Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

March 21, 2016

Like Never Before {Melissa Tagg}

like never before melissa tagg
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.

My Thoughts:
The Walker family is back! I fell in love with the Walker family in the previous two books in this series and was so excited to get back to Maple Valley and see how everyone was doing. This book focuses on Logan – big-time single dad living in California.

This book opens with Maple Valley’s newspaper editor trying to lure Logan back to Maple Valley. It only took about two paragraphs for me to know I liked Amelia. She seems like a determined woman ready to fight for the thing she wants – her newspaper. Her heart belongs to Maple Valley and the people in the town, and she knows keeping the newspaper in town is what is best for everyone. She is willing to do whatever it takes to hold on to the local paper, and I liked her willingness to be completely in love with Logan without ever having met him.

And then there’s Logan. We know from previous books that Logan is a single dad to a  toddler following a car wreck that took his wife’s life. Logan holds so much guilt about the events surrounding his wife’s death, and as this story progresses, we get to see just how that guilt has affected him. Logan has a nice job, and an opportunity to move into one of the most important jobs of his career. But top priority in his life is his daughter. There is something about a daddy-daughter bond that tugs at my heart, and this relationship is no different.

Logan gets some pretty shocking news that sends him and his daughter back to Maple Valley for a temporary visit. But once they arrive in town it seems like all the powers of the world are trying to convince Logan to stay in town. His relationship with his daughter seems to change for the better, and his relationship with Amelia becomes one I couldn’t stop reading. The chemistry between the two of them is intense and makes for an amazing read.

The thing that prevails in this book is God getting His way. Logan does everything in his power to live the life he believes is best for him. Amelia does everything in her power to hold on to her newspaper and the people of Maple Valley. But God has bigger and better dreams for both of them, and watching God redirect their lives into His plan was such a wonderful story.

I can’t wait for the Walker family to return in the next book in this series. Put this one on your reading list. It can be read as a stand-alone, but the Walker family is so amazing you are going to want to read the others as well.

Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer and total Iowa girl. She’s also a multi-published novelist. Her latest book, Like Never Before, was named by Publisher’s Weekly to their spring 2016 “Religion and Spirituality” Top 10 list. Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as retreats and workshops. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever–not that she’s biased–watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at and on Facebook and Instagram.

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