Like Never Before

Like Never Before

by Melissa Tagg

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Overview

Sure to Be a New Favorite, Tagg's Latest Checks All the Right Boxes for Romance Fans

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley's haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered, but her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the paper is bought out by a chain that plans to incorporate it into a regional paper.

After his biggest campaign success yet, speechwriter Logan Walker is approached to work on a presidential campaign. But he already lost his wife three years ago, and saying yes to the job means he'll see his young daughter even less. When Logan hears of a special election campaign in his hometown, helping out sounds like the perfect way to occupy himself while deciding what to do.

When Amelia hears Logan is back in town, she begs him to lend his previous experience in the newspaper world to help turn her paper's numbers around in time. They may butt heads more than they expected, but a lead on a story that could help save the paper is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764213083
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 829,913
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last, Here to Stay, and From the Start, 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 www.melissatagg.com.

Read an Excerpt

Like Never Before


By Melissa Tagg

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2016 Melissa Tagg
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1308-3


CHAPTER 1

To: Logan Walker
From: Amelia Bentley
Subject: Hello?

Hi, Logan,

Yep, it's me again. Amelia Bentley. I know, you'd think after three unanswered emails I'd give up. But reporters — even small-town Iowa ones — have spunk. Except, hmm, maybe you're some Lou Grant–type and you hate spunk.

In that case, I've got persistence, determination, and, Þne, a fair bit of stubbornness.

Which is why I'm writing you this third email to see if you have any interest in coming back to work for the News. Since Freddie passed away, we're short a reporter. I know you live in LA now, so this is probably crazy talk. But you told me yourself you miss the newspaper world. So I can't help asking ...

Amelia Bentley

Editor, Maple Valley News

p.s. It just occurred to me that maybe the reason you haven't replied is you don't remember me. I was the reporter at your sister's boyfriend's nonproÞt's grand opening last month.

(World record for most possessive nouns used in one sentence?) We talked for a few minutes. You complimented my Nikon.


* * *

To: Amelia Bentley
From: Logan Walker
Subject: RE: Hello?

Amelia —

I do remember you. And your Nikon. Sorry that I haven't responded until now. My inbox is like something out of a horror movie.

And I remember telling you I miss reporting. I have to be honest: That might have been mostly small talk. Yeah, I miss it now and then. But I don't have a ton of desire to go back to writing about school board meetings and really tall asparagus. :)

— L


* * *

To: Logan Walker
From: Amelia Bentley

If that's a crack at how often small-town newspapers run photos of oversized produce ... well, then, okay. (This is Iowa, after all.)

So would you consider coming back if I promised to cover ALL the school board meetings?

Just kidding. I knew it was a long shot. But aren't the best reporters the ones who chase long shots?

— Amelia

p.s. Is signing off with just an initial an LA thing?


* * *

To: Amelia Bentley
From: Logan Walker

There are long shots and then there are looooong shots. But hey, it's almost graduation time. Check with the area colleges. I bet you can Þnd a journalism major in need of a job.

— Logan James Walker (There. More than an initial this time.

Happy?)


* * *

To: Logan Walker
From: Amelia Bentley

I don't want a journalism major. I want you.

And yes, I realize how that sounds. Don't get smug or anything! I'm just saying, your award plaques still line the ofÞce walls. When you worked here, subscriptions topped 5,000. Freddie talked about you constantly. If you change your mind ...

— Amelia Anne Bentley


* * *

To: Amelia Bentley
From: Logan Walker

The only thing I'm smug about is the fact that I finally figured out the Lou Grant reference in your earlier email. Mary Tyler Moore Show, right?

By the way, I should've said earlier: Sorry about Freddie. He was a good guy, great editor. I wish I could've made it home for his funeral. When I heard he died, I kept kicking myself for not keeping in better touch since moving out here.

— Logan


* * *

To: Logan Walker
From: Amelia Bentley

He knew you were busy. And he always talked about how proud of you he was.

Truthfully, Freddie was ready to be done with the newspaper biz long ago, too. The flood last year did a number on him (not to mention our equipment). He was in the process of selling the paper and retiring before he passed. He only passed on the editor mantle to me a month ago. It's all up in the air now — we don't even know who our current owner is.

That's not meant to be a guilt trip, by the way. Just letting you know why I'm grasping at straws and trying to talk an Iowa boy home.

— Amelia


* * *

To: Amelia Bentley
From: Logan Walker

I get it. And I do appreciate you asking me to come back. Believe it or not, I did actually consider it for a few nostalgic seconds. Most of my Þve years at the News were good ones. But my life and work are here now.

Besides, I'm not a reporter anymore.


