Friday, October 28, 2016

My Review: Keep Holding On, plus giveaway!

"But real trust, real belief - it wasn't about what she hoped for . . . but who she placed her hope in.  A faithful God.  A God who never promised perfect circumstances, but who did promise his love."  - Kit Danby

Beckett Walker hasn’t stepped foot in Maple Valley in years. There’s no getting past the painful memories, and there’s every chance he’ll be arrested as soon as he shows his face. Which is exactly what happens when he finally returns. Suddenly his dream of adventure as a military lawyer comes skidding to a halt.

Horticulturist Kit Danby has spent too much time missing home and her childhood best friend—Beckett Walker. Now she might have a shot at reclaiming both. After years of living abroad, she returns to run her family’s apple orchard. She has one season to turn a profit and impress the father she barely knows. But she can’t do it alone.

It should be simple: Beckett needs community service hours. Kit needs a helping hand. But there’s more at stake than either of them planned. With a tangled past and futures that look nothing alike, they’ll have to find a way to weather the storms of the present . . . or risk losing everything.
About the Author:

Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named by Publishers Weekly to their spring 2016 "Religion and Spirituality" Top 10 list. 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. Melissa loves connecting with readers at and on Facebook and Instagram.
(Side note: Be sure to check out her blog!  It's where I was first introduced to her writing and fell in love with her characters before ever reading her books!)

My Review: 4.5 stars
Keep Holding On is the third full-length novel in Melissa Tagg’s Walker Family series and I was so excited to be returning to the town of Maple Valley and getting to visit with some characters that have become dear friends. I’ve adored the previous books in the series, so of course, I lunged at the chance to read this book and I can very happily say that I was not disappointed! I’ve been anticipating Beckett’s book since first learning of the prodigal and I quickly fell in love with his passionate, impulsive, all-in character. Returning to Maple Valley is definitely always worth the trip.

As always, Ms. Tagg does an excellent job with the details and descriptions of this book. I could almost smell the apples, feel the leaves crunching under my feet, hear the wind whistling through the trees. The images her words create come to vivid life on the pages and I loved it! My one and only negative comment (and the only reason I’m going with 4.5 rather than 5 stars) is that I became a little frustrated with how much time would elapse between some of the chapters. An important event would happen, then it would suddenly be a week later. Ms. Tagg did fill in the gaps and I do understand that she needed the spacing to allow for certain parts of the story. It just bugged me a time or two. But, it did play out well for Beckett and Kit’s relationship, which I have to tell you is so sweet! Seriously! I caught myself sighing a time or two at the crazy, silly, or romantic moments between them.

Characters are always my favorite part of any story and this one is no exception! I adored Kit and Beckett and their story encouraged me so much! Kit is thoughtful. She’s the “look before you leap” type and not one to take on things or make decisions lightly. But when it comes to her family’s orchard, she can’t let it go. She is kind, caring, also strong, determined, and searching. I loved getting to know her and the way her character resonated with me. She is so realistic and easily relatable that I loved her from our very first meeting.

And Beckett. I couldn’t possibly forget him! He’s the charming one, the sweet talker. The one who seems like he has his life all together, but then finds it crashing around him. He’s the one who takes that first step and worries about the rest later. I loved his zest for life, his determination to make his mom proud and do something worthwhile. And I loved how his character changed throughout the story, as he learned to embrace who he was instead of fighting to become someone different. His family played a huge role in the story and I love how they all challenge, razz, encourage, and hold each other up.

I also adored how Ms. Tagg wove the theme of the title throughout the story. It became the foundation for so many things and the basis of the spiritual side of the story. Much of the focus is about continuing to hold on to God during the rough times, but it also plays out in so many ways: Beckett holding on to his dreams, Kit holding on to the orchard, and both of them finally learning how to hold on to one another. I just loved that! And there are so many great quotes throughout the book that I’d love to share, but I don’t want to take away the fun of finding them yourself!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance!

If you actually read my review before scrolling down here, I applaud your self control!  I rarely actually manage to do that!  :)

*Drum roll*

I'm giving away an ebook copy of Keep Holding On!  I know, most of us love paper books, but this way international friends can enter!  And . . . I'm on a bit of a budget.  Facts of life, friends.  But, smile anyway!  Because you could win a very awesome book!  There's a Rafflecopter form below to enter and the giveaway will be open until midnight November 4th - so be sure to enter and watch your inbox on November 5th to see if you won!
Also, if you're impatient or would prefer a paper copy, there are purchase links below - thank you so much for stopping by!
Have a delightful day!


Barnes & Noble

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I smiled when I saw pictures of two favorite authors meeting to sightseeing and eat together. They are an encouragement to each other, I am certain. They will also have many more fantastic stories as a result of this trip!😀

    I am really looking forward to reading this book about Beckett and Kit.

    nina4sm at gmail dot com

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  3. Something that made Me *Smile* today was....My daughter!! She is 15 and Autistic....and since She is ALWAYS *Happy*, I just have to look at her pretty face, and She makes Me *Smile*!! Why?!! Because She Takes Every Day As It Comes....She Is *Happy* All The Time-No Matter What....She Is Friends With Everyone....And Loves To Try *NEW* Things!! I LOVE Her!!!!:-)

    1. I love that you celebrate your daughter's differences! And I'm sure I could definitely learn a few things from her. I'm not so great at taking each day as it comes, despite knowing I can influence the future regardless of my best efforts to make it play out the way I desire. Maybe one day I'll figure it out. :)
      Thank you for sharing your *smile* with me!

  4. Have seriously been looking forward to Beckett's story! I had many reasons to smile this week... my class of 10 graders enjoying our Birmingham Museum of Art field trip, my 2 almost-2-yr. old grandsons hugging each other goodbye, those same grands playing at the park, my hubs and I having dinner with our 2 grown kids and their families 3 TIMES this week (one of them lives out of state and we rarely see them)!!! ��

    1. Cyndi, that sounds like an amazing week! Kids are the best at making people smile and I love that they're friends already! And getting to visit with family is always a reason to smile! :)

  5. My hard working husband always makes me smile!
    Also, a note on FB from my Mom. She and my Dad are camping this weekend and really enjoying themselves!

  6. I smiled today because I got a video email of my grandsons playing in their new back yard. They've been living in the city of Portland with no back yard. They just moved into a new house out of the city. My daughter is happy. That makes me smile.

    1. Oh, I love that! Kids should definitely have a yard and I can just imagine how excited they were to have that space to play in! Yards are great for all sorts of adventures. ;)

  7. Something that make me not smile is forgetting to check the Notify me box. Doing that this time.

  8. Having my 15 year old daughter wash my car at our church sponsored car wash :) she would never do that willingly.

  9. I went to watch a football game with my dad at his house. Our team won! The win, and seeing my dad, made me smile!

  10. There are so many things that make me smile! However, I always smile when I'm with my family:)

  11. This review made me smile! :D I'm so excited to read this book! I really can't wait! I've been so excited about reading Beckett's story and now here it is!

  12. I smile when I get pictures of my niece and nephew! I live half-way across the country from them and don't get to see them often enough! Thanks for the giveaway...I'm definitely looking forward to reading this book!

  13. I smile when I reflect on God's love.