This story is about (A) a news editor who has successfully immersed her broken self in small town life to find belonging, (B) a widowed single dad who just wants to do what is best for his daughter but can't seem to find his way, (C) a long-distance crush that is magically and romantically reciprocated, and (D) the Walker family whose dad you'll wish you could know in real life.
Did I mention the story is Hallmark-esque? It's a feel good, tickle your fancy, warm your heart story. A good way to welcome in summer.
Last time I reviewed one of Melissa Tagg's books I complained that there was not enough difference in how her characters talked. They all seemed to be able to quote old movies, including the football player who talked about Bing Crosby. Thankfully, only the main characters do that this time, and the guy only can do that because those were the kinds of movies his mom used to watch. The author has an amazing ability to write like we actually speak, but I still felt like there wasn't enough differentiation between how different characters spoke. Ah well.
One of my favorite parts is when the main characters are at a fancy dinner with friends and the heroine orders fish, even though she doesn't like fish, because when it came time to order, getting a hamburger suddenly didn't feel dignified enough. Mid-dinner, as she's poking her food, her guy quietly takes a handful of his fries and puts it on her plate, whispering, "You've been eyeing them for twenty minutes." To which she thinks, "God bless him."
I'm sad the story is over, but I follow the author on FB and she's already talking about her next book focusing on brother Beckett.
Because last time I rated Melissa Tagg's book based on a 5 star rating, I'll do so again. I'd give Like Never Before 4.75 stars (because I'm a teacher and I can do that).
Memorable Quotes:"Again with the questions."
"Just call me Barbara Walters."
He wrinkled his nose. "I just kissed you, [name removed]. And I'm pretty sure at some point tonight--possibly multiple points--I'd like to again. I'd rather not have the picture of you as an eighty-year-old in a pantsuit in my head when I do."
"I was so fascinated by this book."
"Not going to lie, I'm a little fascinated at how fascinated you are."
She looked up, met his eyes. "You interlibrary-loaned a book for me, [name removed]."
He shrugged. "Some guys buy flowers, some guys track down picture books."
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.