Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review & Release Blitz: One Last Chance by Nancy Stopper

Title: One Last Chance
Author: Nancy Stopper
Genre/Age: Romance/Adult
Series: Oak Grove Series (Book Three)
Publisher: Anderby Lane Publishing
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺
LinksGoodreads
SynopsisShe's escaped an abusive relationship, he's hiding from the horrors that followed him home.  Can the two of them find the courage to face their pain, heal, and find love?

Rachel Bennett has had enough. She’s finally found the strength to leave her bastard of a boyfriend with the help of her childhood friend and deputy sheriff, Sawyer. But the hurt runs deep, as do the family secrets that drove her down the spiral of self-destruction. She’s determined to start life fresh, but with nowhere to go, she finds herself staying with Sawyer.

Sawyer Truman has loved Rachel as long as he can remember. He joined the Army Reserves after high school to prove to himself—and Rachel—he’s the right man for her. He returns from Afghanistan, demons hot on his trail, to find Rachel shacking up with a new boyfriend. He fears he’s lost his one chance with Rachel. It doesn’t take long before he sees what no one wants to admit—Rachel is being abused. After one too many calls to her house, he convinces Rachel to leave Shane. What he didn’t expect to happen was to find her living in his guest room.

As Rachel heals from her abusive relationship, Sawyer and Rachel grow closer. But will a lingering family secret threaten to ruin Rachel’s fragile psyche? Will Sawyer’s unspoken love for Rachel survive and grow?


Sawyer swirled amber liquid in his glass. He rarely drank more than a beer or two, but he’d stashed a bottle of liquor above the stove for especially rough days. This one qualified. The liquid in the glass churned like a storm brewing—much like the eruption that had exploded in their life today.

He tipped the glass and swallowed the shot in one gulp. The whiskey burned a streak down his throat. He poured another and tossed that back, too. How many shots would he need to supplant the burning ache in his chest?

Getting drunk wouldn’t erase his troubles.

The heartbroken woman upstairs was his responsibility. She’d been on the bad side of a drunk already and didn’t need to see him staggering around.

He slammed the glass on the table and flung the books and papers aside. “Dammit.”

He clasped his hands behind his head. The air conditioner kicked in and the fan rattled. The motor on his computer on the desk revved. The white noise pricked his already frayed nerves. Maybe he’d rest for a few minutes while Rachel was upstairs. By the time she came down, he’d be ready to face her. Right now, he was out of ideas. Whenever he opened his mouth, the sentiments that weighed heavy in his heart wouldn’t come out. She’d been through two traumatic events already, and he could only muster a few supportive words. He hated feeling useless.

No wonder he’d never gotten serious about another woman. Relationships required a couple to talk about their feelings, the good and the bad. If he had his way, he’d let everything work itself out, no discussion required. But that wouldn’t work with Rachel. She’d already been through a stifling relationship that had forced her into silence.

Movement woke him from a heavy sleep as Rachel climbed onto his lap. He shifted her, cupped her head, and settled her on his chest. He stroked her back in rhythm with her ragged breathing. This he could do.

Quiet, heart-wrenching sobs wet his chest. What could he say? If he stumbled over his words, like he normally did, he might make her feel worse.

“You’ll be all right.” Ugh, that was terrible. A mother told a child that after the kid skinned his or her knee.

“I don’t know how to get past all of this.”

He didn’t, either. He was way out of his comfort zone. Give him a criminal to interrogate or an enemy to take out, and he was your man. But helping Rachel sort through such feelings of betrayal wasn’t his forte. “I want to say the right thing to make you feel better. I know things are hard right now, but I can promise tomorrow will be easier. You did the hard part.”

“What do I do now?”

“We’ll figure something out.” When had they become a “we”? He stroked her back again. “What are you thinking right now?”

“So many things.” She sniffled. “My mind is racing. My head understands everything they said, why they handled things the way they did. Even on the surface, I can understand why my mother….”

“But…”

“But my heart can’t get over all of the lies, all of the years of feeling like I didn’t belong.”

“You don’t have to get over it. You may never. You just need to figure out how to move on from here.”


Nancy Stopper is an award-winning debut author. She writes contemporary romance with strong women and sexy heroes that tug at your emotional heartstrings and leave you with a warm feeling that lingers long after the last page. Her favorite escape is small-town romance and even when set in a larger location, her books have that small-town feel.

Her first novel, One Last Risk, won first place in the Short Contemporary Romance category of the Fool for Love Contest and was a Maggie Finalist in the unpublished Single-Title Contemporary Category.

Dreams Come True in Laguna, Nancy's first novella, was published in the Laguna Beach Kindle World in 2016. One Last Risk, her first full-length contemporary romance novel was published in April 2017.

Nancy lives in Virginia with her husband, two of her three kids that are still at home, and one cat who regards her with disdain daily. When she's not behind her laptop, you can find her at a ballfield, cheering on her favorite team (Washington Nationals) or her favorite player (her son, who pitches for his local high school), or at a dance performance with her daughter.

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Third time is the book charm!

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Sawyer has been waiting for the call. Either he will arrive in time to save Rachel from her abusive boyfriend or he will show up to find her body. He hopes it isn't the latter. But Shane has been getting more out of control lately and something has to give. Sawyer just wishes Rachel would leave Shane before it comes to that.

Leaving is exactly what Rachel wishes she could do. But escaping Shane's grasp isn't as easy as walking out the door. He'll follow her and he will always find her. He's said as much and she'd be dumb not to believe him. Yet, when the opportunity arises, Rachel sees a way out and she takes it.

Unfortunately, Shane isn't the only one that Rachel wants to avoid after escaping Shane. She's been avoiding her family for months because she holds a secret that could rip her family apart. Her brothers, however, are too protective to let her off the hook. Staying with Sawyer might be Rachel's only hope. And as she grows closer to Sawyer, she must decide if she's willing to take a chance on love again.

I've liked Sawyer since I met him earlier in the series. He seemed like a sweet guy with a nice sense of humor. I was glad to see him get his turn to find a match. We also saw glimpses of Rachel throughout the previous books and it was clear to see that she was suffering in her current relationship with Shane.

So when the book started, I knew where we were headed. I was surprised to see how quickly Rachel managed to escape Shane's clutches. It worked out for the best, though. I can only take so much of a woman being abused before I start to get irritated with the woman for taking it. I know, I'm not the most sympathetic because I was raised to stand up for yourself and recognize the signs of abuse to catch them early on.

Rachel had reached a breaking point and she wanted to get away from Shane. I was impressed with her strength and admired her courage for leaving. She put on a brave face even when there was turmoil boiling within. The secret that she kept was a big one and I still wonder how that will play out in the future, if ever.

This book flowed steadily and the plot was filled with ups and downs that kept the pacing at a nice speed. I read the entire thing in two sittings and listened on text-to-speech while working. I never chose to put it down, only when I had to. That's always a good sign.

The romance was slower to build in this book, for good reason. Yet, the sexual tension was still there and plentiful. Once the couple started making strides of naughty proportions, I was pleased with the progress. As usual, the bedroom scenes were nicely written and our couple made a good pair in pretty much every way.

In closing... 
I think this was a perfect match and well-written story. Michael's book starts off with a bang and I'm curious to see if he will come out of his shell. Five suns!


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