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Posted January 27, 2009
Alexia Travers¿ world takes a decided downward spiral when her beloved father dies unexpectedly. In the aftermath of his death, the devastated young woman is dealt a number of shocking revelations: The horse ranch she and her father ran together is heavily mortgaged; gold has been found on their property, but only her father knew where; he was keeping something from her just prior to his death; and hidden among her friends, acquaintances and hired hands is someone who does not have her best interests at heart. <BR/><BR/>It¿s 1877, and the world isn¿t ready for take-charge women, but that doesn¿t deter Alex. Dressed in the men¿s pants which have long made her an object of derision among Last Chance¿s female population, she takes her father¿s place riding the range ¿ fiercely independent, stubbornly proud, and set on paying off the unwelcome debt by making the ranch a success on her own. Her father taught her everything she needed to know to manage the spread, and she¿ll move heaven and earth, if necessary, to make it work.<BR/><BR/>Enter Justin Phillips, a widower with a three-year-old son in tow. He¿s a talented wrangler looking for a job - and he¿s willing to work for a woman. Having already lost a few ranch hands for no better reason than her gender, Alex needs someone like Justin. But can she trust him? He¿s mannerly, not afraid to work, and knows how to handle a horse ¿ but the man obviously has more than one secret. He also has a pair of brown eyes that play havoc with her emotions, and an adorable little boy who captures her heart right from the get-go. Dare Alex allow this handsome stranger into her world? <BR/><BR/>Dare she not?<BR/><BR/>More importantly, in her struggle to maintain independence¿in the effort to show herself strong and capable in her father¿s stead¿will Alex ever learn to lean on the only One who can solve all her problems and insure a happy outcome? <BR/><BR/>Love Finds You in Last Chance, California has something for everyone. It¿s a story of faith forgotten, renewed, and under fire; a poignant portrait of sweet romance blooming against all odds; a captivating story of hope, inspiration, and unquenchable love. It¿s an overall good book with moments of heart-pounding suspense, enough mystery to keep the pages turning, and a carefully doled dosage of tender romance.<BR/><BR/>I thoroughly enjoyed this peek into the historical town of Last Chance. Miralee Ferrell ¿brings it on¿ in this one ¿ a well-written, entertaining and inspiring tale.
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Posted February 24, 2014
Love Finds You In Last Chance California by Miralee Ferrell*****
It's 1877 and Alexia Travers, or Alex lives with her father, Ben on his cattle and horse ranch in Last Chance, California. When her father dies unexpectedly, apparently from a heart attack, Alex is left to run the ranch on her own with the help of Uncle Joe and Martha. However, her other ranch hands are not too keen on working for a woman. After talking to the banker in Last Chance, she learns that her father has mortgaged the ranch and she could loose it if she can't pay the note in time. Added to that there are some strange things going on with her stock.
Justin Phillips is a friend of Ben's and received a letter from Ben asking Justin to come and help him with the problems at the ranch, some even life-threatening. Justin travels to Last Chance but he is not alone. He is widowed with a very young son, Toby, to care for. As he arrives at Last Chance he finds some trouble. Once he clears that up he asks around and finds there is a possibly a job on Alex's ranch. He applies for a job there without telling Alex Ben sent for him.
Alex and Justin must learn to trust each other and to trust God as well. Are they able to do that or will they continue to be mistrustful? As the story unfolds we get a glimpse of the 1870's in a real way with realistic characters who face challenges head on. This story has much to offer: challenges, suspense, mystery, adventure, romance, evil plots, forgiveness, strong faith, humor and last chances that may not always be the last chance. I really enjoyed this story very much and look forward to more in this series.
Posted October 17, 2012
Posted September 12, 2012
1877 Last Chance, California.
Alexia Travers has many loose ends to tie up after her father's recent death. Luckily she still has the support of Uncle Joe and Martha. The ranch hands don't like the idea of working for a woman rancher even if she could hold her own while working and roping the horses.
Unbeknownst to Alex her father had notified Justin Phillips a friend of his to come to Last Chance. Because his life and ranch were in danger. Her father feared for his life and needed Justin to work undercover in hopes of revealing the culprit causing the trouble. But Justin was not alone, he is a widower with his three year old son. He no sooner got to town and there was trouble. He soon straightens that mess out and in the process managed to make a few friends in town. He was told he could probably get hired on as ranch hand on a local ranch owned by a woman. Which he had not problem working for a woman. He just wanted to make sure his son would be looked after while he worked.
