Book Review

Three Little Words & From the Start by Melissa Tagg

Ebooks have brought some interesting changes to the world of books. One of them, and I certainly can’t complain, is how much more common novellas are becoming. Many authors are now releasing mini stories that accompany a new series they are starting. Some of them tell an additional story while other are like an extended prologue. I love this trend and I think it is wonderful. Novellas are such a great way to sample an author before committing to a full length novel.

Three Little Words had quite a bit of buzz when it was released. I picked up my copy and actually started reading it right away. I quickly feel in love with Melissa Tagg’s storytelling style. The novella wasn’t enough and I had to review her newest novel, From the Start, as well.

Three Little Words

**This is a novel from my personal collection. I am not being compensated for this review**


Ava Kingsley and Seth Walker might be the most unlikely friends ever. The only thing these two polar opposites have in common is a knack for wordsmithing. Back in college, they were known for their written sparring in the campus newspaper’s popular “He Says/She Says” column.

At their ten-year college reunion, they pick up right where they left off. Except this time their squabbling leads to a surprising turn: friendship and a year-long exchange of emails. So when Ava approaches a crossroads in her athletics department career in Minnesota, Seth is quick to offer the open apartment above the restaurant he’s been remodeling in Maple Valley, Iowa.

Ava doesn’t know where her career will lead her next, but she’s starting to suspect she might see Seth as more than a pen pal. Which would be exciting…except for the fact that he only sees her as a friend.

As Maple Valley grows on her, Ava wonders if there might be something here for her even though Seth is unavailable. And maybe, just maybe, after all the words the two of them have exchanged over the years, they’ll finally be able to say the three that matter most.

Three Little Words is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Melissa Tagg’s new series about the charismatic Walker family and the endearing town of Maple Valley!

“You can’t let the thought of what other people expect be your compass.”

-Seth Walker, Three Little Words

Characters: This book certainly had the type of characters that grow on you. Seth and Ava were fantastic and wonderful to get to know. I loved their bickering and personalities. Even in some of the e-mails that we get to read they feel so vibrant. I truly adored these two.

Storyline: There was a lot to love about this simple storyline. First of all, both characters found themselves at a crossroads where their lives were not turning out how they had imagined. Secondly, it is clear that a friendship between the two of them was quite unlikely… but it somehow worked.

My Thoughts:  From the first page of this story I was drawn in. It was simple, charming and sweet and came with a wonderful “aww” moment. The novella had just enough story with loveable characters and I thoroughly enjoyed the theme about making choices of what to let go in your life. This novella is a great taste of what is to come in this series of books.

From the Start

**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

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?

“When has having a plan ever translated into things going exactly the way you expected?…I’m not saying we should go through life all half-cocked and clueless. But a little flexibility, a little wait-and-see — I’m coming to see that’s healthy.”

-Case Walker, From the Start

Characters: I love getting to know wonderful characters in books, and Colton and Kate were such fun. Both characters have a number of hurts they are trying to get over. Failed relationships, stagnant careers, physical injuries. The two of them also can help each other more than they know, and it was the interactions of them helping each other heal that made them part of a great cast in this novel.

Storyline: I loved this storyline of these two people helping each other create a new start. The pacing was just right–fast enough to be interesting, but slow enough that the story could be savored. There were also a few subplots that popped up in this novel that truly helped develop the overall story further. Plus, I think there are some hints to future stories with the Walker family that makes me anticipate more books in this series.

My Thoughts:  This is one of those novels that I enjoyed so much I was surprised when I reached the end. I just wanted the story to keep going and going. It truly was a wonderful novel and I can’t wait to catch back up with the Walker family in the next book of this series.

About the Author:
Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. 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. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at http://www.melissatagg.com.

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