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The Last Chance Cafe: A Novel Hardcover – April 30, 2002

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Hallie is distressed that her stepfather, savvy police officer Lou, has been murdered, and she doesn't believe it was a simple burglary gone wrong, as claimed by her ex-husband, Joel, the District Attorney. Hallie investigates and finds evidence of a massive drug operation involving high-ranking police officers and her ex-husband. Now in danger, she and her twin daughters leave Phoenix and her restaurant business, and head to parts unknown in Lou's ancient pickup truck. When it breaks down in Primrose Creek, Nevada, Hallie and the girls enter the Last Chance Cafe and find both refuge and Chance Qualtrough. Chance, a rancher who rescues horses, wants to help the family even though he senses that Hallie is running from something. Hallie wants to stay, but she knows that Lou's murderers want her dead. Miller dips her toe into the popular pool of romantic suspense, creating an entertaining story that will please new fans while paying homage to old ones by updating her popular historical Primrose Creek series. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


- Linda Lael Miller has more than 12 million copies of her books in print!- The Last Chance Cafe reached #32 on the New York Times extended bestseller list as a hardcover, and it was a USA Today bestseller.- Miller's most recent novel, Springwater Wedding (1/02) reached #10 on the New York Times paperback bestseller list.- The Last Chance Cafe is set in Primrose, Nevada, the town popularized by Miller in the Women of Primrose Creek series, of which there are more than one million copies in print.- Miller's next hardcover, Don't Look Now, will be published in September 2003. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671042505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671042509
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In January of 2006, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Linda Lael Miller left the Arizona horse property she's called home for the past five years and listened to the call of her heart. Packing up her work-in-progress for HQN Books; her dogs, Sadie and Bernice, and her four horses, the author of more than 70 novels bid farewell to her home in the desert and returned to the place of her birth, Spokane, Washington.
The daughter of a town marshal, Linda grew up in Northport, WA, a community of 500 on the Columbia River, 120 miles north of Spokane. Her childhood remembrances include riding horses and playing cowgirl on her grandparents' nearby farm. Her grandparents' spread was so rustic that in the early days it lacked electricity and running water.

As delightful as this childhood was, Linda longed to see the world. After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, she left to pursue her dream. Because of the success of her author career, Linda was able to live part-time in London for several years, spend time in Italy and travel to such far-off destinations as Russia, Hong Kong and Israel. Now, Linda says, the wanderlust is (mostly) out of her blood, and she's come full circle, back to the people and the places she knows and loves.

Before Linda begins her writing day, she takes her first cup of coffee while enjoying the scenic view of the wooded draw behind her new home. The first morning there, a snowfall blanketed the pine trees, something she had missed in the desert outside Scottsdale. Still enamored with the people she came to love in Arizona, she says she will still set books in that starkly beautiful area, and, of course, in other stories the action will take place in Washington.

Devoted to helping others pursue their dreams, the author will launch her sixth round of Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women in May of this year. A talented speaker, she donates all her speaking honoraria to her scholarship fund. The stipends are awarded to women who seek to better their lot in life through education.

It's no wonder the protagonists in Miller's novels are women her readers admire for their honor, courage, trustworthiness, valor and determination to succeed, despite overwhelming odds. 'These qualities make them excellent role models for young women,' Miller explains. 'The male leads possess equally noble traits that today's woman would be delighted to find in her life's mate.'

The author traces the birth of her writing career to the day when a Northport teacher told her that the stories she was writing were good, that she just might have a future in writing. Later, when she decided to write novels, she endured her share of rejection before she made her first sale.

Although Linda has written successfully in other genres, she is best known for stories set in the West'stories like McKETTRICK'S CHOICE (HQN Books March 2006 paperback); THE MAN FROM STONE CREEK (HQN, June 2006 hardcover) and that very first novel, FLETCHER'S WOMAN, which is being reissued in 2006. Her stories, set in yesterday's world, and today's, are historical romances, romantic thrillers, and other contemporary tales. They consistently score on prestigious national bestseller lists.

Linda has come a long way since leaving her sheltered life in Northport at age 18 to experience the world. 'Growing up in that time and place, in a family grounded in Western values, served me well,' she allows. 'And I'm happy to be back home.'

