Miranda Woodruff appears to have achieved what most young women dream about, a successful career and a loving husband. In reality she is a toolbox-toting, successful builder, but the loving husband doesn't exist. Shortly after her home-building show launched, her would-be husband left her with a broken heart and a house half built. As filming for the fourth season of her show is about to begin, rumor has it there may not be a fourth season. To increase publicity and boost ratings her producer hires a reporter to divulge Miranda's softer side and dispel rumors about her "mystery" husband. Her references to a loving husband had begun at the onset of the program, and the deception continued. With a reporter hired to follow every move she makes, Miranda needs a husband. A look-alike of her former fiance is hired to play the part. He plays a loving and attentive husband, but the guy's an accident waiting to happen! Reporter on the prowl, Matthew Knox is living in a cabin on Miranda's property, and quickly suspects that her home life may not be what is portrayed. Miranda's conscience kicks in as additional lies compound her initial deception. Her faith is a mere shell of what it once was, and as she seeks peace in her spiritual life the road to redemption appears long.
I don't know what I was expecting when I began reading this book, but this debut author has pulled out all the stops! Melissa Tagg has created a host of diverse characters close to those we know and love, and others we love to hate. Her characters are believable and varied, from dead serious to crazy hilarious! The settings she has designed are beautifully vivid and artistically created, visions of reality painted with creativity. Emerging relationships and romance blossoms as unsuspected situations develop. Variety flourishes throughout this story of deception, relationships, frayed faith, romance and humor. What stems from heartbreak progresses to hilarity, distance melts into familiarity, insecurities develop into hope. After enjoying this book as much as I did I can hardly wait for a sequel. Don't miss out on this well-written, creative novel.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
I found Made to Last, by debut author, Melissa Tagg, delightful. From beginning to end, the story kept me hooked. The premise, the action and the conclusion all left a feel-good pitter-pat in my reader's heart.
All the characters felt real to me throughout the story. They were fun, and yet flawed. Each one had issues to work through. Melissa Tagg crafted believable story arcs and wove each character's story together in a wonderful way. Even the secondary characters were three-dimensional. She dealt with an issue many people deal with: who are we, really? These characters had depth. Miranda and Matthew fit together. Blaze, though, was the most intriguing. I hope Ms Tagg will write his story too.
What I liked: Melissa wove in a number of twists, things I would have never predicted that fit with the story and kept it lively. She made me laugh, and even drew a few tears in a couple of scenes. Her descriptions of the scenes made me feel like I was there. I highly recommend this book. I'm looking forward to more great books from this author.
If you like romantic comedy with deeper truths, you will love this book.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review.
Miranda is a character in the story who loves working with her hands building with wood, painting, anything that makes a home pretty. In the novel she is the star of her show From the Ground Up which teaches the viewers how to fix or build anything in a home. Yet, for all her hard work and knowledge Miranda felt trapped along with fear when anyone got too close to her.
Matthew would do anything for a headline story since his fall from stardom five years prior. His past haunts him in many ways, and when he is assigned to write about Miranda's show, her life and dig up anything the public doesn't know about her. Matthew is able to do that and more until someone touched his heart which made future decisions all the harder to make.
Blaze was working for a catering company when Miranda sees him from a distance then when he turns toward her she realizes he isn't who she thought he was. Now he is hired to play an unusual part in her life, which causes both parties to become uncomfortable as time builds passes, along with a nosy reporter asking lots of questions.
The tale told here reveals how our pasts can make our present choices ridiculously entangled. Now each of the main players have to decide if the past is going to come out, how it is going to come and how to find the peace their hearts are crying out for. Sometimes in the story I was laughing at the way the action scene was going, it was just funny to picture the playfulness that is usually attributed to children being done by adults. Along with being caught playing when work was calling for their attention, but hearts were crying for the freedom to just be!
What develops between some of the characters is true friendship, forgiveness along with walking the hard road of letting the truth be exposed to others. The true friendship these players develop, though not all of them is a reminder of how we all need people in our lives we can trust with good and the bad. I enjoyed how in one part of the book the legacy of one man in a local church influences people for years to come.
There is romance, adventure, time for laughter and time to just think about what we would do if we were a particular situation the character was facing. What would we do when tempted in the various ways or situations as portrayed on the pages? I enjoyed the novel very much and hope there is a sequel coming from Melissa Tagg or maybe another story totally unrelated, as she is a good story teller!
Melissa has written the kind of book I like to read. Contemporary romance is my favorite (maybe because I write that myself). She has created flawed characters we care about and want the best for.
Each chapter revs up the tension for a fast read. This is a book that I found myself reading into the night. I would look at the clock and say, "I have to go to sleep". But I didn't want to leave the storyworld Melissa had created.
Miranda Woodruff is a mess due to not letting go of things from her past and her life just keeps getting messier. Isn't that so true? Until we allow God to come in and heal those broken places we just keep trying to hold it together on our own and it never works.
Matthew is a hero you will adore. He, too, has hurts from his past that continue to an impact on his present. As soon as he meets Miranda he's saving her. I just kept thinking how can they ever fall in love if he thinks she's married? What will happen to her show when the world finds out she lied? So many good questions that will keep you flipping pages.
This has a great plot with plenty of funny moments and romantic encounters. I highly recommend Made to Last. If you read it I think you will be adding Melissa Tagg to your list of favorite authors.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Can one pull off pretending to be married? Because that's what Miranda "Randi" did in "Made to Last"_and you're going to have to read the novel to see how it worked out for her. *wink*
Sprinkled with LOL moments and serious, come-to-Jesus meetings, "Made to Last" will definitely do just that on my keeper shelf. Can I just make a confession? Blaze was my favorite character. I know, I know, why love the fake husband, right?? Read far enough into the book and I bet you'll agree with me. He made me laugh more times than not and had such a loveable personality about him. There wasn't anything self serving in the guy and I can't wait to find out his story next year!
Randi has got quite the story to tell and the book certainly is not without its share of conflict. Sometimes the lie you've been living just becomes the reality and when the lie threatens to take away everything you've worked so hard for, the house of cards only flutters faster. To watch Randi scramble to keep her faÃ§ade in place was at times, comical, but more often than not a growing experience and chances for new and different choices. She never once became unlikeable to me_an important fact when you have a deceitful main character. But she's changing and growing_and it was so much fun to watch her fall in love.
Thoroughly entertaining. Deeper than "just" a romantic comedy. A tale worthy of the telling!
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy to review.