Do you have a favorite author? Or maybe not even a favorite (because who can pick favorites). I think all readers have authors whose books they can’t wait to read. Melissa Tagg is one of those authors for me. I was able to read an advanced copy of Now and Then and Always, and I’m already anxiously awaiting the next.
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks to the author, I was able to read an advanced copy of the book.
Now and Then and Always by Melissa Tagg
“It was just a house. Just a craggy old house in a hidden grove, shuttered and still . . . ”
Last 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.
Now and Then and Always book review
If you have read any of Melissa Tagg’s book series, you are already familiar with Maple Valley. If you haven’t, prepare to fall in love with this quiet, quirky town and its welcoming community. Though Now and Then and Always doesn’t give you quite as much “town time” as her other books, you’re going to love this book so much that you’ll immediately want to read everything she’s written. I have read them all, and if it’s possible to pick a favorite, this one may be it.
I love that Now and Then and Always has a bit of mystery to it…like a cozy Nancy Drew but with romance and heartbreak and…okay, not much like a Nancy Drew book. When you read it, you’ll see exactly what I mean! So, the mystery sets Now and Then and Always apart from Melissa Tagg’s other series which are mainly inspirational romance with lots of humor and heart.
Now and Then and Always instantly draws you in to the story. You know straight off that these characters are going to become part of your world for the next several hours, days, weeks, months. And when you reach the end, you’ll miss them. You’ll want the next book like now! That’s how I felt and still feel. Sometimes, no matter how many books you read, there are always characters who just stick with you. I think you’ll find that Marshall Hawkins is one of those characters.
As a mother, the worst thing that could happen to me would be losing one of my kids. I lost my husband 5 1/2 years ago, and as hard as that was, time helps ease the pain. I can’t imagine ever not feeling pain if I experienced loss like Marshall’s. I’m sure I’d turn to mind numbing pain killers/sleep aids…whatever would block out the pain.
But then there’s Penny, Marshall’s ex-wife. Her character, flawed yet forgiven, is a blaring reminder of God’s love that gets us through the storm. Though this is a work of fiction, I know parents who have lost children, yet their steadfast faith in God gets them through. But God’s not pushy. He’s not going to force you to cling to him when the winds of your storm are so strong that you just want to let go. He will wait for you to come to Him.
I could go on and on, but you just need to read Now and Then and Always by Melissa Tagg. You’ll enjoy the book thoroughly just for the story alone. But the deeper message is in there. Read it. Find your own favorite characters. And savor the nuggets of wisdom.
Melissa Tagg is the award-winning author of the popular Walker Family series, the Where Love Begins series and the Enchanted Christmas Collection. She’s a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl.
Melissa’s recent releases include a 2018 ACFW Carol Award Winner (One Enchanted Noel), an RT Book Reviews TOP PICK (All This Time) and a Publishers Weekly Spring Top Ten Pick (Like Never Before).
Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women’s retreats. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever–not that she’s biased–watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.