Friday, May 23, 2014

Inn at Last Chance (Last Chance #7, by Hope Ramsay

Forever (Grand Central Publishing), ISBN 9781455522316, April 2014

Jenny Carpenter has given up on love, left her profession as a high school math teacher, and bought The Jonquil House, on the edge of town, to turn it in to a bed & breakfast. She's in the home stretch now, most of the renovation done and the inn's new furniture about to arrive, when, on a genuinely dark and stormy night, the house's former owner, Gabriel Raintree, pounds on the door looking for a place to stay.

Gabe is a bestselling horror writer who has hit a painful bout of writer's block. It's not random; he's got a very real personal stress going on, the details of which are not fully revealed until much later in the book. He's hoping that in quiet little Last Chance, staying in the old Raintree family home, he can avoid those stresses and get back to writing.

There are just a few problems.

Gabe doesn't remember the day, when he was ten years old, that his brother Luke was accidentally shot and killed, and knows only what he's been told. Those suppressed memories may be trying to come to the surface.

Jenny has given up on romance for herself, but her friends haven't given up on it for her. The new Methodist preacher in town is drop-dead handsome, and the town's very successful but now slightly senile matchmaker has said that a "handsome man" will come into Jenny's life. None of her friends thinks the preacher's fire and brimstone rigidity is any sort of an obstacle.

Oh, and there's the awkward fact that the inn seems to be either haunted, or the target of a very quiet intruder with some definite opinions about both Jenny's and Gabe's activities.

Jenny and Gabe are both interesting, likable characters with thoroughly engaging strengths and weaknesses. Zeph Gibbs, a mentor figure from Gabe's childhood, who is widely believed to be the person who fired the accidental shot that killed Gabe's brother Luke, has unexpected depths. This was an entertaining and rewarding romance novel.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.