Friday, March 27, 2015

Melissa Tagg's "From the Start" - more than just football

From the Start (Walker Family, #1)In her first full-length romance of the Walker family, Melissa Tagg takes two hurting, disillusioned individuals and gives them a chance at a new start. Kate Walker is a writer, but her TV romance scripts have lost their spark, and she wants to write something worthwhile. Colton Greene was forcibly retired from professional football with a career-ending injury, and he is lost, without a career, a love life, or a dream. When his friend Logan Walker invites him to spend a few days with his family in Iowa, he comes along, not expecting to encounter Logan's sister - a woman with the skills to write his sports biography. As Kate and Colton work together on the book, old wounds come to light. Could God have put them together for more than just a sports biography?

Sports are not my thing. At all. It didn't really occur to me until after I started reading this book that a story about a retired football player might actually involve (you guessed it) football. While I will likely never be in love with the sport, Tagg certainly makes it palatable in her contemporary romance. And though I am no clearer than before on the intimate workings of the game, I have more appreciation  for what the players go through upon retirement. Especially forced retirement, with injuries that will never completely heal and life's dreams shattered in one instant. The feeling of being lost, without a place anymore. She turns a football player into a real person.

I love the family that the author has set up: a tight-knit, godly family, yet each of the four children has wounds - something holding them back. They certainly act like family: knowing exactly which buttons to push to get the biggest rise out of someone, being completely real with each other (be it lovingly or biting heads off), and protecting and looking out for each other. I definitely want to see where Reagan, Beckett, and Logan end up and to learn more of their backstory.

I completely understood Kate's dilemma, as I went through it myself upon graduating college: God seems to be opening a door to a dream, and then suddenly He's opening a different door that goes in a completely different direction. Which do you go through? Which is His will? It's a nerve wracking position to be in.

Tagg's novel is a satisfying, well-written romance, injected with moments of humor, as well as tenderness, pain, and self-realization.

Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing an e-copy to review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.

Walker Family
0.5. "Three Little Words"
1. From the Start
2. Like Never Before 
3. Keep Holding On
3.5: "A Maple Valley Romance" (published in Right Where We Belong collection of small-town novellas)
4. All This Time

Related Series:
Enchanted Christmas Collection (now available in print as Enchanted: A Christmas Collection)
1. One Enchanted Christmas
2. One Enchanted Eve
3. One Enchanted Noel

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