Showing posts with label Melissa Tagg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melissa Tagg. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

Heidi Reads... Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


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 Review

Once again I was happy to be back in Maple Valley with the lovable Walker family, but found myself missing a connection with the main characters and their romance. The plot of the story moves along nicely and I enjoyed getting to know Amelia's tenacious personality and more members of the tight-knit community. She and Logan have a solid friendship and fun banter, but when it came to chemistry, I felt it was lacking that tension and emotion- kind of like watching an interesting movie without the musical soundtrack that really gets you feeling. I'm still looking forward to reading more in the series, especially about Walker siblings Reagan and Beckett.

(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Review: From the Start by Melissa Tagg

Heidi Reads... From the Start by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


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 enjoyed getting to know the family we were introduced to in the free prequel novella to start off the Walker Family series, Three Little Words. The strong family theme in a contemporary setting is one of my favorite trends in a series. The small town community is easy to envision and provides a great secondary cast of characters. Each member of the family plays a role in subtly influencing Colton and Kate while they are temporarily staying in Maple Valley to help in the wake of a natural disaster. The circumstances that they find themselves in and their opportunity to re-imagine their futures are the focus of the novel, and I was disappointed to find that while reading I always felt aloof from the romantic emotions of the characters- it was more observing rather than feeling along with them. The light-hearted nature of the writing might have played a part in that, it made the story fun but didn't delve deeper. Kate and Colton did friendship so well and I loved their banter, but missed the romantic tension and chemistry. Overall this was a pleasant reading experience and I look forward to reading more of the series.

(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: One Enchanted Christmas by Melissa Tagg

Heidi Reads... One Enchanted Christmas by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

*Currently on sale for 99 cents at Amazon!*


Last December, mystery author Maren Grant had the most perfect night of her life. On a glimmering winter evening, she got to watch the photo shoot for her very first book and ended up on a magical date with the cover model himself—Colin Renwycke.

Fast forward one year. This December, with a looming deadline, restless spirit and her creative spark long since gone, Maren is desperate to get unstuck. And she can’t get Colin out of her head…or his year-old open invitation to spend a couple weeks writing at his family’s farm.

Drew Renwycke never planned to come home and take over the Renwycke family farm. But he’s spent too many years watching his siblings unravel, including his brother, Colin, after one terrible family mistake. If moving to Maple Valley, Iowa, renovating an old farmhouse and switching careers is what it takes to put the Renwycke family back together, he’ll do it.

But his simple plan upends when a scrappy author lands on his doorstep. And she just might be the key to coaxing his brother home. But what if he wants her all to himself? Drew will have to choose between his Christmas wish and the enchantment of a holiday romance that just might be the happy ending they all long for.

My Review

What a fun novella for the holidays! I loved the cute, quippy narration interjected by the author (reminded me of Lorelai Gilmore); it was a creative way to move forward in scenes. I think I would only enjoy it in a novella though, and she did taper it off partway through which was good to not break up the pacing of the story during the best parts. The dynamics of Drew's family were interesting as they shifted and were impacted by transition. I enjoyed the contrast between brooding Drew and lighthearted Maren- they balanced each other out and brought out the best in each other. Highly recommend!

(I purchased a copy of this book; this is my honest review)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Blake Hunziker has played nomad for five years and landed in his fair share of trouble too. But now he's finally returning to his hometown--the Lake Michigan tourist town of Whisper Shore. Counting on a not-so-warm welcome, he's surprised at not only a positive reception but also a job offer. Determined to settle down and prove himself responsible, he agrees to the catch that comes with the job offer--coordinating the annual Christmas festival--even though he has no idea how he'll pull it off.

Autumn Kingsley, inn owner and experienced organizer of the Christmas festival, has always dreamed of traveling the world. Now she has a job opportunity in Paris and a surprise potential investor coming to town who just might take on her family's inn and finally leave her free to go. The only problem is that she has just two weeks to whip the inn into shape.

Their families have a long history of not getting along, but when Blake comes to Autumn for help with the festival, she actually exchange for his help with the repairs to her inn. They may have struck a simple deal, but complications are quick to pile on when the guy who's had enough of running away and the woman who can't wait to leave join forces.

My Review

Even though Blake is a character we are introduced to in the author's previous book, I feel like we learn so much more about him and his backstory in Here To Stay. He struggles with a tragedy in his past and it's only by returning home that he is able to reconcile himself with it and find a measure of peace. Autumn is a likeable character with her own struggles of following her dreams or staying loyal to her family and legacy. Secrets are revealed throughout the novel and it seems like these two will never be together... until finally everything falls into place :)

(Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
My rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from

Miranda Woodruff, star of the homebuilding show "From the Ground Up," will do anything to keep the job she loves. Due to a painful broken engagement and a faith she's mostly forgotten, she's let her entire identity become wrapped up in the Miranda everyone sees onscreen. So when she receives news that the network might cancel her program, she must do the very thing she fears most: let the spotlight shine on her closely guarded personal life. The only problem? She's been living a lie--letting viewers believe she's married--and now she's called upon to play wife to a sweet, if a bit goofy, pretend husband to boost ratings.

Desperate to help his family and prove he's not a total failure, reporter Matthew Knox is looking for a breakout story. When he's offered the opportunity to do an online serial feature on Miranda Woodruff, he jumps at the chance, even if celebrity reporting isn't really his thing. But as soon as he meets Miranda, he knows she's keeping secrets.

When Miranda's former fiance suddenly appears on the scene again, she doubts her life could get more complicated. Juggling three guys, an on-the-rocks television show, and the potential exposure of her deception is way more than she bargained for. Can the woman who makes things look so good onscreen admit it's time to tell the truth about who she is? And if she does, will the life Miranda's built come crashing down just as she's finally found a love to last?

My Review 

The entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking, "How on earth is she going to get herself out of this?!" It's one doozy of a pickle. The dialogue throughout the book is great, as well as the developing relationship between Miranda and Matthew. The main thing that bothered me was how lightly she treated her moral decisions- living with her past boyfriend and lying about her pretend husband. She acknowledges that they are wrong, but doesn't let that stop her from doing what she wants to get what she wants. The story is well-written, and eventually Miranda faces her regrets and makes things right.

(ARC provided via Netgalley for unbiased review)