Keep Holding On

Keep Holding OnKeep Holding On by Melissa Tagg
Series: Walker Family #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Larkspur Press on September 27, 2016
Pages: 346
Also in this series: From the Start
Also by this author: From the Start, One Enchanted Eve

 

Publisher’s Suummary:

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.

Melissa Tagg has done it again – Keep Holding On adds to the charm to the town of Maple Valley and poignancy to the dynamics of the Walker family. Beckett Walker has always been a very peripheral character in the previous Walker family books, so I was so eager to read his story. Beckett is finally returning to Maple Valley after several years of absence to attend his cousin’s wedding; true to form, he makes quite an entrance, though not by choice. From the moment of his arrival back home to the final pages, I easily drawn into this story. Melissa has such a way with family dynamics and dialogue, including both poignant and humorous moments in her narrative with a natural finesse.

Keep Holding On adds to the charm to the town of Maple Valley and poignancy to the dynamics of the Walker family.

I mention the awesomeness that is Maple Valley in each of the Walker family books, but it absolutely cannot be overlooked. Melissa adds to the appeal of this fictional town with each new book. In this case, it’s a family apple orchard that belongs to Kit Danby, horticulturalist and Beckett’s childhood best friend. Eager to prove to her emotional distant father that she is capable of taking care of the orchard, Kit is determined to bring it back to her former glory. Kit needs all the help that she can get, and Beckett needs to perform community service – what starts out as a simple arrangement soon turns into a renewal of their friendship and more. With one person determined to put down real roots and another determined to chase after a dream, these best friends fall back into their old ways, while still unsure of the new territory that has formed between them.

These characters, this town, have carved out a space in my heart – they are so honest and real and relatable.

These characters, this town, have carved out a space in my heart – they are so honest and real and relatable. It’s always so fun to catch up with other characters, as well as learn more about the characters whose stories are to come. I’m not sure how she manages to do it, but the catch-up and “previews” always seem to flow organically in the narrative of the current story, enriching it rather than detracting from it. There is always such a history and background for these characters, as if they truly live beyond the pages of the book. And almost as important for any contemporary romance reader – this story certainly has its share of some beautiful, swoon-worthy moments that had my heart cheering for a happy ending.

I applaud Melissa for keeping the spiritual thread light but authentic, ingrained into the story in a way that feels so totally natural, but never in the reader’s face.

The spiritual aspect of Keep Holding On is such an applicable, uplifting one – that even when we let go, God has been holding onto us the whole time. I also found encouragement in the idea that God gives us the characteristics, passions and even flaws that prepare us for exactly what He has planned for us. What Beckett sees as a hindrance, God had in mind for something beyond what he ever dreamed. I applaud Melissa for keeping the spiritual thread light but authentic, ingrained into the story in a way that feels so totally natural, but never in the reader’s face. I was so encouraged while reading that I often stopped to find a goofy smile on my face.

I highly recommend Keep Holding On, as well as the rest of the Walker family books, to readers of contemporary romance. Do yourself a favor and start at the beginning of the series, either with the prequel novella or book one – I think it really enriches the reading experience to have read Kate and Logan’s stories previously, although not necessary to enjoy Beckett’s story. Melissa’s engaging storylines, endearing characters and superb settings will keep me coming back to the Walker family and any stories to come.

 

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