Uncle Joe and Martha liked Justin right off and told him if Alex hired him that Martha would be more than happy to watch his son. Uncle Joe even volunteered to help her with the boy. Alex recognized Justin from the incident when he first arrived in town so she wasn't too sure about hiring him. But it looked like his boy and Martha had already bonded so she told Justin she would try him out. To Alex's surprise Justin turned out to be a big asset to the ranch. He definitely knew his way around a ranch.
Alex uncovered some things about her father and the ranch she had no idea was going on. She is afraid she might lose the ranch. No way will she let that happen. But now someone is stealing her horses and cutting her fences.
Her distant cousin that really isn't related at all has asked to court her. But he seems to be into her business way to much. Justin notices this also and plans on keeping an eye on him. He made a promise to her father and he plans to see it through. From the looks of things he is pretty sure her father's death was not an accident.
This book had just the right amount of intrigue, adventure and romance. The author writes about trusting in God and having faith that He has plan for each one of us. The character of Alex was head strong and a little to prideful and too independent at times but when she started to trust in God she was able to accept help from others. Justin was about in the same situation with God, once he let go and let God his whole outlook on life changed. In my opinion the author has a wonderful story here and it is hard to put down once you start reading.
I highly recommend this book.
I purchased this book for my own reading pleasure. I was not compensated for this review in any way. It is my own opinion.
Posted October 25, 2009
It is July 1877 in the town of Last Chance, California, and Alexia Travers is in quite a dilemma. The recent death of her father has left her the owner of his horse ranch, which is under mortgage with the bank. A woman alone in a man's world, she struggles to keep the horse ranch running. She knows that the easy answer would be to marry so she would have a husband to help her, but she wants to succeed on her own.
When Justin Phillips, a recent widower, arrives in town with his young son, he shows up at Alexia's ranch looking for work. She hires him, not knowing that he was sent for by her father before his death. Because she doesn't know, she is suspicious of some strange things about Justin, such as his resemblance to a thief and questioning about whether the little boy with him is really his son.
Love Finds You in Last Chance, California is an enjoyable story that blends adventure, mystery, and a sweet love story. The main characters are likeable, and I liked that they fell in love slowly and naturally rather than love at first sight. This book is sure to be enjoyed by readers who enjoy inspirational fiction or western romances, and I will be keeping an eye out for future historical romances by this new author.
Posted October 14, 2009
Alexia Travers' father has unexpectedly died and left her alone with a horse ranch to run. Alexia has no desire to sell or marry away her burdens. She loves working the ranch, despite what the ladies in town think of a woman wearing trousers and doing men's work. But the trouble has only begun. Horses are being stolen, her ranch hands are quitting, and it's starting to look like her father's death was more than just an accident.
Then Justin Phillips shows up and asks for a job. Justin is hardworking and able but brings with him a mystery of his own, including a small son. He claims the boy's mother died recently, but some of the people in Last Change are suspicious of Justin. They claim he looks like a local horse thief. Alex doesn't know what to think or who to trust. But if something doesn't change soon, she might lose the ranch and everything she's known her entire life.
Miralee Ferrell drew me into this western adventure with a mysterious plot and relatable characters. I love a girl who wears britches in historical stories, and Alexia is a great and capable heroine. It was exciting to watch her trust God and let go of her own control a bit. I enjoyed all the characters in this story, especially Justin's little boy, Toby, who just wants to "wide the horsey."
I highly recommend this book for readers looking for a sweet romance, some mystery, and a little Wild West adventure. Love Finds You in Last Chance, California has it all.
Posted August 3, 2009
It's always so much fun to pick up a book by an author I've never read before and be blown away by both the writing and the story. Such was the case with Miralee Ferrell's wonderful book LOVE FINDS YOU IN LAST CHANCE, CALIFORNIA.
I can't tell you how much I loved this book! I particularly enjoyed the character of Alex (Alexia). What a strong, independent heroine! When Alex's father passes away, she makes it clear to all who will listen that she plans to keep the family's ranch going on her own. Of course, she faces some daunting challenges. Justin, the story's hero, (and a total stranger to Alex) arrives with his three-year-old son to offer assistance. Only one problem. . .Justin thinks "Alex" is a man! Talk about conflict! Now add intrigue, romance and plenty of action/adventure and it's clear this is one well-rounded historical!