* * *

To: Logan Walker
From: Amelia Bentley

Aw, come on. Newspapering gets in a person's blood. You don't just stop being a reporter.

— Amelia


* * *

To: Amelia Bentley
From: Logan Walker

Whatever you say, Hildy.


* * *

To: Logan Walker
From: Amelia Bentley

Hildy?


* * *

To: Amelia Bentley
From: Logan Walker

You're a reporter. Figure it out. :)


* * *

On days like this — when sunlit snowflakes fell like tiny, glistening jewels and a crisp quiet brushed through the cold — Amelia Bentley could almost believe she'd never led another life.

Never stood in front of an altar one morning to begin what a hastily scrawled signature, smudged by tears, would eventually end. Never carved open a chamber of her heart, only to later lock it tight, hiding away the goodbye she'd never asked to say.

Amelia pulled open the front door of the Maple Valley News office, bells chiming overhead as she stepped into a cocoon of warmth and familiarity.

Today there were no brick-heavy yesterdays. Only the inky scent of newsprint and the embrace of this wintry town — her town. Well, and the yipping voice at the back of her mind reminding her she was —

"You're late." The News's receptionist peered over thin bifocals, silver-tinted hair coifed with enough bobby pins to pick every lock in the county.

Amelia loosened the turquoise scarf at her neck, camera bag slinking down her arm. "I know. Just need fresh batteries for my flash. But Mae ..." The rubber soles of her fur-lined boots squealed against the laminate floor as she slid to the reception desk. Her voice lowered to an awed whisper. "It's snowing."

"You think I don't know that? You're tracking it all over my space."

Amelia glanced down at the puddle forming around her feet.

"Sorry. It's pretty, though, don't you think?"

"If it were December, sure. But it's the middle of March. No way you'll hear me calling snow pretty in March."

"You just said snow the way most people say oral surgery. Or taxes. Or beets."

Mae only harrumphed and turned back to her computer. Amelia nudged the camera bag back up over her shoulder, stomped the last of the snow from her boots, and hurried through the room that contained the ad department — if two women and a part-time intern counted as a department. She waved at Kat, Mikaela, and Abby as she passed. Pin-ups of ads for this week's issue dangled from the cloth-covered cubicle wall separating their desks, and sunshine spilled in through generous windows.

She pushed through the newsroom door.

Just inside, Owen swiveled in his chair. "You're —"

"Save it. Already got the third degree from Eeyore at the front desk." Amelia dropped her bag onto the sprawling island counter that gulped up most of the newsroom's space. Back issues of the News and other area papers covered the high tabletop.

"The fire chief's already called twice."

"I'm not even five minutes late. You told him to keep his pants on, right?" She bypassed her own cluttered desk and bee-lined for the row of pale blue cupboards lining the back wall. She hoped that at some point she'd remembered to pick up a pack of spare batteries.

Owen stood, straightening the gray vest that matched his slacks, lavender shirt underneath. He was the only sports reporter she'd ever met who dressed like he belonged at InStyle magazine rather than a small-town weekly with a circ of barely 3,500. He perched on the corner of his desk, arms folded. "No, I did not tell him to keep his pants on. I didn't think that the best choice of words, considering your little incident last year."

Amelia opened a cupboard, hiding her almost-smile. "How was I supposed to know they'd just gotten back from a drill? How was I supposed to know that door in the station led into the room where they change?"

Nineteen volunteer firefighters in various states of undress. Some things you couldn't un-see.

Nor could she, apparently, live down.

"Twelve months I've endured the taunting of the entire Maple Valley Fire Department." But ooh, score, a foursome of double-As loose in the cupboard. "What are the chances they'll drop it one of these days?"

"Not gonna happen. They love teasing you. Same with the police. The EMTs. Every farmer at the co-op." Owen moved away from his desk, unzipped her camera bag, and pulled out the flash.

Behind him, the mockups of this week's paper still hung from two long, metal strips on the opposite wall, held in place by magnets. Twenty-four pages, final edits visible in red ink. Four spreads less than the issues they'd put out even just two months back.

But short a reporter and with both circulation and advertising down, Amelia was doing good to churn out a paper at all.

Her gaze slid to the dark closet of an office in the corner. How many mornings did she waltz in to work, still half expecting to see Freddie settled in his raggedy chair, slurping on a vanilla shake for breakfast? The window in his office looked out on the riverfront, where late afternoon brushed shades of tangerine and pink through the sky's wispy clouds, and the Blaine River, ice-frosted and calm, cut through the center of town.

"Admit it," Owen's voice cut in. "You may not be a native, but you're the whole town's kid sister."

"If thirty counts as kid." But Owen had a point. She'd wandered into town a wounded heart three years ago. The people of Maple Valley had begun sweeping up her broken pieces before she'd even decided to stay. She'd spent the time since doing all she could to repay that gift. Made sense that she'd earned some friends along the way.

"You're forgetting Mae, though." She took the flash from Owen. "She's never warmed to me."

"Mae's never warmed to anyone. Except maybe her cat. By the way, Cranford called while you were out."

A groan worked its way up her throat, and she chucked the flash's dead batteries at an already-overflowing trash can. Missed. They hit the wall and clunked to the floor. "Way to bury the lede."

"You can't keep ignoring this."

"Why? It's been working okay for a few weeks now." She reloaded the flash.

"Amelia —"

"Besides, lawyers are still hashing out if the sale was even final before Freddie died. Until I know for sure Cranford Communications is the new owner of the Maple Valley News, I don't feel any obligation to take C.J. Cranford's calls. Especially since I know exactly what he'll say." She plopped the flash back in its bag. "He'll do to us what he's done to dozens of small papers — dissolve us and roll us into a larger regional pub. He owns the Central Iowa Communicator, you know." A four-color beauty of a paper with a tri-county reach. She could admit to ogling the Communicator's zingy headlines and pretty photos each week.

Didn't mean she wanted to see it swallow up the News.

Owen only shrugged and picked up the batteries rolling across the floor.

Maybe she shouldn't expect him to share her worry. He was a twenty-four-year-old transplant from Omaha with his eyes on grad school. She'd seen the applications he worked on during his lunch hour, the ones he minimized on his computer screen whenever she walked past.

He couldn't understand Amelia's ties to this town, the paper. Didn't know — couldn't know — how they'd filled up the hollowed-out spaces inside her. "Did Cranford leave a message?"

"Mae's the one who took the call, but according to her Post-It —" He walked to Amelia's desk and peeled the note from her monitor. "He's coming to town and wants to meet with you."

"When?"

"Doesn't say. But there's a number."

"He's going to have to wait until after the fire department photo." Which could end up being one of her last tasks as editor. Because if Cranford did own the News now, what were the chances she'd still have a job after he swooped in? Even if he did keep the paper open, he'd probably take one look at her empty résumé and her nonexistent college degree and wonder why Freddie ever hired her.

Owen stood close to her now, fingers still wrapped around the strap of her camera bag. "Look, it's going to be okay."

"I'm not so sure, but I appreciate the optimism." She started to turn, but Owen's hold on her camera bag halted her.

"Just return the call, okay? Meet with the man." His expression took on an abrupt intensity. "You'll impress him like you do everyone."

She blinked at his shift in demeanor but reached up to pat his cheek. "You're a good guy, Owen Berry. But I gotta run."

He released her bag, and she angled around the counter but stopped halfway to the door. "Hey, does the name Hildy mean anything to you?"

He shook his head. "No, why?"

"Just a reference that has me stumped." Two weeks and she still couldn't figure it out.

She retreated the way she'd come. Mae was helping a customer as she approached the receptionist's desk — a tall woman with the kind of burnished chestnut hair Amelia could only dream about and lipstick a jarring shade of magenta. Mae glanced at her as she passed. "Amelia —"

"I know, I'm late." She swung to face Mae, arms out. "If Chief Daniels calls, tell him to hold his horses." She fingered on one glove. "And if C.J. Cranford calls again, tell him he's got the wrong number."

"Amelia —"

"Better yet, pretend you called him and try to order a large pepperoni pizza. If he laughs and goes along with it, we'll know maybe, just maybe, he's not the corporate buzzkill I'm imagining him to be."

"Amelia!" Mae barked.

Amelia fumbled pulling her second glove from her pocket. "What?" And why was the woman at the counter looking at her like it was a hand that'd just fallen to the floor, not merely her glove?

Mae gestured to the woman. "There's someone here to see you." Her words were slow, measured. "This is C.J. Cranford."

Amelia's breathing hitched. Her glance darted from the woman to Mae and back to the woman. Oh no. No, no, no ...

The woman stepped forward, held out one palm. "You must be Amelia Bentley. I'm C.J., but you can call me Corporate Buzzkill, if you like. Now, that was a large pepperoni?"


* * *

A few neatly arranged words, clever and concise, shouldn't be enough to make or break a reputation.

Then again, if they weren't, Logan Walker wouldn't have a career.

"I can't believe we're driving forty-five minutes in stupid LA traYc just to find a napkin from dinner three nights ago." Impatience rattled in Theodore Tompkins's voice and the drumming of his fingers on the armrest of the passenger's door.