Customer Reviews

The owner of the cafe offers Hallie a job of waitressing.
Loved the book, had me hooked from the start and couldn't put it down, that i read it in one day.
Julia Peterson
This book had a very interesting story and was written very well.
Sheryl Lane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By C. Penn on April 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Stunned by the death of her beloved stepfather Lou, Hallie St. George desperately grieves her loss. Lou had been shot in the chest five times. While investigators dismiss his death as a burglary, Hallie has her own suspicions, confirmed when a friend passes her a key that unlocks the truth regarding corruption and drug dealing. When her ex-husband discovers her with the incriminating evidence, Hallie immediately flees with her young twins in a battered pickup truck, leaving behind bank accounts, her business, and her home.
Living out of a plastic suitcase and cheap clothes does not frighten Hallie. But her inability to care for her children and keep them safe does. While Hallie is long accustomed to independence, the danger threatening her and her children leaves her profoundly alone and vulnerable. When her truck breaks down in a snowstorm, however, misfortune leads her to a community where she will find love and acceptance, and a handsome man by the name of Chance Qualtrough.
Chance immediately suspects that Hallie is on the run. When she refuses charity, Chance suggests a place she can housesit and the waitress of The Last Chance Café offers her a job. Waitressing is a long way from being the chef of her own restaurant, but Hallie gratefully accepts. Soon her heart longs to put down roots in Primrose Creek, but with a vindictive ex-husband determined to find her, Hallie cannot trust her newfound friends with the truth, because the truth could get them all killed.
THE LAST CHANCE CAFÉ becomes a place of redemption and new beginnings with Linda Lael Miller's powerful pen. The vivid characterizations fill the novel with warmth, wit, and sensitivity. Hallie's need for community and connectedness makes her both believable and endearing.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I really would give this 4 1/2 stars. The story of Hallie and Chance is wonderful. The passion between the two of them smolders and explodes!! And who says a cowboy has to be the aloof type? Chance is caring, giving, generous, and selfless. Not to mention the dream lover. I now know the answer to the question "Where have all the cowboys gone?". They are in Primrose Creek, and Chance is the standard by which they should be judged!!
The modern people of Primrose Creek still possess that timeless quality that helped to build the fictional town during the pioneer days from Women of Primrose Creek. They embrace Hallie and her two precocious twins Kiley and Kiera, even though Hallie possesses a dangerous secret that could bring turmoil and heartache to the close knit community.
The story of Chance and Hallie has romance, adventure, humor, intrigue, and mystery. This is a good book to curl up with on a rainy day and get lost in the mystique of The Last Chance Cafe.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Galligar Chance on August 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Finding a safe haven for herself and her twin daughters is utmost in the mind of Hallie O'Rourke as she flees her Arizona home. Someone has murdered her beloved stepfather, and the evidence contained in an old strongbox reveals the prime suspect to be her ex-husband. So Hallie loads her belongings and her children in an old pickup truck and takes off for points unknown, no real destination in mind; just somewhere safe and remote. When mechanical problems and a raging blizzard force Hallie to stop outside the tiny Nevada town of Primrose Creek, it almost seems as if fate has brought her to this refuge of safety. Maybe this would be the place where she and her small family could start life over again?
When rancher Chance Qualtrough encounters Hallie and her girls at the Last Chance Café, his first instinct is to protect the frightened and homeless young woman and her family from whatever danger is pursuing them. As he discovers the true story behind Hallie's flight from danger, he vows to keep them safe, whatever the consequences.
Trouble in the form of Hallie's deranged ex-husband catches up with them in the sleepy little town, and Chance pulls out all the stops in order to protect the woman and children he has come to love, even if it means sacrificing his own life.
In her latest novel, "The Last Chance Café," author Linda Lael Miller combines an absorbing mystery along with a mature romantic storyline to achieve a fascinating book that will keep readers captivated to the very end. Fans of her romance novels will enjoy the return to Primrose Creek, the fictional town made popular in her series "The Women of Primrose Creek." This time around, it is the descendants of the pioneering families that are featured in the story.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was surprised to read all the good reviews for this book. I was not impressed though I read the entire book. From what I could gather, Hallie wasn't in town long enough to form any great relationships with anybody. It was a bit on the cheesy side. And everything worked out just a little too smoothly all the time. From the moment she walked into the cafe she had a job, a beautiful home to stay in, a decent vehicle to drive and money. Course, she had the perfect kids and everything went along perfectly and the neighbors were instantly all her friends. I didn't feel any real chemistry between the two main characters and I thought the plot had a lot of holes. The big climax with her ex-husband was boring and I thought it was ridiculous when she left. I am a Miller fan, but this just didn't do it for me.
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