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Book Review-Like Never Before

5 Apr

Book Summary: Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg is the third book in the Walker family series (if you count the novella.)  It chronicles the story of Logan Walker-a widowed speechwriter who lives in Los Angeles with his small daughter Charlotte.  He works longer hours than he’d like, but business is brisk, and bigger and better opportunities are beginning to come his way-including a possible dream job working on a presidential campaign.  Keeping buried in work also helps to distract him from dwelling on the tragic loss of his wife in a car accident.
Back in his hometown of Maple Valley, Iowa, Amelia Bentley is an editor for the struggling local newspaper.  The paper has never quite recovered from the devastating flood the previous year, and with the death of the owner and declining readership, it is beginning to look like selling out to the local conglomerate may be the only option for the new owner-whoever that may end up being.
In the meantime, Amelia is determined to show that the newspaper is an integral part of Maple Valley-and that so is she.  Hurting from her own painful past, she is doing her best to start over and create a new life for herself in the process.  Throwing herself into the paper and the town’s local events has helped, but she is still reeling from a failed relationship and her own devastating loss.
When a business decision draws Logan back to Maple Valley, will he be able to hold onto his big dreams, or will his past finally catch up with him?  Will Amelia be able to keep the newspaper alive, and will her past stand in her way when she finds herself drawn to the lonely widow?
My Thoughts: I really liked this book.  In fact, I think it is the best one in the series yet.  The characters are well-developed, interesting, there is a nice romance, and the story is engaging.  I also liked the underlining message of being open to God using you-even in unexpected situations.  It is not necessary to read the first two books, but does help as several of the characters discussed in previous books make appearances in this one as well.  I really enjoyed reading more about the development in the relationships between the characters, and love that the town really is its own character in this series.  Especially if you enjoy books about small midwest towns or newspapers, you will enjoy this book.  Overall, it is well-written, is an enjoyable and easy read, and will be going on my shelf!
As always, I thank Bethany House for providing me with a free copy of this book for my unbiased review.