"Four nights." A blast of cool from the car's rasping air-conditioner chafed over Logan's skin. He may have lived in California for a good seven years now, but the Midwesterner in him still hadn't adjusted to eighty-degree weather in March. "Trust me, it's a piece of rhetorical brilliance written on that napkin. You and the senator will be glad we fought the freeway to get it from my apartment."

He glanced over at his friend, sandy blond hair still leftover from the man's past as a competitive surfer. These days, Tompkins was all pressed suits and glossy-hued ties.

Not that Logan was any di7erent. Sure, he'd loosened his tie into a droop, unfastened the top button of his shirt, and abandoned his suit jacket in the backseat before they'd left the firm. But just like Tompkins had deserted his surfboard and tan, Logan had traded in the life of casual jeans and tees, with a reporter's notebook in his back pocket, plenty long ago.

Logan veered his Ford four-door around an SUV and then onto an o7-ramp. Only ten minutes from his apartment building now. Maybe he should've waited until tonight to ditch the oYce and go in search of the napkin he'd used as a notepad earlier this week, but frankly, he welcomed a midday stop at home. A chance to see Charlie for more than his usual too-few minutes at the bookends of each day.

Besides, his house was on the way to tonight's legislative fundraiser.

Theo pulled out his phone. "If what you wrote on that napkin was so brilliant, why can't you remember it?"

