From The Start – Melissa Tagg – Walker Family #1 – Bethany House Publishers
Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.
Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.
While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?
This is a great contemporary romance. From The Start has plenty of action, including two natural disasters and a number of small town celebrations, sweet romance, and a gorgeous and cozy small-town setting. I love books where the setting is like another character, and this is certainly one of those books.
Kate Walker is suffering from a career slump. Unsure what else to do she returns to her home town of Maple Valley to help her family after a twister rips through the area. She is surprised to meet Colton, a friend of her brother, who is also unsure about his future and struggling with his past. From their surprise (and rather funny) first meeting, you know there are going to be some serious sparks between the two of them.
Colton and Kate have a lot of hit and misses in their relationship, but the romance is perfect. I love the pacing of this book. Melissa Tagg isn’t afraid to slow the storyline down. And by that I certainly don’t mean that it’s a slow read, quite the opposite, but that the story takes place over a longer period of time. It makes the story far more realistic, and by extension, enjoyable. I particularly loved the ending. At one point I thought the story might go the way many do, with a quick and easy (and overdone) resolution, but not so. The characters take time to think things through.
I read the prequel, Three Little Words before I began From The Start, which I loved and gave a great introduction to the town of Maple Valley. However, you could easily start the series with From The Start, as it can be read as a standalone. As the first in the series, I’m looking forward to reading the following books, which will follow the other Walker siblings, as well as allowing the reader to continue to follow the story of familiar characters. This is a fantastic first book of a new series that will surely become a favourite.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Adult Fiction.
Genre: Christian Contemporary.
Themes: Romance. Dating. Family. Writing. Careers.
Author Website: Melissa Tagg.
Published: 7 April 2015 by Bethany House Publishers.
Available Formats: Paperback and eBook. 352 pages.
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Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh.