Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But when the newspaper she runs is in danger of closing, she pins all her hopes on a story that just might convince the new owner to keep the paper running.
After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker has the chance of a lifetime: a spot on a presidential campaign. But first he has to return to his hometown to sell the newspaper he’s suddenly inherited.
But instead of a quick sale, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She’s scrappy, but wounded. He’s dependable, but lost. And working together to break the story on Maple Valley’s unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.
Like Never Before continues the story of the Walker Family who were first introduced in From the Start. In that book, readers briefly met Amelia and Logan. Now we get to know them in a novel which begins with a series of emails between them. Amelia wants Logan to return to Maple Valley to help out at the paper whose owner/editor has recently died. Logan isn’t keen to return to his home town, but has no choice after a couple of unrelated events take place. He thinks a two week visit should be long enough to get everything done, but two weeks quickly becomes two months.
This is a novel about priorities and safety nets. Logan wants to put his daughter first, but she’s often become the responsibility of others while he endlessly works. When crunch time comes, will he choose Charlie or the job? Or will the decision be taken out of his hands? Amelia was a wounded soul when she came to Maple Valley but believes she has everything she needs in her job. She doesn’t want to move on, even though she’s been offered better positions elsewhere. It’s also a story of relationships: Logan has a tense one with his in-laws while Amelia and her sister have become distant.
I’ve read From the Start, but I don’t think it’s a requirement to have read it before reading Like Never Before. The main characters are reintroduced and their backstories filled in over the course of the book. There are also new personalities, such as Logan’s adorable yet silent three year old daughter. On a personal level, I once dreamed of being a reporter and even did some unpaid work at my hometown newspaper many years ago. For that reason, I loved the description of the Maple Valley News office. There are still two Walker siblings for Melissa Tagg to cover so I’m looking forward to the next book and hoping it’s as enjoyable as the first two in the series.
Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary electronic advance copy of Like Never Before, which I downloaded from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read Like Never Before? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 05 April 2016
Page Count: 352