"Because I'm a thirty-four-year-old single dad whose brain is at capacity. This morning I called the nanny Kristy instead of Krista." The phrase If looks could kill had taken on a whole new meaning. "She pretty much eviscerated me with her scowl."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg. Copyright © 2016 Melissa Tagg. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Like Never Before 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
HeidiMain More than 1 year ago
I loved the quirks of Maple Valley, how Amelia fell hard for the big and loving Walker clan, Logan's daughter Charlie . . . I just adored this book. It was a page-turner, the three-dimensional characters were bigger than life, the plot took twists I didn't expect at the end. This will not be the last Melissa Tagg novel I purchase and enjoy reading!
MountainsJJ More than 1 year ago
I love all things Melissa Tagg! And Like Never Before, book 2 in the Walker Family series is no exception. It was named to Publishers Weekly's spring 2016 "Religion and Spirituality" Top 10 list! This book has everything. Romance, powerful characters in realistic and compelling struggles, redemption, hope and intrigue.There was nothing to disappoint in this story. Tagg writes fun fiction with a deep soul. Amelia and Logan's romance was deep and sweet and heart-tugging. The characters were real and vibrant and captivating. The setting rich and touching. There is a historical element to this particular story as Tagg dives her characters into solving a mystery of a local legend in Maple Valley. It was entertaining to see how Melissa Tagg wove elements of fiction (her characters) and fact (real curious events in history) to tell a riveting tale. Also available is the third book in the series, Keep Holding On. And a FREE e-novella prequel titled Three Little Words. "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
Like Never Before is the second book in Melissa Tagg’s Walker Family series, coming after From the Start. Ever since I first read From the Start back at the beginning of the year, I’ve been a huge fan of Melissa’s, and the Walkers, so I’ve been anticipating reading this book for quite some time. When I was finally able to work it into my blog schedule, I was so, SO excited. And Like Never Before did not disappoint. I was taken in at the very beginning of this book, and once I got going, I couldn’t set it down for the life of me. I finished it in pretty much one sitting. I’m totally serious. It’s that good. Amelia Bentley is completely adorable. Even though she’s been through so much pain in her life, she is so cheery and full of life and love for everyone around her, and I couldn’t help loving her from the moment I met her. The more I got to know her story, the more compassion I felt for her, and the more I wanted her future to be brighter. And once I got my first glimpse of her with Logan, I knew there was nothing I wanted more than for the two of them to be together forever. I fell in love with Logan Walker—and his adorable daughter Charlie—from the very first moment I met them in the first novel. I was super excited to finally read his story, and I loved the two of them more and more as I made my way through this book. Logan had his own fair share of pain in his life, and my heart went out to him time and time again as I became more familiar with his struggles. Plus, I just couldn’t get enough of his adorable relationship with Charlie, so I really just couldn’t help loving them, and being excited for the day when the two of them and Amelia could finally become a family. All in all, I really, really loved this book, and I can’t wait for the next book—Keep Holding On—which finally releases next month!!! I can’t imagine not giving Like Never Before all five bookshelves, especially since it’s already got a permanent place on my all-time favorites list. I highly recommend this book, and the rest of the series, as they’re absolutely fantastic! (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Take: Like never before is the second book in the Walker family series. I have read the first book, From The Start, but you wouldn't need to read it to enjoy this book. I would recommend it though because it's so cute and you would be introduced to these characters and get to know them a little, they are so easy to love! There's something special about Melissa's unique writing style, her stories are so full of sweetness and fun, as well as page-turning, thought provoking situations that leave you thinking about them long after you close the book. There is so much to love about this story! Amelia's obsession with aviators Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart add a really fun touch, not to mention the awesome Gilmore Girls/Stars Hollow vibe and the old movie references. The only part that I didn't like is that the ending seemed unfinished, but maybe we will learn more about the ending/continuation in book 3. Overall this is another enjoyable Tagg novel and I can't wait until I can read Beckett and Kitts story in book 3!! *I received a copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my honest review.
mimosarose More than 1 year ago
The close-knit and loving Walker family is back and this time, Logan is the target of Cupid's arrow. He returns to Maple Valley to sell the small-town paper he surprisingly inherited from his friend and former employer, but he didn't know he would have to contend with the beautiful, sassy young editor who wanted to save the paper and keep the jobs of all the current employees. What is a man to do? A man who already has a job he loves clear across the country in California and an adopted daughter he is singlehandedly parenting and the opportunity to work for the next Presidential Nominee. Yes, that is the question....what is a man to do? A man who is quickly falling under the spell of Amelia and her charm. Will he keep the paper or sell it? Will he keep the girl or leave her to take on new adventures? How will all of this affect his young daughter, Charlie? I fell in love with the Walker family in book one, and the affection for these characters continued to grow as I delved into book two. Amelia, Logan, and Charlie are hard to resist and they would be the perfect family in my opinion. So what is holding the two back from taking the next big step in their relationship? They do have a great deal to overcome, but it feels like they can handle it. I love the way Melissa Tagg brings the rich array of characters to life and made me feel as if I were walking the streets of Maple Valley with them. Maple Valley, though a fictional town, seems like such a quiet, peaceful place to live. I don't blame Amelia for wanting to stay FOREVER. I typically prefer romance novels that include some mystery or suspense or historical features, but Melissa Tagg's books are a delightful exception to the rule. I rated this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to lovers of clean, romance novels. I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
EA_Hendryx More than 1 year ago