Miralee's story is intelligently written and it's clear she did her research on both the area and the time period. She also did something else remarkably well. By tying the town's name to the predominant "issue" of the book (the need for another "chance") she has woven a lovely allegorical thread throughout. Nicely done!
Posted July 7, 2009
Love Finds You in Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell is the fifth book in the Love Finds You series; however, each book is a stand-alone, so don't worry about missing anything if this is the first volume you pick up. Alex Travers is used to not living up to other people's expectations . As her father's sole child, she grew up working with horses and helping him run the family ranch, so it's only natural that after his sudden death she would take over as head of the ranch. Not everything may be as it appears however. Her father sent for Justin Phillips help because of suspicions about mysterious attacks and disappearances . Justin comes out of a sense of obligation as well as relief. After the recent death of his wife, he's taking care of their son Toby on his own. I truly enjoy Ferrell's writing, and this book exceeded my expectations of a western romance. Those are not typically a genre I read, but the romance between Alex and Justin was slow-moving and entirely natural. She's an unusually strong character for the genre, and it was a neat twist for the hero to have a child to care for. While the Christian themes came on a bit thick at the end, in the rest of the book they were handled with a less heavy hand. Several of the minor characters were developed well, as was the town of Last Chance itself. I wouldn't mind returning there again!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 12, 2009
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This is the first story I've read of Ms. Ferrell's and I was not disappointed. I really identified with Alex since I was a tomboy myself growing up.
When Alex takes over the running of the ranch after her father's death, hired hands have quit and she's dealing with cattle thieves. The arrival of Justin and his small son give Alex the help she needs, and eventually, romance though it's the last thing on her mind. I highly recommend this book by Miralee Ferrell.
Just finished this book a few minutes ago. Boy, I really enjoyed this one. I love all the historical landmarks and references. And the characters, I just fell in love with them all. Didn't care too much for the villain of the story but that's to be exacted. :)
Another book well done by Mrs. Ferrell!! I like that she didn't rush the love story along, and took her time in divulging who the man behind the schemes were. Mrs. Ferrell does an excellent job at showing how God's love transcends all understanding and can use any circumstance in our lives for good. Great book! It's a keeper!! :)
Posted April 27, 2009
Alexia (Alex) Travers lives in Last Chance, California, and she wants to be a wrangler, just like her dad, Ben Travers. She can break a young horse, deliver a foal, shoot as well as the men, mend fences, ride herds at night, and track with the best of the hands.
When Alex's father dies suddenly, she's devastated. To make matters worse, a man at the bank, Mr. Elton, tells her she stands to lose the ranch due to a mortgage her father took out, which Alex knows nothing about. Alex tells Mr. Elton, "I know as much about running the ranch as Papa did. I can make it succeed on my own." Mr. Elton also tells her that Carter Foster stopped in, indicating an interest in buying her ranch.
Carter Foster, who runs the land next to Alex's, tells Alex of his offer to buy her ranch. When she refuses, he makes another offer. "Marry me," he says, "and the ranch would still belong to you. We'd run it together, and with my ranch adjoining yours, we'd be the largest force between here and Auburn." Soon after, horses turn up missing at her ranch, and a stranger appears.
Justin Phillips, and his three-year-old son, Toby, come to town after Justin receives a note from Ben Travers. The note reads: Need help. Ranch in trouble and life in danger. Come quick and keep quiet. Alex hates interference. Debt will be settled. Benjamin Travers. Justin, though, doesn't know that Ben is already dead, and he thinks that Alex is a man.
Things are settled by the end of this novel, and the author uses a blend of romance, mystery, and a dash of suspense to do the job.
This is the first time I've read this author's work, and I look forward to reading more of her novels in the future.
Posted April 17, 2009
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As a resident of California, this is the first book I've read from Summerside fiction, and I already look forward to reading more!
LAST CHANCE, CALIFORNIA is Classic Christian Fiction: broken people who get their happy ending (except the villain, naturally). That having been said, each story tends to be a little different. Ferrell's book stand's out from the others in that it has a stronger central female character than most. Alex is not only head strong and independent, butshe also thinks things through and does a lot of her own investigating. She isn't afraid to speak her mind and doesn't care what those around her will think of her actions. Quite refreshing! Justin, the central male character, is so genuine you can't help but love how he has taken to caring for Toby and Alex. I also found myself curious about Christy's situation and her back ground story - how did she get to where she is? What is truly in her heart? How will her new future change her?
