for my Rocky. Oh, he's classy and handsome - and you should've seen the way he judged pies and fixed stock cars at our Watermelon Festival! - but what do we know about him, really? I know I sound like a nervous mother hen, but after forty happy years with my Elbert, all I want is to see my little girl find the same.
Well, time for me to quit chattering and get back to Miss Bray's wet set. Always nice talking to you, and remember: the Cut 'n Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.
See you real soon,
Ruby Rhodes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:01 -0400)

When her daughter Rocky returns home with her employer Hugh, an English royal who wants to buy some of the townfolk's land, in tow, Ruby Rhodes, the owner of the Cut 'n' Curl, decides to play matchmaker.

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