If you are connected with Melissa Tagg, author of the Walker Family series, on any social media outlet or follower her blog at all, you are familiar with the “rather ridiculous crush” (her words) she developed on the cover model for her second book in the series.
So, I have to admit, this guy doesn’t do it for me but hey, I get it. I’ve made no secret of my celebrity crush. The boy-next-door smile (Matt Damon), the way his eyes crinkle when he laughs (Matt Damon), the friend and father his is off screen as well as the heroes he plays on screen.
But while the photo on the cover did nothing for me, once I read Like Never Before and “met” Logan Walker, I totally see the appeal.
A man committed to the happiness of his daughter despite a demanding career as a political speech writer. Add in the tragedy of losing his wife—three-year-old Charlie’s mother—and the relative isolation of living in California (his only interactions with clients, his co-workers, his business partner and wife, and his nannies), and those heartstrings are jerked a little more.
When Logan returns to his hometown—the quirky yet charming Maple Valley—readers get to glimpse another side (or maybe sides) of the man. The big brother. The son. The man who seems to have it all together but is breaking inside.
Yet one unexpected person somehow sees beyond the façade. Amelia Bentley is determined to save the town newspaper—the same one Logan now owns—and she’s also enraptured by everything Logan has written. With her own past filled with broken dreams and regrets, Amelia has found a home—and a family—in Maple Valley.
Injecting humor at just the right moments, Melissa Tagg had me chuckling one moment and blinking back tears in the next. While there is a lightheartedness to a few scenes in the story, the author doesn’t hesitate to tackle some tough subjects—loss of a spouse, disagreements with family, and feeling out of touch with your faith. With God.
I look forward to what Tagg has in store with the remaining Walker siblings. With stories like this one, she’s becoming an author I will watch with anticipation. She’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
And Melissa, if I’m ever in Iowa, I’ll take you up on that pizza party invitation. Because if you’ve got a smidge of the sense of humor and spiritual insight I find in your books, you’ll be a lot of fun to hang out with.
Pre-order you copy today (Available everywhere April 5, 2016)
****Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
Oh, and if you’d like to read how Melissa Tagg fictionalized her cover model crush, check out her Christmas novella, One Enchanted Christmas.