Fans of Barbara Freethy and Susan Wiggs will devour this full length contemporary romantic tale of food and dogs, redemption and second chances by RITA award winner Barbara Samuel.
As a romantic teen, Tanya Bishop married a passionate, intense man who ultimately ended up nearly killing her more than once. When she finally killed him to save herself and her son, Tonio, she was sent to prison, and her son went into the custory of her husband's cousin, Ramon Quezada, who runs a ranch for troubled boys. When Tanya is finally released, Ramon offers her a home and job, working in the kitchens of the ranch, where she can have a chance to develop a relationship again with her son-and maybe learn to love again herself. A highly emotional, uplifting story of second chances from a writer of rare power, The Last Chance Ranch is a timely and moving romantic novel.
©1995, 2011 Barbara Samuel (P)2012 Barbara Samuel
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I will start by saying this is a Category Romance written by Barbara Samuel about 20 years ago, so the fact that is sounds terribly dated isn't surprising. When I read historical fiction I expect it to not include modern conveniences, but it is difficult for me to listen to something considered "contemporary" fiction that sounds like it might as well have been set 200 years ago.
I have recently become a fan of Barbara Samuel/Barbara O'Neal's books, so thought I should at least try some of her early works when she wrote under the name Ruth Wind. And if I get past the "dated" issue and the obvious traditional format for books in this genre, the plot itself was fairly interesting.
However, the narration was so poor I barely made it through the book. Mr. Oliver had a pleasant speaking voice and would probably be fine reading a book that didn't require he speak with any type of accent or dialect or include any children characters. But his "Spanish" accent was terrible and his kids' voices were worse. His female voice wasn't great, but probably no worse than most male narrators, and it didn't bother me as much.
The problem went beyond that however. This book was edited terribly. There were at least 10 instances where words or phrases were repeated and you could tell that the editor had inserted the word or phrase without deleting the original.
I am still a Barbara Samuel/Barbara O'Neal fan. And my expectations of her earlier work weren't all that high, so this disappointment won't put me off of her work. But I cannot recommend listening to this audiobook. If you insist on reading this author's early works, read the e-book or paperback instead.
Believer in what you can't see
Yes, in fact I have listened to this audiobook three times in a row. It is a hopeful and loving story. You will love it.
No Place like Home, by Barbara Samuel. It is also another story about someone's struggle to deal with their past and present and making a new life for themselves. You will love the characters and relationships and the growing love between the characters.
At the very end of the story when Antonio finds out how his mother save his life and went to jail to protect him from his abusive husband.
I would like to take Tanya, Antonio and Ramon, they are a family and I would like to know all of them.
All of Barbara Samuel's books that I have read are an excellent read, I highly recommend them.
To be clear, I didn't make it very far into the story because for a couple of reasons. 1-The narration. 2-The story seemed to be modeled off of the style of story telling in 50 Shades of Gray. I didn't make it past chapter 2 of that book the writing was so terrible. Anyway, I really had a hard time stomaching the idea that this woman, just released from a long prison stay, was more wrapped up in her sexual feelings for the male lead, than a strong desire to make things right with her abandoned child. In one scene, her first dinner with her son after 11 years of separation, she was so distracted by her sexual thoughts about the male lead and his "male parts" that she couldn't manage using serving utensils. Really? With her son at the table? This completely ruined my suspension of disbelief and just made me disgusted with the main character for her complete lack of... character. I'm a huge fan of Barbara Samuel, I've loved each of the several books of her's I've read, until this one. I blame it on authors trying to jump on the 50 Shades bandwagon and focusing on sexual content rather than telling a good story. I'm hoping this is not the way of Barbara's future books, and that this is only because she teamed up with another author.
No. The women I share reading recommendations with are just as unimpressed with this type of over sexualized "literature". We appreciate and value an actual good story.
The narrator's accents were very overblown and distracting. His own voice was a little overdone for me too, it wasn't natural sounding, it was overly theatrical. I found that I was so busy trying to get past the narration style that I didn't get "lost" in the story.
The main character, she disgusted me.
If you didn't care for 50 Shades of Gray, then you won't care for this. As a woman and a mother, I found it offensive.
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