Last Second Chance by Caisey Quinn had me from the first page. Literally. The author’s note in the beginning practically had me in tears because this book is about addiction. The personal connection with the author really set the stage for this book.
When Stella Jo Chandler gets an offer to work at the Second Chance Ranch celebrity rehab facility right after graduating from Texas A&M, she’s tempted to turn it down. She wants to help real people with real problems, not spoiled celebrities going on vacation for publicity. But growing up on her family’s ranch left her with a love of horses that draws her to the opportunity. How bad can babysitting a bunch of strung out celebrities be?
What she didn’t count on was being roped into a tangled mess with infamous rocker and three-time rehab drop out Van Ransom on her first day. And she sure didn’t expect to feel the overwhelming attraction that pulls her to the man who has more issues than she can count on both hands. Like the hotel rooms and tour buses he’s famous for trashing, the havoc he could wreak on Stella’s heart would be irreparable.
Van isn’t at Second Chance for publicity or because he’s suffering from “exhaustion”. He’s on the brink of destruction, and he needs the kind of help Stella isn’t sure she can give. But without her, he’ll lose everything. Because he’s on his last second chance.
This is one of those typical bad boy falls for good girl plots and it was very well done. I enjoyed the Texas vibe with the horses and the southern influences. This story alternates between two perspectives, Stella and Van’s. I really enjoyed seeing the story from both sides. It adds the anticipation and expectation, which heats up the romance.
I’m torn on how I feel about the main protagonist, Stella Jo. She was a strong individual with ambition but she made questionable decisions. However, those decisions led to hot and steamy events with the recovering addict Van Ransom, which I enjoyed. Those scenes were certainly exciting and with the added “forbidden” component, since Stella couldn’t be involved with a patient, it raised the stakes.
I really enjoyed the depth behind each character in this book. Stella had her issues with her parents and Van was haunted by his dark past. I liked how they came together to heal each other. However, I found the truth behind Stella’s past strange to say the least and Van’s ability to just stop drugs cold turkey a bit far-fetched. I was expecting a relapse to add some tension to the story.
Overall, if you don’t take the story too seriously, it was definitely enjoyable and easy to get lost in. It doesn’t really sound like I liked it but I did. This book had everything you’d expect from a great New Adult book. Last Second Chance was released on May 6 and is the first in a series. I will be keeping my eye out for more books by Caisey Quinn.
STARS: 4 out of 5