“In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary. We can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit.” Romans 5:5, The Message, theme verse of Melissa Tagg’s Here to Stay
Author Melissa Tagg’s trademark is turning her love of romantic comedies—especially old movie classics—into fun, page-turning novels, and Here to Stay is a prime example!
The story focuses on two adult children of feuding families. Blake Hunziker is the rich prodigal, who reluctantly returns home after years of adventurous wandering. Autumn Kingsley is the obedient daughter, who reluctantly stayed home to tend her family’s dream—even while she yearned to see the world and fulfill her own. As the back cover copy says, this story throws together “a guy who’s done running away with a girl who can’t wait to leave.”
Autumn and Blake both wrestle with feeling they have disappointed important people in their lives. When they join forces to run the town festival, they find themselves growing in appreciation for the unique folks in their town and for each other. Soon the worth they see in each other helps Autumn and Blake believe God sees worth in them. And they discover that His way of making dreams come true will never leave them feeling shortchanged by life.
This novel was so much fun! In Autumn’s desire to see the world, I spotted traces of While You Were Sleeping and It’s a Wonderful Life. (Isn’t the romance in the beginning rom-com like? Come on, Donna Reed in the hydrangea bush?) And maybe because I just finished a Gilmore Girl marathon, a lady innkeeper with a wisecracking male assistant really worked for me. I also enjoyed the Stars Hollow small-town feel of Whisper Shore and its quirky residents.
To say Here to Stay is a feel-good story does not diminish it in anyway. After all, how can any novel leave a reader feeling truly hopeful and happy without celebrating God’s heart and the many ways He touches our lives with love?
What I liked best . . .
- The perils of accident-prone Autumn
- How Blake transforms from guilt-ridden prodigal to confident hero
- The town-wide snowball fight
- Sweet Lucy from Hope House, a home for mentally handicapped adults
- The photo-taking trip to Susie and Vern’s farm
- The bathtub adventure
- An earnest discussion about Narnia
- The appearance of Miranda Woodruff and the From the Ground Up crew
My favorite quotes . . .
“You don’t have to see every open door on the way to your end goal, just the one staring you in the face.”
“Maybe you start by thinking back to the last time you can remember when everything felt right. Like you were exactly where God wanted you to be.”
What you should do next . . .
Follow this link to order a copy of Here to Stay for yourself. ***Thanks to Melissa Tagg and to Bethany House for providing a copy for me to review.
About the author: Melissa Tagg is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings.
You can connect with Melissa . . .
So glad you stopped by today, friends! Blessings!
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