Review copy was received from Library. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsey
Series: Last Chance #3
Published by Forever on February 1, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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 the Cut 'n Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, and the best gossip in town.
See you real soon,
While I love the Last Chance series as a whole, I confess there are some stories I was anticipating and Rocky Rhodes’ was one of them. I read the series out of order so I encountered Rocky and Hugh in later books and always wanted to get their story in detail. Rocky’s story was satisfying and met my higher anticipation well.
Last Chance Beauty Queen is book three in a series that I’ve hopped about out of order more than once and got by easily. That said, I have to admit that getting the first three in order now since their all siblings and share a great deal of the background buildup of the series made a good read even better.
So, yes, it’s coming on summertime in Last Chance and everyone from the county knows what that means- Watermelon Festival. Rocky lit out of Last Chance after the fiasco finish of her time as Watermelon Festival Queen and hasn’t been back to town for the parade or the festival since.
Hugh isn’t a ruthless businessman at heart, but because his business partner bought high on land and depleted his cash reserves, he needs to make the attractive Senator’s aid use her southern small town know-how and make her stubborn daddy sell that land or move his unusual Golfing for God miniature Golf Course. Easy Peasy, right? Bless his heart…
Hugh was a teddy bear and made me want to pat him on the head when he tried to come over cold and ruthless. He really was between a rock and a hard place and this made it tempting to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps to play hardball with the people of Last Chance, particularly Rocky’s father, and to ignore his feelings for Rocky and seek a wealthy heiress to fund his business the way past members of his family had done for time out of mind. It was fun seeing Hugh live up to some of the Last Chance residents ideas of British aristocracy in some ways, but even more amusing when he surprised them.
Rocky was at a crossroads in her life though she was determined to ignore this. She thought she had to turn into someone else and ignore her small town roots to get ahead with her career. She was going to have to figure out who she was happy being. I felt all the awkwardness and frustration of her forced to go home and escort Hugh about knowing full well that her dad’s golf course and his seeing angels, Bubba’s redneck-style unrequited love, and her own screw up at the Watermelon festival years before would all come out to Hugh and maybe her boss. With that group of gossiping church biddies, it was a when not if.
When I went into this, I thought it would be a class difference romance and it was in a way because neither thought their attraction, and the way they really connected, was enough to bridge their difficulties. Rocky saw Hugh as an English aristocrat who needed to find a woman with money and he thought he had to live up to his deceased grandfather’s version of family duty and expectation, too. Fortunately, Hugh had a few grassroots, quirky aunties that gave Rocky’s Last Chance people a run for their money. Hugh himself wasn’t much like a superior lord so the class difference was more about wealth than social class.
Loved all the Watermelon Festival activities and the town of Last Chance with its residents being the center of it all. The secondary romance going on beside Rocky and Hugh’s was a fun extra. So, I’m supremely satisfied with Last Chance Beauty Queen and tout is as my favorite summer-themed read this year.
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