Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Melissa Tagg: From the Start

By Kelly Bridgewater

Back Cover Copy:

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?

My Review:

I have read Melissa Tagg’s entire collection of contemporary romance books. I met her for the first time at the 2013 ACFW conference when her first book, Made to Last, came out. Many writers walked around, wearing buttons promoting her debut book, so I was intrigued. When I went home, I downloaded the book to my Kindle and read it. It was well-written.

But her newest release, From the Start, is a story that takes place in fictional town, Maple Valley. Tagg does a great job at describing the small town, from the descriptions of the downtown businesses to the bridges surrounding the community. I really felt like I was roaming through Maple Valley, drinking coffee at the Megan’s coffee shop and eating lunch at Seth’s The Red Door restaurant.

The characters of Kate Walker and Colton Greene shined in their personal love story. Being a writer myself, Kate’s personal struggle with trying to write something from the heart struck a chord with me. I empathized with Kate and really prayed she would finally find something that would help her return to her love of writing. As for the hero, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene, I really liked him. He is the type of hero every girl dreams of coming to share their lives with. Colton went out of his way to help anyone in Maple Valley, even though he didn’t have to. Colton tried to figure the way into Kate’s heart, including her love of romance movies and writing. He made me sigh a number of times with his ability to show his love for Kate.

As for the romantic tension, Tagg does a good job at allowing Kate and Colton to show their playful side and serious side with one another. I enjoy how their relationship didn’t jump right into the romance side on the first encounter. It took a while to develop, dragging me along for the joy ride.

Overall, Melissa Tagg’s From the Start reminded me a lot of an episode of Gilmore Girls with its comedic moments and gentle romance. The hero, Colton Greene, is swoon-worthy and made me wish he was a real guy. (Doesn’t help that the model for the cover is gorgeous.) Anyone who is fan of Becky Wade, Beth K. Vogt, or Susan May Warren's contemporary romance will love this enduring love story.

I received a complimentary copy from Melissa Tagg and the opinions stated are all my own.

Melissa Tagg’s Bio:

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.

From Melissa Tagg
Where to connect with Melissa:

Where to purchase From the Start:
Your favorite local bookstore

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