From the Start – Book Review

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 it just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them. – from Melissa Tagg’s website

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This delightful inspirational contemporary romance contains likable characters, humor, and heartfelt moments. Kate Walker is tired of writing romance movies and wants to write something more meaningful. Colton Greene is forced to retire from the NFL because of injury and wants to continue his career by staying in the spotlight. Kate and Colton are at a crossroads in their careers and they come together when a tornado ravages Kate’s hometown of Maple Valley and they help to restore the town. Throughout the novel, Kate and Colton struggle with knowing when to let go of a dream and how those dreams change or may be fulfilled in a different way than they thought.

Here to Stay – Book Review

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 agrees…in 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.

This is the second book in the Where Love Begins series by Melissa Tagg. However, both books can be read as stand-alones. Readers were introduced to Blake Hunziker in the first book, Made to Last, and readers fell in love with his humor and charm. This book focuses on his journey home after being away for six years after his brother’s passing.

I already fell in love with Blake in the first book and it was nice to see his story and give depth to his character but also what had driven him away. Blake is a lovable character and readers can sympathize with him as he deals with his brother’s death and his part in it.

I loved the humor in the book and how it was interspersed with the more serious matters. All the elements (humor, drama, romance, plot, characters, setting, etc.) worked well together to create an enjoyable contemporary romance novel.