By Andrea Renee Cox
Coming soon (as in tomorrow!) to a book store near you is Melissa Tagg’s sophomore novel, Here to Stay. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and a wonderful sequel to her debut book, Made to Last. The characters are heartwarming, the story easy to connect with, and the small-town family rivalries familiar to us all in some fashion.
Blake Hunziker plays the prodigal son as he returns from wandering the world after a tragedy changed his life forever. He hopes to find forgiveness and closure but doesn’t expect to find it in the father who’s always held him to high standards. When he receives a job offer, he realizes he’ll need help from one of his family’s rivals to pull off Whisper Shore’s annual Christmas festival.
Autumn Kingsley has been stuck in Whisper Shore her whole life and dreams of traveling across the globe. Before she gets the chance to chase her dreams, she must restore her family’s inn to its former glory. Despite the fact that the Hunzikers and Kingsleys have been rivals for decades, she needs Blake’s help to make the necessary repairs to her inn.
Will they put their differences aside long enough to help one another during this holiday season? Or will they allow their families to ruin any chance of bringing success to their little town? Will their different dreams collide somewhere along the way?
Many parts of Here to Stay had the laughter pouring out of me. Among them were a wasp attack, roof prank, and Melissa Tagg’s unique writer’s voice. Believe me, this story will have your giggle box turned on from the get-go. Not only did Melissa write a hilarious story, but she also knew precisely when to turn the tone more serious. Her timing is impeccable. The plot perfectly planned out. The build-up and ending fit together in a greatly satisfying way.
I can’t say enough good things about this story. You’ll just have to read it for yourself and form your own opinion. Here are a few of my favorite lines to pique your interest:
This one made me chuckle.
“Jamie, I’ve already grouched at you this morning. I have no desire to add to that by scaring you with my morning hair.” ~Autumn Kingsley; Chapter Four
After reading this one, I found myself reprimanding Autumn. There’s always reason to pray, girl!
“What was there to pray about? When your dream finally hit the ‘come true’ part, you ran with it, didn’t you?” ~Autumn Kingsley; Chapter Two
This one I found swoon-worthy. Tell me if it doesn’t make you sigh happily.
“Because I think you, my dear, might be my open door.” ~Blake Hunziker; Chapter Six
Here to Stay swiftly leapt up my favorites list. It’s standing firmly in my top three. That’s a tricky spot to earn, but Melissa Tagg did it with flair. Must say, I’m looking forward to more from this author. This one beat her first one, in my opinion, and I’m anxious to see if she can do it again. Come on, girl. You’ve got this!
Thank you to Melissa Tagg and her publisher, Bethany House, for a complimentary copy of Here to Stay in exchange for my honest review. It’s been a blast being a part of your influencer team. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of spreading the word about your first two books. With such great writing, you make my job so easy.