I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I hoped, but above all, I loved Like Never Before! Really guys. If you are looking for the perfect read for this summer look no further. Like Never Before, book two in Melissa's Walker Family series set in the small, quirky, and coffee loving town of Maple Valley, is just fantastic. First off, we have the adorable and persistent Amelia Bently. This girl is as spunky and quirky as they come, but that's what makes her so likeable! She was such a real character to me--her struggles and her triumphs. I enjoyed watching how she grew throughout the story because I felt personally invested in her. Then there's Logan Walker. *Sigh* Oh Logan, my fictional crush radar is zinging! Is there anything more attractive than a man who loves his daughter and is a great writer? He was also such a well fleshed out character. Amidst his strengths, his weaknesses made me want to take him by the fictional shoulders and give him encouragement. Yes, he was that real to me. Put these two together and wowza! Chemistry, romantic tension, laughter, and a whole lot of turning pages because you have to know how it's going to end. I also loved the concepts Melissa addressed in this book. I liked how she brought up the reality of dreams and what it looks like in real life to face the decisions that will either take you to, or from, those dreams. She's not afraid to tackle some hard questions in the midst of all the fun and that gives this book such a great and refreshing quality. Obviously, I enjoyed Like Never Before a lot! It's a major recommend read from me. I mean, to put it in perspective, there I was sitting on my couch on my birthday reading the last chapters of this and crying! Not because it was sad, mind you - just because it was a perfect ending to this sweet story. Do yourself a favor and add this to your TBR! Originally posted on my blog: http://eahendryx.blogspot.com/2016/07/like-never-before-by-melissa-tagg-review.html _______________ I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
LIKE NEVER BEFORE is the second book in the Walker Family series. I did read the first book, From the Start, but LIKE NEVER BEFORE stands alone. LIKE NEVER BEFORE is a quiet, calm romance. Nothing too exciting. A journalist, a political writer. A small town paper about to go under. A career about to take off. And a dual of three year olds, not related, and as different as can be that own Amelia's heart. I like the historical slant the story took about Charles Lindbergh and the real life mystery of his missing helmet that Ms. Tagg fictionalized. That was interesting. Otherwise, nothing super exciting about this book. But a nice way to spend a quiet afternoon reading when you want calm and quiet.
ILuvBooks25 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book of Melissa's book that I have read and the second in the Walker Family series. Just like the previous Walker Family book Melissa does a great job of creating well developed characters. She gives you just the right amount of history to understand the two main characters. In addition, I also enjoyed how she incorporates previous and future characters. For instance you get to read more about Kate and Colton who were in the previous book and then you get introduced more to Reagan and Bear who I believe will be a future story. In addition to creating well developed characters Melissa also does a great job setting the scene and really making you feel like you are part of the small town of Maple Valley. I liked with each book that she has written in this series that she is giving you insight to a different part of town. Like last time it was fixing up the family business, this time it was the local newspaper. I am interested to see in the next book what area of town will be focused on next time. Lastly, one of my favorite quotes form the whole book was by his father, "I think sometimes believing is a matter of deciding. Deciding who you're going to trust and what you know about who you trust. And once that decision starts sinking into your bones, the wide-open spaces of your future get more invigorating invigorating that intimidating." This quote really hits the core of the book which was Amelia learn to trust another person and opening her heart after it was hurt from her previous husband. Can't wait to read the next book in the series. I think this book was well written, had the right amount of pace when reading it that it didn't leave you bored or having a hard time finishing.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
Like Never Before is a warm embrace from the Walkers with the added sweetness of a heroine who feels like your best friend. Amelia just wants a home. Logan just wants to keep moving. Both are burdened by deep pain from the past. In Like Never Before, you will be reminded that love is worth the risk no matter what hurt you in the past. And by opening your heart, you may just find a home. This is another keeper from an author who somehow makes each novel better than the last.
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
Could this story be any more charming? I don’t think so! Once again, this author delivers a tale with plenty of heart and romance and wit. From the adorable small-town setting to the endearing cast of characters, Like Never Before was one very fun read. You don’t necessarily have to read the first book in the Walker Family series to appreciate this novel, but previous readers will enjoy seeing familiar faces in this story. I love the Walker family and the way they relate to each other. Their family dynamics remind me of Julie Lessman’s books. You can’t help but fall in love with every single last one of them. I liked Logan and Amelia from the start. They’re both ambitious individuals with a passion for their work. Yet, they end up finding their true happiness in the Lord and in loving those around them. Their story gets sweeter with every turn of the page. The hints of historical mystery added a neat twist to this contemporary novel, especially since I’m a historical fiction fan. It was fun to follow Amelia and Logan along in their research for a winning article for the newspaper. Like Never Before is one of those stories that makes readers smile and also makes them melt. It’s a tender story of new love, letting go, and trusting in God’s purpose for your life. It’s one of those books that’s easy to read and easy to love. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers and the author for my copy.
kpeck More than 1 year ago
Oh man, great read! I enjoyed getting to know these characters and the town they come from. Feels like home to me. Melissa knows how to paint a character and pull on the heart strings. Keep up the good work!
kpeck More than 1 year ago
Oh man, great read! I enjoyed getting to know these characters and the town they come from. Feels like home to me. Melissa knows how to paint a character and pull on the heart strings. Keep up the good work!
kpeck More than 1 year ago
