This novel, Like Never Before, by Melissa Tagg, is what I would say is equivalent to Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Greer.
It is a sweet romance where the woman is a strong woman. She also comes from a background where she is not void of mistakes. She had a failed marriage and moved to Maple Valley to make a new life for herself and that she did. He comes from a well to do family with roots in Maple Valley and lost his wife becoming a single father.
He takes a break from speech writing on the campaign life out in Los Angeles to come back home after he found out that he was left a newspaper business. It is not USA Today. It is just a small town paper that has been busting at the seams to be able to keep afloat but has a lot of love in it. Amelia's.
The way that Melissa writes this story is like real life. Like it is not made up. Based off something real and represented in a way that you can see it being very real.
I love that the woman is strong. She has feelings, she has a past. But she is real. She is smart, witty, has a big heart, and loves this new town she found.
The man represents a lot of current business men-- not void of feeling or hardship in their life. He is not painted as unreal. He comes from a well to do family but struggles. He has landed an incredible career but worries about his parenthood. He is still hurting from losing his wife yet wants to appear strong as if it doesn't bother him.
Doesn't this all sound real? Something I could believe was a real life story from a small town called Maple Valley.
I like that this book has feeling, charm, wit, and if you let yourself fall into the story, you will be charmed and feel like you missed the small town you never grew up in. You may even learn something about yourself!
I also like that instead of watching the movie version that ends in an hour and half, I can read this and 'revisit' the story line over the period of reading it making it last longer. It makes it a more enjoyable experience reading this book. I found myself a lot ingesting underlying themes and ideas and even relating them to my life- which was odd, because I was not intending that.
I really enjoy the build up, the way she writes, and the story. I think she should make this into a movie- it would be a sweet romantic movie.
This gets a 5 stars from me!
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review*