Ferrell's writing style is easy and gripping. Her words come off the page, making you feel happy and warm when the characters are smiling and nervous when the action gets super tense. Ferrell is an author to keep your eye on.
Posted March 31, 2009
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June 1877. After the death of her father, Alexia Travers finds herself with a horse ranch to run. Strong and independent, she's up to the challenge. After all, as her father's only child, she learned all there is to know about the ranch at his side-or thought she did. What she didn't know was that her father mortgaged the ranch just before his death. Clad in men's trousers, she takes over but encounters one setback after another: hired hands quitting, horses missing, fences cut.
Justin Phillips arrives in answer to a telegram from Alex's father saying he's in trouble. When Justin learns that his friend is gone and Alex is now in charge, he has to convince her to hire him, a widower with a young son needing care, so he can honor his promise to her father. She does, but will she ever be able to trust this stranger who's captured her attention when he's unable to tell her his real reasons for being there?
Miralee Ferrell has helped Summerside Press launch its new line of Love Find You stories with the first historical in the series. Set in the Mother Lode of California not far from the Sierra Foothills town where I live, I was eager to read her story. She does a wonderful job creating the setting. Her characters come to life on the page. Alex exemplifies the spirit of the West and has what it takes to run the ranch. Bearing the emotional scars of a painful past, Justin captured my heart.
The story moves along nicely, picking up speed about halfway through. Ferrell weaves a mystery into the tale, complete with a great twist at the end. She kept me up late as I hungered to find out how things turned out for Alex, Justin and the ranch. If you're a fan of Western historical inspirationals, I think you'll enjoy this book.
Posted March 29, 2009
Imagine living in 1877 and managing a horse ranch. Alexia found herself in this exact predicament with her father's unexpected death. It would have been easier to marry the neighboring rancher, but she is not one to run from a challenge, despite the fact that the women in town shun her for her unconventional practice of wearing trousers.
Alex runs into a series of disasters when her ranch hands leave, her horses are stolen, and her father's gold is missing. All this started happening right about the time Justin pulled in to town. Can she rely on her instincts about his character? What is he hiding? Can he be trusted? More importantly, can she trust him with her heart?
With no one else to turn to, Alex finds her truth when she places her faith in God and allows herself to trust Justin. Murder, romance, faith, and intrigue, this book has it all!
Posted March 18, 2009
Love Finds You in Last Chance, California is a sweet romance.
Even though there is mystery in this story, it's a very relaxing, soak-in-the-tub-hot-water-and-bubbles sort of read.
Miralee's descriptions are exquisite. She has way of placing you in Last Chance. You can smell the air, hear the creak of saddle leather, the crunching of leaves, and the cocking of guns. The tension is tangible, and the love is sweetly palatable. Miralee's characters are memorable. Hey, speaking of characters.
Alexia is one tough cookie. No murdering thief is going to get the best of her. Except.Is the man she falls in love with that thief? After all, he's been hiding a secret from Alexia, and since he's shown up, her horses are disappearing faster than a gunslinger's draw.
Alexia's Father dies of natural causes. Or did he? Before he dies, he hides a precious cargo. Will it remain hidden? Or, will it eventually be found? Just what exactly is it he's trying to hide that's so valuable? Or is it valuable? Plus, Alexia is crushed and feels betrayed by her father when she discovers that he, too, has been keeping secrets from her.
Evil lurks around the corner disguised as a friend. But which friend? Will the real enemy please stand up?
Justin discovers that Alex isn't his friend's son, but the man's daughter. Does this make a difference in his plans? A saloon girl comes to town and wants something from Justin. Something she's willing to risk her life to get it. What does she want? And why?
Many people's lives are in danger. Why, and who, wants them out of the way?
Well, if you want to know the answers to all these questions, you'll just have to buy the book to find out. Money well spent.
Great job, Miralee.
Debra Ullrick, author of.
