Book Review: Now and Then and Always

Now and Then and Always: Maple Valley book 1

by Melissa Tagg

Contemporary Christian Romance

2020 Christy Award Winner

About the book

ast year, after traumatic circumstances forced her from her job as a nanny, Mara Bristol finally found a place to belong – the winsome Everwood Bed & 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.

My thoughts

As always, I waited forever to read this book until all the hype died down. But this book yall…. wow. Some intense characterization and romance!

My favorite meet cutes are the rescuing meet-cutes where someone has to rescue the other. Yes, most of the time it is the guy rescuing the girl. What can I say, sometimes I am a little old-fashioned. In the case of Now and Then and Always, they kind of both rescue each other at the same time, so it’s a… very interesting and intense scene and I loved it!

Yall know me, I’m a huge fan of the broken heroes. The guys who need to be pieced back together. It was a wonderful journey watching Marshall find his way back to whole again. Finding reconciliation with his ex, and grace and peace that only comes from above are the best kinds of journeys.

As always, Melissa Tagg is flawless in her writing, and her small town charm is endearing. She does a great job of both re introducing the town of Maple Valley, reviewing some of the characters from the past (she’s written a lot of Maple Valley books – and she even has a neat chronological guide on her website!!) And introducing a new cast of characters that will be part of this expanded series. Some Bright Someday which is the next, is already out.

You’ll love this story if you enjoy endearing small town charm with deep characterization and heartwarming romance!

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