Saturday, December 12, 2015

Book Review: From the Start

From the Jacket: 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?

My Review:  While you might be thinking "Football?  A book about football?", you'd be pleasantly surprised to find so much more packed into this sleepy little romance novel.  From the wonderful character roles, sweetness of the town, and the united front two 'broken, lost souls' put forth really brings home the mystery of falling in love unexpectedly.

The strong theme within From the Start is purpose.  Everything seems to need to have a purpose - from Colton's injuries and break up with his fiance', Lilah, and the book he wants to write about his life to his foundation.  And then there's Kate, with her disasterous, ill-fated relationship with former lover/co-writer Gil and dissatisfaction with her writing career - wanting so much to complete her mother's mission to Africa.  Having purpose for all things done seems to be the guiding force behind a lot of the story line in this one, along with what pulls Colton and Kate together.  

"I just need an open window, God." 
 Just a sliver of sunlight to remind her that He had a plan even if she didn't.  (book quote)

This book is full of events (tornado, dam breaking!) in a picturesque, quaint little town called Maple Valley.  From the description of the small, hometown feel, the friendliness of the neighbors and townsfolk, Megan and her coffeeshop, this sounds like one fabulous place!  I loved the relationship Kate had with her very good friend and her son, Breydan and pictured her playing Mario Kart much like someone would with a small boy. Tagg does a wonderful job of pitting desciptions to characters and makes them very likeable.

Overall, a surprisingly little read but this book didn't quite make a "touchdown."
 I burst through the first few chapters and then it just fizzled as I lost interest with the direction the story was going and how slow it seemed to get to the end.  
I do, however, like Tagg's writing style overall and hope to read another book by her again,
hopefully gaining favor as a author I'd favorite.

Disclaimer:  I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House,
a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review.  
Any reflection of such is my own and this review is an honest reflection of such

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