Friday, May 1, 2015

"from the start" by melissa tagg

The instant I finished reading Melissa Tagg's adorable (and free!) novella Three Little Words, I wanted to tear into From the Start. Because I've developed a smidgen of self control over the years, I forced myself to wait until the next day—11 p.m. is not the time to begin a novel when you have to work the next day! It's a good thing I waited, as once I dove in, I didn't want to stop.

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?

From the Start is too cute! (I said virtually the same thing about Three Little Words ... I'm sensing a theme here!) I loved watching Kate and Colton slowly fall in love—from the "meet cute" (which is a hilarious scene) to the romantic end, I couldn't fly through the pages quickly enough.

But the book isn't just cute and romantic. Kate and Colton are realistic characters with realistic problems. Their lives are messy—especially Colton's as the novel begins—and they both grow throughout the novel as they try to figure out their purpose.

Also, the town of Maple Valley is quite endearing. I live in a small town, and while mine is nothing like Maple Valley, I wish it was! I look forward to returning to the town and to the Walker family again and again.

This series reminds me of Susan May Warren's Christiansen Family series—small town, interesting family, great romance—and in my book, that's a great thing! 5 stars.

Read an excerpt.
Buy the book.
Buy Three Little Words, a prequel novella. (It's free!)
Read my review of Three Little Words.

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former newspaper reporter, current nonprofit grant writer, and total Iowa girl. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Sounds sweet and fun! I commend you for your self-control. You are stronger than I. :)

    1. It's great, Ally! Hope you get to read it soon! (And as for that self control, it failed me the other night...stayed up until 1 reading. I'm still paying for it three days later!)


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