The Bride Wore Coveralls
Déjà vu Bride
Posted March 14, 2009
I am one who likes children characters in stories and I was taken with little Toby and with his widowed father's care of him. I liked watching this rugged man put his child first. And as I read the story I was really rooting for Alex and Justin to solve the problems life threw at them. I'll just say the ending was satisfying.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 14, 2009
In some ways, the world of 1877 is much different than it is today. Yet, the human spirit still struggles with untimely loss of a parent, the desire for a daughter to continue a father's dream, the attraction between a man and a woman, and the ability of God to join disparate hearts and goals into His divine purpose. These timeless experiences are what make for an enjoyable historical novel. Miralee Ferrell has written another gripping story of love. With her father's death under suspicious circumstances, Alexia, a fiercely independent young woman, is left to do the unseemly in her time-a woman running a ranch on her own. There are suitors, who would be more than willing to take the burden from her. When ranch hands quit and her father's gold comes up missing, the easier route and traditional solutions seem her only recourse. But will her fierce independence blind her to God's truth? When Justin Phillips comes into town, many are suspicious. Even though he brings with him a loveable child he claims is his son. Where is the child's mother? What is Justin hiding? Has he come to Last Chance to escape from a sordid past? Alexia hires him in spite of her doubts, and finds he is a capable wrangler.
Neither thought love was around the corner. Even in the small town of Last Chance, God is at work mingling past and present. A worthwhile read.
Posted March 1, 2009
What can a woman alone do with a horse rance in 1877? If you're Alexia Travers you carry on business as usual.well as much as you can. But when the hands are leaving because they don't cotton to a woman boss, no matter how well versed she is in the ways of running a ranch, you're in trouble. Even more so when one accident and problem after another plagues the young woman in the wake of her father's death. Mortgages, horse stealing, missing gold all add up to quite a sum of trouble.
Enter Justin Phillips and his young son, Toby. Before Alex's father died he's sent for the young cowboy without exactly explaining a few important things. Mostly, why he thought there was trouble on the ranch, and that Alex wasn't the man's son, but in fact his feisty daughter. Burdened with the need to keep his identity secret, Justin finds himself suspect instead of savior. Though the bigger danger seems to be he's losing his heart.and his head..to his pretty boss, Alex.
Can this unlikely couple find a solution to this snarled mess in time? Or will not just the ranch be lost.but their last chance at true happiness as well?
An exciting read, this story takes you back in time so vividly you feel like you're there on the trail looking for horse thieves with them. The message that God is with them through the good and the bad is woven subtly throughout the story, reminding us the importance of trusting the one who guides are days. A highly recommended read!
Posted February 25, 2009
I really enjoyed reading this story. I think Miralee Ferrell has found her niche in writing historical fiction. The story was fresh and didn't fall into the trap of the usual cliched story. I always worry that I'm going to read the same storyline when it comes to young women living on the frontier and trying to get through life by themselves. Not so in the case of this book, as there were plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing. Alex is a great female lead as she has to take on her father's work after she died. She's not overly too into running the ranch to find love but neither is ready to give up this burden along to someone else as she wants to save it for the family. I really liked the chemistry between Alex and Justin. I was afraid that he would be against her running the ranch and that by the end of the movie she'd give up everything "manly" for him. Luckily, that wasn't the case. I'm really glad that they found each other and enjoyed reading about the ups and downs in their relationship. The characters were all very realistic and easy to understand. Really, this book could almost be placed in a modern setting and it would still work perfectly. I would have enjoyed visiting Alex's ranch and helping out with even the daily chores. I could picture the ranch and see the open space thanks to the descriptions in the book. The book was a fast read and it made for an enjoyable afternoon. An excellent sophomore effort from Miralee and I'm looking forward to reading more historical fiction from her. BTW this book is part of the Love Finds You series, and if this book is any indication what the other books are like, I will be definitely having to go find some more of them!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 21, 2009
I just had to stay up late last night to finish Miralee Ferrell's latest book--Love Finds you in Last Chance, CA. This book is one of the first in a new series by Summerside Press. All the books start with "Love Finds you in... followed by the name of a real town in the USA. Miralee and her husband visited Last Chance and she describes it as "now a ghost town with only one small shack and a cemetery attesting to the thriving mining town that once existed."
Using that bare bones scene as a starting point, Miralee has written a fascinating fictional story set in 1877. The hero and heroine are both characters you will find yourself falling in love with. Add some quirky secondary characters and some missing cattle and gold, and you have a page-turner that will keep you up late reading to find out what happens next. I hope you will check out this book and this series of books for some great reading.