by Lauren Runow
Last Chance is a story of love and heartache proving that life is not always fair, but it's worth the pain to get the moments you’ll treasure forever.
From the very first moment I laid eyes on him, I knew my heart was his for the taking. He was the boy who filled me with butterflies and made my palms turn clammy at the mere sight of him.
There was only one problem… he was my best friend’s older brother.
It’s been eight years since I’ve last seen him, and I refuse to live another day without telling him the truth. So here I stand, taking my last chance to get him to notice me, my last chance to see if he feels the same way.
I need to know if he is just a fantasy, or if he could be my reality…
Before my reality changes forever.
I never wanted a girlfriend; I was burned by love and vowed to never go down that road again. But when the beautiful girl I’ve known practically my entire life snuck her way into my arms there was something that changed in me. I wanted to be with her, next to her. Just simply kissing her lips made my life complete.
Now I have one mission.
To make hers complete, too.
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About the author:
Lauren Runow is the author of multiple Adult Contemporary Romance novels, some more dirty than others. When Lauren isn't writing, you'll find her listening to music, at her local CrossFit, reading, or at the baseball field with her boys. Her only vice is coffee, and she swears it makes her a better mom!
Lauren is a graduate from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and is the founder and co-owner of the community magazine she and her husband publish. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons.
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This was a heartfelt story about a girl taking a chance at life and living it to the fullest no matter the heavy blow of fate. Very well written and deeply touching, this is one of my top reads which I highly recommend checking out.
I had a sleepless night over this book. I couldn't put it down and it still doesn't let me go. It was a very emotional read and all the feelings come back now thinking back to it while writing my review.
It's an understatement to say that I was anxious during this read because I had no idea where it would lead me but I had a suspicion and I felt it in my gut that a looming shadow was fast approaching.
I'm a sucker for books like this, when the feelings punch you in the gut and rip your heart wide open. Although this book did not start out this way, it surely led to it.
'I will live the life I want to live, explore the feelings I want to explore, and be as happy as possible.'
These characters were not flawless but they were full of emotions and their story will stay with me for a long time because it touched me so deeply.
I liked the easygoing start of the story and that it eased us into Mackenzie’s life. We learned about her secret feelings for Conner and her adjustments to her situation, which we gradually found out about.
Connor never saw Kenzie as anything else than his sister's best friend and I liked that we got his POV too, to follow his developing feelings. He made it very easy to love him and Mackenzie was such a sweet girl with her diary and what she wanted to accomplish, you couldn't not adore her. Those lovely characters made it so much harder for me to deal with what fate had in store for them and to see them go at the end of the book.
'I pull out my diary. Flipping through my last few entries makes me laugh out loud. I hold it to my chest as my face beams with glee. If my fourteen-year-old self could see me now.'
Mackenzie was a young woman, so full of life and giddy about her long-time crush but also fully away of what's to come. I was in awe of her strength and how she handled all those emotions that would bring many to their knees.
Connor. Oh boy. He was the shoulder to lean on, the warm and loving embrace and the strength in need. He went through all the possible stages because he was only human, but he was everything one could wish for in a situation like Kenzie's. He amazed me.
'I never understood why couples held hands or sat so close together, but last night, I wanted to touch her. Not to rub against her or move her hand to my cock. I just wanted to rest my hand on hers, leaving it there for no other reason than because it felt good.'
The story had a fast pace especially in the second half of the book, but considering everything, it was fitting. Connor and Mackenzie experienced a lot in a short amount of time, which had my feelings all over the place because I went through a very wide range of emotions.
Mackenzie has been in love with Connor since the first time she saw him. There’s just one problem: He’s her best friend’s older brother.
After eight years she decides to give in to her suppressed feelings and wants to find out if he feels the same way. Her first crush was the biggest goal on her list to check off after all.
Connor’s life isn’t easily compatible to having a girlfriend, but when Mackenzie sparks a fire in him he can’t just ignore the burning feelings he has about her.
'I don't remember a time in my life when she wasn't there, the smiley girl with braces I used to catch staring at me from afar. I thought it was cute then, but when I caught that same look last night, I wanted nothing more than to wrap her in my arms. Knowing that felt both really wrong and really right.'
I'm a mess, even days after I finished reading this book. My heart broke multiple times during this read, if that’s even possible, and I haven't cried so hard in a long time.
The characters were so strong through everything and felt so deeply. Their story made me reflect my goals in life because I loved how despite the tragic situation, Mackenzie pursued her dreams. It was all very emotional and touching.
Not everyone will agree with the choices the characters made but that's OK. They were in a situation nobody wants to be in and you can't know what you'd do when you aren't facing it yourself. But as we surely think of ways on how we would deal with it, it would be an individual decision depending on one’s believes and many other factors. So, what I wanted to say is that some things may be frowned upon or agreed with but in the end, one can’t judge them this because nobody is perfect and everyone is different; it on-ly showed how close to real life this book was.
The story had a nice way of an ending, in a certain way, which I surprisingly liked a lot.
An added bonus to this book was that I found some great new songs and they will always remind me of Connor and Mackenzie.
I would also like to mention the cover for a second because it's so gorgeous and after I finished reading this book, I loved it even more because it had a meaning and a beautiful story to it.
This was one of those books that I didn't want to put down but at the same time didn't want to end. I constantly fought between prolonging this read and reading faster to get to the end. Now after I finished it, I just want to read it again.
I've found lots of new authors in the last couple of years and while some authors tend to stick to one similar theme, Lauren Runow manages to surprise me with each new release. I've read all of her books so far and they all hold a special place in my heart with different meanings, but this one's definitely one of my favorites.
-- I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book given by Give Me Books Promotions. --
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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