Made to Last
When Miranda Woodruff's fiance left her three years ago, he left gaps both in her heart and in the backstory of her television show, From the Ground Up. Miranda's on-screen personality has a husband who taught her everything she knows about home building. So when rumors and questions arise about her husband, Miranda agrees to pretend to be married. Finding a pretend husband turns out to be easier than expected. However, when attractive reporter Matthew Knox begins poking around, Miranda finds her on-screen story and her real life both wearing thin. Will Miranda sacrifice everything to save her show? Or will she find that truth really will set her free? Read more in Made to Last by Melissa Tagg.
I enjoyed Made to Last, Melissa Tagg's debut novel. This book had a lot of hype and it took a little longer than I would have liked for the story to Ã¢ÂÂhookÃ¢ÂÂ me. However, once I really got into it, the story offered refreshing originality and Tagg's writing style was lovely. Though it's classified as a romantic comedy, Made to Last, has plenty of depth and development. I cheered for the characters as they faced life's challenges and lessons.
Just a heads up to anyone who, like me, is keen on plenty of resolution. The ending was sweet, but there were several unresolved situations and issues. It appears that there will be another book that continues Blake's story. However, from the synopsis I read, it doesn't appear that Miranda and Matthew are a focus of the story. This leads me to assume that those issues will mostly likely not be addressed.
Overall, Made to Last is a sweet and entertaining story. However, I recommend renting before purchasing if you have an issue with stories that lack resolution.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
December 14, 2013
a believable read
I won a copy of "Made to Last" by Melissa Tagg. I am happy to write a review and give my honest opinion of the book.
While reading about MIranda, Matthew, Blaze, and Robbie I could completely see the movie in the making. I loved the spunk, twist and turns the author uses. I think this is a great novel. You can totally connect with the characters, some you like, some not so much, and some grow on you. You can see how one little "white lie" can snow ball into something so out of control your not sure what to do any more.
I enjoyed the surprises that continue throughout the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys spunky, funny, romance novels, even if you don't usually read contemporary ones give this one a try I think it is worth it.
October 29, 2013
Spunky Contemporary Romance
I don't read a lot of contemporary novels, but one of the things that drew me to Made to Last is the premise. It's inspired by an old classic film, Christmas in Connecticut. When I heard that, I knew I wanted to read this story! And even though it is a contemporary book, it reads like a classic. From the quaint setting to the quirky characters, this story had me hooked from the first chapter. I love that Melissa Tagg also continued with the timeless feel by adding additional classic film references throughout the novel. This story might be set in present day, but it could easily be set in another time period. I'm intrigued by this debut novelist! It will be fun to see if her next story has this same classic feel...I have a hunch that it will.
October 25, 2013
"Made to Last" is a novel that is entertaining, sometimes witty, but still contains a serious thread at its heart. I am excited to see that more contemporary, romance novels are making an appearance on the Christian fiction market. This is a two-person viewpoint novel for which I was thankful. I am not a fan of three or more viewpoints. Melissa Tagg has done an excellent job at keeping the reader's attention constantly with lots of conversation among multiple characters. Also, who in their right mind doesn't love the mountains of Asheville where the setting takes place?
Miranda Woodruff's (love the play-on-words of her last name) television show is possibly being dropped. In order to bring in more viewers and to get the network's attention Miranda goes through with a pretend marriage. A reporter, Matthew Knox, comes on the scene and is required to follow Miranda around and get the inside scoop. In other words, dig up what dirt he can find to save his job. I thought this was going to be a light-hearted comedy. In a way it was, but the further I read the deeper and more serious the book turned. The big themes in this novel are lying and identity.
One of the areas I enjoyed a lot were the details of Miranda's wood-working at her own home and on the television set. I don't know if Melissa Tagg personally knows how to do all this stuff, but she did a great job of bringing it across to the reader. One thing I missed were actual pages in the book containing Matthew's blog posts with some reader comments. I think that would have been neat to include. Maybe a blog post at the beginning of each chapter.
As for the romance I actually loved the fake husband, Blaze! He was so endearing that I fell for him all the way. I never really felt like I got to know the hero, Matthew, very well. To me it seemed there was way more chemistry between Randi and Blaze than Randi and Matthew. I liked Matthew, but never quite go attached to him. The interactions between Matthew and his niece were just right. The child angle wasn't being crammed down our throats like it is in some books. It did get a little disturbing about the amount of men in this woman's life. She seems to have only one or two female friends including acquaintances.
The biggest issues I had with the book were the lack of Christian themes. Miranda felt guilty a lot and knew that she had sinned, but never seemed to repent. It was strange because she talks about it, but seems to go around it. The two main male characters don't appear to have much knowledge of salvation or forgiveness either. All three of them seemed to be searching for God's peace, but never really dealt with it even at the end of the novel. I felt like it was a major missed opportunity by the author. The heroine would sit in the empty church sometimes and think, but that's it. The hero never seemed to darken a church door on his own in the whole book. I hope readers know that sitting in a church or even attending church with Christians isn't going to save them. I realize that the author probably wants the book to primarily entertain the reader, so didn't want to get into Christian topics. If she had stayed in a comical mode throughout the entire novel, than I would have expected it to be lite on spiritual issues. It would have just been a fun, romantic comedy. Since she chose to take it down a darker, serious path I felt like she should have been gone deeper and been a lot clearer on salvation and God.
All in all I enjoyed the book and will probably re-read it several times in the years to come. I am greatly looking forward to Blaze's story next year!
October 17, 2013