Book Review: From the Start by Melissa Tagg

From the Start Confession,: this is not my first Melissa Tagg book. I was also given Made to Last a long time ago and still haven’t finished it. After reading From the Start, though, I plan to start it over and read it all the way through.

From the Start is the story of screenwriter Kate Walker. Kaye hasn’t sold a script in a long time and believes that maybe this is her opportunity to finally write something meaningful. At the same time, Colton Greene is having to accept his football career and his relationship with his almost fiancée is over. While his agent is strategizing on air commentator positions and book deals, Colton is adrift and handling his early retirement badly.

A devastating tornado in Maple Valley Iowa brings Kate home to help her father and Colton arrives to help an old friend’s family. When Colton discovers Kate is a writer, he hires her to help him write his book. Colton’s offer to write his story will give Kate the money she needs to go on a trip to Africa and write about the work her late mother’s foundation is doing for grants–the meaningful writing she’s been longing to do. It seems like a perfect solution for both of them. But it seems God has other plans for them.

I loved the story between Kate and Colton. Ms. Tagg does a wonderful job of making both Kate and Colton the kind of people you can root for and want to see succeed. The supporting characters were well rounded and added to the story for the most part. At times, there seemed to be a few too many, but Ms. Tagg was able to show what each one was necessary and tie up the loose ends for a satisfactory ending.

I fell in love with Maple Valley. The small town really came to life on the page. I could see the spirit of resilience and community that Ms. Tagg created as if it were a real place. I can’t wait to see more stories based around my favorite supporting characters.

I would recommend From the Start to anyone looking for a longer Christian romance read filled with the best aspects of small town Midwestern life–faith, family and football, who loves stories of starting over and finding what you didn’t know to look for.

4*/B+

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