Ever since seeing the cover of this book, I've been excited to read it. That and the fact it's another Melissa Tagg book and a continuation of the Walker Family series. Here's a small blurb, and we'll chat on the other side!
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.
I loved the start to this book. The first few pages consist of an email exchange between Amelia and Logan that sets the tone for these characters. It's a fantastic glimpse into who they are and produced a unique way to hear their voice before we even really get to know them. Plus it made me laugh--which is one thing I love about Tagg's books. I know somewhere in them I will always, always laugh. We can all use more of that.
There was so much to enjoy in this book. From a sweet love story to a small mystery to revisiting the wonderful town of Maple Valley, Like Never Before is one of those reads you simultaneously can't put down and yet want to simply so it doesn't end. Personally, being a lover of history, I immediately latched on to this aspect of Amelia's character. I honestly thought between the two she'd be my favorite, but then Logan kept reveling layers of himself, and the more he was on page the more I liked him. Then it slipped into a perfect dynamic between the two which made them a pair I won't soon forget.
Add to it the snappy dialogue between our leads that still made room for serious conversations and honest moments, and we once again see how Tagg balances humor and depth oh-so-well. The issues facing both Amelia and Logan are real, as are their struggles to overcome them. The secondary characters are as well fleshed out as the primary ones, and the town is one you wish you could visit. Tagg is only becoming better with each book she writes. She's quickly become one of my favorite voices in contemporary romance, reminding me why I love the genre so much.
While Like Never Before is the second in the Walker Family series, it can also be read as a stand alone. Though I would recommend, simply for the joy of it, reading the first. There's a prequel novella as well! So bonus time with this wonderful family and town. I happily give Like Never Before 5 out of 5 stars and you can purchase it here.
Thank you to the publisher for supplying me a copy in exchange for my honest review.