Thursday, June 14, 2018

All This Time by Melissa Tagg

All this Time by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 4.5, leaning toward 5 of 5 stars

Amazing summertime read! Warning: may induce deep seeded need to hunt fireflies or break into abandoned buildings.

Five years of friendship and a secret crush make it really hard to get over a man. Even when he's thousands of miles away. Reagan Walker can't seem to get past her feelings for Bear McKinley, or another dark problem that she's been combating since before her world turned upside down.

Bear McKinley could have sworn he got it right this time, but nothing's turned out like he'd planned. When his life gets completely upended yet again, and he finds himself back in Maple Valley with the care of his niece and nephew entrusted to him, or rather thrust upon him, he's positive about only one thing: he's not sure of anything anymore.

As Reagan tries to overcome her challenges, and bear tries to figure out where he's supposed to go from here, a summer together has them realizing that they can't keep ignoring the forces driving them together.


I probably loved Bear McKinley's character From the Start *wink wink*. He's always had this beautiful, strong, quiet tranquility, but he evolved so much more as a character in this book. His backstory is fantastic, and adds so much depth to a character where you can tell most of him lies beneath the surface to begin with. Reagan Walker is a fun and eccentric character that you can't help but love, but you see a whole new aspect to her in this story. The struggles she goes through and what she accomplishes makes a wonderfully rounded and deep character. You can't help but be drawn to her. The only disappointing aspect to character development was the descriptions. You get the hair and eye color, but it's hard to get their full physical feel. 

My Character Inspirations

Jason Mamoa as Bear McKinley
Emily Bett Rickards as Reagan Walker


Love all the small "almost" scenes that really built up romantic tension throughout the book. This story, unlike the others before it in this series, has a great element of suspense built in. It's really fascinating to see the story unravel and find out just why everything is happening. The climax was great, and really hit me out of nowhere, leading to a resolution an epilogue that brought great closure to the series while also making me so sad that the Walker family story has come to its end.

Only one thing really bothered me about the character development, and that was the Meg's character (who you get to know really well through the first full book in the series) never seems to really get her happy ending. Even with her character eluding to a new male presence in her life, it next goes any further. Definitely a treaser that needs to be followed up on.


The story opens in Brazil, but quickly transfers to Atlanta, Georgia and really centers in Maple Valley, Iowa. If you haven't read the other books in the series yet, you'll still get a beautiful picture of the perfection that is this charming, modern-day, Midwestern, small-town.


Melissa does a great job of voicing both characters, making them each unique, and also really allowing a masculine voice to shine through for Bear. I'm not sure what Reagan's obsession with Twizzlers is about, but I'm sure it relates to Melissa somehow. I may also never understand her affinity for rooms that are painted red, but it's fun that they show up all over the place throughout most of the books in this series. There's also a surprising amount of wisdom built into the book for such a young author. Finally, there are a couple errors proofreading missed, but over all, fantastic writing.


I feel like there are a few themes highlighted throughout this book, but they all somewhat tie-in together. The biggest one seems to be "life can be so much more than okay." I love how this comes through in the wisdom of stairs character, and that it relates to the verse that Reagan keeps remembering her mom saying - "Perfect love casts out fear". Both characters in one way or another have to learn this lesson, and finally begin to reach for the more that is out there.

Also, I love that the sentiment behind the title of this book is actually based not on the relationship of the hero and heroine, but in the faithfulness of God.


"And if there's anything I've learned in the last couple years, it's that He'll seek you out. As often as it takes. Not so that He can rip off your mask... but so that you can learn to see Him and love Him and trust Him, enough that eventually you'll choose to take off your own mask."

"Despite it all, her heart trilled. Lean into it. It came from her soul, a divine whisper. It's okay to feel this joy. When you're nervous, when so much is up in the air - especially then - it's good and right and okay to do the thing you were made for. It's how you'll find Me."

"But at some point, you have to make another choice - stay in this prison of unworthiness you've let erect itself in your soul or accept the grace that changes everything. It's your choice. You either believe God can redeem your past and your regrets and your pain... or you don't."

My Thoughts

What a perfect ending to a great series! Bear and Reagan's sorry was totally worth the wait and I loved the element of suspense throughout the novel. Reagan's struggles were very real and it was so encouraging to walk with her through all of it. I'm sad to say goodbye to the Walker family, or at least goodbye for now. Well done, Melissa Tagg!

I think we all struggle from time to time with thinking we know what God has for us, and just dealing with the struggles we face, but - as the characters in this book discovered - I think He always has more for us than we can possibly imagine. We are living the good life when God has the great life just on the other side of our complacency. When we stop pretending that everything is fine, that we have it all together, that's when God can demonstrate His majesty.

Due to certain mistakes I've made over the years, my struggles have been fairly obvious to those around me. This isn't always the most comfortable place to be, but there's a certain amount of relief that comes with people knowing you're flawed. It also allows them to see when God works in your life in a big way, because they're standing there saying, "Well, I know there's no way Tiffany is capable of that, so there really must be a higher power." haha.

I hope you all enjoy this series as much as I have and that the lessons learned impact you in a personal way, growing your faith and strengthening your spirit. Check out more books by Melissa Tagg on her website, and keep up with her on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

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