Author: Melissa Tagg
Review by Grace Olson
Taken from Bethany House’s website description of From the Start:
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?
You ever read a book and feel like you’re reading about yourself? That’s how I felt as I read From the Start. This is by far my favorite book that I’ve read so far by Melissa Tagg. As a writer, specifically a romance writer, Kate really resonated with me, her fears, her hopes, her dreams. There were so many times when I connected with her so well and I truly felt as if I were learning along with her. I have at least 8 different quotes from this book that I absolutely love or relate to, but my favorite is a conversation between Kate and Hailey.
“It’s called taking a risk, Kate. Think about the characters in your movies. When they finally realize how they really feel—usually at the end—they act on it. The hero goes after the girl, or vice versa. Stop letting your characters be braver than you are. Be the girl who takes a risk…It’s okay to admit what you want. When you do, you might finally get brave enough to go after it.”
It’s such a great, meaningful quote, especially after reading how Melissa related to that quote.
Then there’s Colton, who’s just all-around great. Sure, he’s got his rough spots, but he’s a true hero. What truly struck me was how he supported Kate’s dream of writing and was okay with her writing romances, encouraged it in fact.
Of course, there’s the overall writing throughout the entire book. Melissa is a master at creating hilarious scenes and dialogue (how Colton and Kate meet is hilarious!) as well as a touching romance. I applaud Melissa on a book well-written. From the Start touched my heart in so many different ways, and has made it to my forever shelf.
Please, please, please, pick up From the Start. I guarantee you won’t regret it. Whether you’re a writer or not, you’ll love it. However, here’s a disclaimer: *once you enter the charming atmosphere of Maple Valley, you won’t want to leave it*. I put off reading the last few pages of this book for a while, because I couldn’t bear to see the end, and yet, at the same time, I couldn’t wait for it. So go grab yourself a copy, ok?
About the Author
Biography from Bethany House’s website: 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 http://www.melissatagg.com.
I was given a review copy of From the Start from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.
~If you’d like to start reading something from Melissa right now, and for FREE, then be sure to get the e-novella prequel to From the Start, Three Little Words.