Oh man, great read! I enjoyed getting to know these characters and the town they come from. Feels like home to me. Melissa knows how to paint a character and pull on the heart strings. Keep up the good work!
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I love Amelia and Logan. They are so much fun together. She is a wonderful journalist and Logan is a speechwriter who might get to work on a presidential campaign. This was hard to put down. You never quite knew what Amelia and Logan were going to do next. I loved this. I received this from the author for a fair and honest opinion.
readerscozycorner More than 1 year ago
Be still my heart! I love Melissa Tagg and wow! This book is crazy good. This book is such a great read. It's kind of a breathless read. You find yourself so into the story at times that you almost forget to breathe. The romance in this is amazing. Talk about swooning. No spoilers here, but the date was brilliant! I also happen to love the fact that Maple Valley reminds me of my home town. It could also be described as Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. I had so much fun reading this book. I officially LOVE Logan and am so excited to read the next book in the series about Beckett! This series is everything you want it to be and more. You won't be disappointed. Thank you to Melissa For allowing me to be on her Influencer team for the book. A positive review was not required.
MarisaD More than 1 year ago
Witty dialog, punchy plots, and quirky characters are enough to make a novel successful, but I fully believe that readers keep coming back for more of Melissa’s books because of the heart of the stories. Melissa crafts characters and storylines that speak to the heartaches, joys, loves, and dramas that we all experience. Like Never Before demonstrates her natural ability to reach people on a heart-level through seemingly ordinary circumstances (in the book) but truly beautiful life lessons (woven into the story through her unique author voice). I’ve long loved Melissa’s novels for all those reasons mentioned above, but in Like Never Before I noticed what first caught my attention last winter with her stand-alone novella: this author’s craft in strong, unique, and improved upon in each book she writes. Like Never Before stands out from Melissa’s preceding novels because of her use of wit in her dialog and prose, deep plot lines, and comedic timing. While Melissa’s novels are always funny, the wit and comedic timing in Like Never Before actually had me laughing out loud. She also deepened her story with a historical subplot that strengthened her character’s motivations and added a layer of complexity to her writing. These two elements alone tell me that Melissa is more than capable–and likely will–make a name for herself in a niche market of authors who can write complex contemporary romance novels.
styler01 More than 1 year ago
After reading From the Start and being introduced to the Walker family I could not wait for Like Never Before to be available. All the while Melissa shared and even teased a little about her writing progress and her love for one of her main characters Logan Walker only wanting to make me read it more. After reading it I have to say she did not disappoint! I absolutely loved the visit back to Maple Valley with the Walker's and the other local's that I came to love in the previous book. This time around we get a closer look into Logan Walker and Amelia Bentley's lives and what happens when their paths collide through their connections to the local newspaper. And their story just takes off from there when they take off on a wild goose chase for a story of a lifetime. I couldn't get to the end of this book quick enough to find out what happened, all the while not wanting it to end. So now I am back to where I was before trying to patiently wait for the next visit to the Walker family and hopefully another sweet return to Maple Valley and hope Melissa will give us little peaks along the way. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
LifeofLiterature More than 1 year ago
As is the case with all of Melissa Tagg’s books, I loved the characters in this novel. Amelia is cute and passionate and grapples with genuine hurts and realistic struggles that are relatable. She is easy to connect with and I found myself wishing that I could call her up and have coffee with her. Logan too is a humble, gentle man who does everything he can for his small family. The writing flows easily and moves the story along at a pleasant pace. Romance and humor intertwined with deep conversations and spiritual truths create a novel that is truly enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this book! I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Like Never Before is a must-read romance! Melissa Tagg’s trademark humor and wit shine as she brings Logan and Amelia’s story to life. From the email banter that begins the novel to the sigh worthy ending, each and every word is pure delight. Speaking of words, here’s one for you – LOGAN. Be still my heart! I love this guy who sees Amelia for who she really is. “I just think one person seeing you for who you really are is better than 150,000 people who’ve got it wrong.” Humorous and heartfelt, Like Never Before is a novel that is equal parts entertaining and encouraging! The charm of Maple Valley and its residents swept me into the story and Amelia and Logan engaged me with every turn of the page. I reveled in the unexpected historical mystery that threads its way through the novel and savored the inspirational insights that were shared. From the moment I met them, the members of the Walker family leapt straight from the pages and into my heart. “They are one of Maple Valley’s staple families- the kind everyone loved and not-so-secretly wanted to be a part of.” I adored Like Never Before and can’t wait to continue this fantastic series! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Librarycataloger More than 1 year ago
I first visited Maple Valley, Iowa in 2015 so it was a joy to return to this special town again to be able to catch up with the Walker family. This visit allowed me to meet Logan Walker, a widower with a young daughter who finds himself working with editor Amelia Bentley to save the town newspaper. He is determined to quickly return to his successful career as a political speechwriter and Amelia is equally determined to save the failing newspaper so that the employees won't lose their jobs. What starts out as reluctance turns to grudging acceptance and then to a growing attraction but past hurts and disappointments from both of their pasts threaten to be stumbling blocks in their relationship. Melissa Tagg has written a heart-warming and heart-tugging story filled with humor, romance, tenderness, references to some of my favorite movie classics and even a little mystery. But most of all, she introduces us to characters who love God, believe that He has a plan for their future and are willing to allow Him to guide them. (Melissa has openly admitted that she developed a deep crush on Logan and it is easy to understand why). 'Like Never Before' is another wonderful story in the Walker Family series and it left me wanting to return to Maple Valley as soon as possible! I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review and the opinions are my own.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
