When Melissa Tagg’s novella, Three Little Words, was made available to readers on March 3, I devoured it in one sitting. The introduction to the Walker family as well as the charming town of Maple Valley, Iowa had me desiring more. Fortunately for me, I had the first book in the Walker Family series (Yay, there will be more!) already in my hands for review. And, I have fallen even more in love with both Maple Valley and this little family that lives there.
Colton Greene’s football career has come to an abrupt end because of his own temper and carelessness. Now, he finds himself adrift and struggling with his unknown future. Wasn’t it enough that his past was full of tragedy? When his college buddy, Logan Walker, invites him to visit his childhood home, Logan agrees.
At the same time, Kate Walker rushes home after learning of the tornado that hit Maple Valley did the most damage to her father’s beloved train depot—and her father himself. She has nothing tying her down—no scripts to write, no great book ideas—but with the dream of honoring her mother’s memory is within her grasp. She has been given the opportunity to travel to Africa and write a grant for the foundation her mother started before she passed away. What Kate is not expecting is Colton Greene. In need of money to finance her trip, she agrees to write his memoirs with him. The only problem is that he won’t open up to her.
The moment Kate and Colton meet is funny and endearing. Tagg’s scene would be a perfect addition to any rom-com on the big screen, and it’s not the end of the awkward moments between these two. It does, however, mark the beginning of a friendship that brings Kate and Colton close. The two of them seem to sense the emotion in the other even during the times they strive to hide those feelings from the others. But Kate’s frustration grows as Colton will only talk to her about football—not exactly the most riveting subject for a best seller—and their one month time frame is dwindling. In the town where Colton initially felt like an outsider, he begins to view Maple Valley—and Kate—as home. But can he snatch up his dream at the risk of causing Kate to lose all of hers?
As she brings the reader into the setting of Maple Valley, Melissa Tagg succeeds in painting a vivid pictures of small town life right down to its quirky characters and everyone knowing your business. From the Walker family to the young girl who supplies the caffeine to the Scottish owner of the Chinese restaurant, each person is memorable and loveable despite their personal issues. Each person makes the reader feel more a part of Maple Valley. When disaster strikes, the town pulls together to survive and recover.
You are cheering for Kate to experience her own happily ever after instead of just writing them in her movie scripts. You want Colton to find his purpose in life and to figure out what happened in his past. You will not be disappointed with this book. And even better, while From the Start is not available until the first of April (but preorder it now so you don’t forget), you can peek in on the residents of Maple Valley with Seth Walker (Kate’s cousin) and Ava Kingsley’s story in Three Little Words in almost any digital format. Visit Melissa Tagg’s website for more information.
***Bethany House provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.