Author: Melissa Tagg
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Author Launch Team (Publisher)
Publication Date: 2016
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Series: Walker Family, book 2
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Inspirational
Rating: 5 out of 5
…LIKE NEVER BEFORE is another fresh and inspiring story; it’s traditional without conforming, full of fantastic and snappy dialogue, and genuine in its pursuit of heart-tugging and pure love.
If you’re a fan of contemporary romantic-comedies, there is no story better to become blissfully lost in than one with Melissa Tagg’s name proudly streaming across its cover (especially when its as darling as Like Never Before). If you’re a fan of inspirational stories (with romance) then picking up this novel is a must. If you’re a fan of small town charm then, yep, you guessed it, read a Tagg novel. All of this and more holds up the specs that are unique to “Tagg branding” in Melissa’s latest novel, Like Never Before.
Returning home to Maple Valley is the last thing Logan Walker wants. He’s torn up over a past that took his wife and the mother of his young daughter from him. Charlotte isn’t without her scars either; though fine physically, the nearly 4-year-old hasn’t spoken a word. Despite local reporter Amelia Bentley trying to lure Logan back home to help her save the small town paper she loves, Logan is resolute in staying in LA where he’s a partner in a business that involves speechwriting for political campaigns and he’s only now on the verge of his biggest career break yet. That is until he receives surprising news that sends him back to Maple Valley… and the promise of a happy future.
Each of Melissa’s romcom stories is pure gold. Just as cover art would suggest (can we take a moment to appreciate Amelia rocking the top knot!?), this is perhaps, Melissa’s best effort yet. As this narrative opens, there is a playful exchange of emails (between Logan and Amelia, who you might remember we met briefly in From the Start) that sets the tone of the novel to perfection. Logan is the one character whose awesomeness was famously self-proclaimed by the author leading those of us who were fans to be all the more curious to meet him in his own story. Naturally as a fan of this family on the whole, I can heartily agree that Logan is worth the wait and then some. His character (speaking of the way he comports himself) speaks to the kind of leading man he is, which is nothing sort of heroic for the setting and time his story unfolds in. Contrasting him is Amelia who’s a kind of tonic for Logan despite her own scars she keeps so carefully hidden away.
From their first (re)meet cute to a janitor closet kiss (yes, this is a thing – and yes, it’s magical) and nights spend together (in the cutest possible way) to the sparring classic film trivia, Like Never Before is another fresh and inspiring story; it’s traditional without conforming, full of fantastic and snappy dialogue, and genuine in its pursuit of heart-tugging and pure love. It’s the kind of read that feels like “coming home” or finding that favorite comfy sweater you simply must slip on when you experience the first crisp fall afternoon. This was a book its author struggled in telling, but as each writer has seasons in their work, she pressed on and with this result, she can be proud. Like Never Before is a sparkling masterpiece. As the cozy picture of a cover can attest, this is contemporary romance at its best; read it, enjoy it, swoon over it and discover why in closing the final page of this story, instead of asking myself what I did like, my reaction to this story is, what’s not to like? ❤
Note: If you’d like to try a novel by Melissa or return to the beginning of the Walker family origins, snag the free e-novella, Three Little Words.
Synopsis: Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the small-town paper is in danger of closing. Her one hope: A lead on an intriguing story that just might impress the new publisher…if only she knew who he was.
After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker now has the chance of a lifetime–a spot on a presidential campaign. But his plans are interrupted when he finds out he’s inherited his hometown newspaper. He travels home intent on selling the paper and spending some much-needed time with his young daughter before making the leap into national politics.
But instead of a quick sale and peaceful break from his hectic career, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She’s scrappy, but wounded. He’s dependable, but lost. They may butt heads more than expected, but a series of leads on Maple Valley’s quirky unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts. – Goodreads
Sincere thanks to Melissa and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.