Once again I was happy to be back in Maple Valley with the lovable Walker family, but found myself missing a connection with the main characters and their romance. The plot of the story moves along nicely and I enjoyed getting to know Amelia's tenacious personality and more members of the tight-knit community. She and Logan have a solid friendship and fun banter, but when it came to chemistry, I felt it was lacking that tension and emotion- kind of like watching an interesting movie without the musical soundtrack that really gets you feeling. I'm still looking forward to reading more in the series, especially about Walker siblings Reagan and Beckett. (Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
gatorade635 More than 1 year ago
I am not even sure how to describe the awesomeness that is this book! I always anxiously await the release of each new Melissa Tagg book but my anticipation for this one was off the charts for many reasons. First of all I swear she gets better with each and every book though I don't know how it's possible considering each time I finish a book of hers I think it's the pinnacle of awesomeness. Secondly I love the town of Maple Valley, I seriously would move there in a heartbeat if only it was a real place. And the third (and final reason I'm going to mention though I could go on for awhile) was because Melissa has been incessantly (in a good way) gushing about Logan for months and months and I honestly couldn't wait to meet this guy and find out if he lived up to the hype. (And oh my goodness he did, a swoon-worthy hero if ever I saw one.) Melissa has an amazing ability to write characters who are genuine, flawed human beings but she writes them in such a beautiful way that they completely capture your heart and that was definitely the case with Logan and Amelia! Logan, as I already kinda mentioned, was amazing. He was always putting others above himself and was determined to be the best he could be in every area of his life. I absolutely adored the way he loved his adopted daughter and my heart broke for him in the moments when various people questioned his ability to love and care for her! Amelia was fantastic as well, I loved her quirkiness, the way she embraced Maple Valley, her determination to save the newspaper, and her love of history! They both had been married previously, marriages that had ended with an unexpected accident and an unwanted divorce, so there was a lot of pain that still hadn't healed and some understandable hesitancy about pursuing a relationship. But as they spent more time together God used them to help each other heal and it was adorably beautiful to watch their romance bud, blossom, and bloom! They really were a perfect match! I once again fell in love with the whole town of Maple Valley and especially the Walker family! I love how close all the siblings are and how they're willing to drop everything to help each other out! I really can't wait to get the rest of their stories! I also thoroughly enjoyed the whole Kendall Wilkins mystery and had fun learning little bits of history I'd never really heard about before! And of course I can't forget to mention the hilariously entertaining humor that Melissa is famous for! I seriously cannot count the number of times she had me smiling, chuckling, or flat out laughing out loud throughout this book! Well I guess I should stop gushing at some point so while this review in no way does this book justice I hope it at least piqued your interest and has convinced you to try this amazing author out for yourself-I promise you won't be sorry! I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
JeanneTakenaka More than 1 year ago
What do you get when you mix together a wounded lady who cares more about others’ jobs than her dreams, and a widower who like to be in control? A fun, poignant story about learning to trust God again. Melissa Tagg does a wonderful job telling the stories of Amelia Bentley and Logan Walker in Like Never Before. Amelia is determined to embed herself into the town of Maple Valley. Logan determined to take care of unexpected business there so he can get back to his booming career in campaign work. When their lives unexpectedly collide, they have opposite intentions for Maple Valley’s floundering newspaper. Yet, one story draws them together. And in the process, they both learn how to trust God again. As I read the story, I found myself caring about both Amelia and Logan. They became people I thought about as I was driving my kids around. And I couldn’t wait to see how they would get together. Maple Valley became a picturesque place in my imagination as I read about the shops and the scenery. The secondary characters in this story made me smile. The wisdom-speaker, the humorous characters, the children . . . they all made for a well-rounded story. Tagg weaves in unexpected events and fun twists to make this story both laughter-filled and wipe-your-eyes touching. I’ve read all of Tagg’s books, and I can honestly say each of her stories is better than the last. If you’re looking for a great spring read, I highly recommend this story. It will stay with you after you read the sigh-worthy, perfect ending. I’m looking forward to reading the next Walker story! **I received an advanced copy of this book with no obligation to leave a review. All opinions are my own.
GnatBehindtheLens More than 1 year ago
Like Never Before deserves a place in every rom-com adoring heart. This is a modern romance at it’s finest. Read it, love it, and treasure it close to your heart -- because that’s the only place that this book deserves to be; on the bookshelf of your heart.
kp68 More than 1 year ago
The opening pages of Like Never Before, the latest by Melissa Tagg, contain an e-mail conversation between Amelia Bently and Logan Walker. The small newspaper in Maple Valley is in need of a news reporter and Amelia thinks Logan would be a perfect fit. Logan argues that he is not interested in leaving his fast-paced life in L.A. to return to his sleepy hometown; however, before you know it, Logan actually turns up in town! Amelia is totally shocked when she learns that Logan not only owns the newspaper now, but he has decided to temporarily relocate to Maple Valley in an attempt to bring new life to the paper! Logan and Amelia soon discover that they both have demons from their past they need to deal with; however, it does not help to have a budding romance growing between them that they need to deal with! After two months in Maple Valley, the newspaper's printer suddenly crashes and Logan takes it as a sign that it is time to let go of the paper and go back to his former life! Watch and see where Logan and Amelia end up on this rocky new road God has planned for them both! http://penlessreview.blogspot.com/