NOW AND THEN AND ALWAYS by Melissa Tagg, Reviewed by Nicole Cook and Winnie Thomas
Fans of Melissa Tagg’s have been eagerly awaiting her new release, Now and Then and Always. In the first book of her new series, Tagg takes readers back to the beloved town of Maple Valley with cameo appearances from favorite heroes of her previous books, such as Logan Walker and Drew Renwycke. The author creates a compelling inspirational novel filled with her trademark romance and brings the readers to tears as they discover the pain and heartbreak that hero Marshall Hawkins has faced in his life.
Readers are introduced to Mara Bristol, who has found her way to Maple Valley seeking refuge from her past, when she meets the Everwood Bed and Breakfast owner Lenora. With Lenora’s unexpected departure from the Everwood months later, Mara is forced to take charge and find a way to save the bed and breakfast from foreclosure. Detective Marshall Hawkins, currently on leave from his job and dealing with his own grief, also finds himself drawn to the Everwood and begins to help Mara with renovations to the property. The Everwood helps Mara and Marshall find a purpose in their lives and hope for their own futures. Questions regarding Lenora’s disappearance and secrets from the past place them all in danger as they work to solve a decades old mystery.
Melissa Tagg takes the readers on an inspirational journey through Mara, Marshall, and Lenora’s pain and struggles and their realization that God is always with them even during their worst times. Friendship, community, and romance all play an important role in this book. Anyone who has ever lived in a small town understands the dynamics of how everyone knows everyone and how the community comes together to help those who are in need. Maple Valley is the perfect small town that readers will fall in love with and wish they could live there. Now and Then and Always is highly recommended for fans of contemporary romance and for readers who enjoy novels by authors such as Denise Hunter, Becky Wade, and Susan May Warren.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Oh, how I loved traveling back to Maple Valley for a new Melissa Tagg novel! The beautiful cover set the stage, and the story pulled me right in and kept me turning pages. Maple Valley is a homey, small-town community populated with endearing and lovable characters that come alive on the page. The beautifully crafted main characters, Mara and Marshall, are both broken and hurting when they are thrown together at the Everwood Bed and Breakfast. As they work together to restore the Everwood and solve the mystery of the missing owner, they find purpose in their lives and a healing only God can provide. I loved the witty banter and the developing relationship between them. The stellar supporting cast, including cameo appearances from Tagg’s previous books, added a wonderful dimension to the story.
Exquisitely crafted and packed with emotion, this book is a delicious combination of intrigue, romance, and inspiration sure to delight those who enjoy clean and wholesome stories. Uplifting messages of healing, hope, and the power of love add depth and a satisfying faith element. I’m already looking forward to a return visit to Maple Valley in the future.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Back Cover Blurb:
“It was just a house. Just a craggy old house in a hidden grove, shuttered and still . . . ”
Last year, after traumatic circumstances forced her from her job as a nanny, Mara Bristol finally found a place to belong—the winsome Everwood Bed and Breakfast at the edge of Maple Valley, Iowa. For months, she’s helped its owner, Lenora, maintain the ramshackle property despite their shortage of guests. But when Lenora fails to return from a month-long trip and the bank threatens foreclosure, Mara worries she’s once again alone . . . abandoned . . . about to lose the only true home she’s ever known.
Detective Marshall Hawkins is no closer to whole today than he was two years ago . . . the day his daughter died. Between his divorce, debilitating migraines, and a dependence on medication, his life is falling apart. And when a reckless decision on the job propels him into administrative leave, he has no other plan but to get in his truck and drive. A one-night stay at the Everwood was supposed to be just that. But there’s something about the old house—or maybe its intriguing caretaker—that pulls him in.
Together, Mara and Marshall set out to save the Everwood. But its secrets run deeper than they could’ve imagined. As they renovate the house and search for its missing owner, they’ll each confront the pain that brought them to the Everwood in the first place . . . and just maybe discover a faith and love to help them carry on.
Available in digital ebook (more to come soon!)
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Today's BONUS: This lovely face!
Melissa Tagg is the award-winning author of the popular Walker Family series, the Where Love Begins series and the Enchanted Christmas Collection. She’s a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. Her recent releases include a Carol Award winner (One Enchanted Noel), an RT Book Reviews TOP PICK (All This Time) and a Publishers Weekly Spring Top Ten Pick (Like Never Before). Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women’s retreats. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com