Ms. Tagg is a fresh new voice in Christian fiction with MADE TO LAST. I liked the snarky attitude that Randi sports, and the fact that Matthew is trying to do the right thing and take care of his niece who needs an expensive surgery. He doesn't want to do "celebrity blogs" but if this will pay for the surgery he will--especially since he blew his chance at a high profile political announcement.
Randi is pretending to be married, but the sparks fly between Randi and Matthew -- sort of -- there were a lot more sparks between Randi and Blaze but *that* scenerio was too cliche so (I think) the author axed the idea. Blaze would've been a much better husband--he was kind and considerate of Randi, he looked out for her and *sigh*. I loved his character. I'm looking forward to reading his story.
It bothered me that Matthew was attracted to a "married woman" even though he doesn't act on that attraction until he learns the truth (a plus). He does flirt with her behind her "husband's" back. It also bothered me that the whole premise was based on a major lie and the lies kept building. The faith message was weak. The heroine thought about going to church occasionally but that is pretty much it. (I think the point is that your identity is complete in Christ.)
However, that said, the story is fresh, the snark is top-notch, and the humor is great! 3.5 stars.
In Made to Last, Miranda Woodruff stars as the host of From the Ground Up, a homebuilding show based in her North Carolina hometown. Although she is known nationally for her show, she works at maintaining her privacy and secrets from her fans and the media. As a talented woodworker and experienced homebuilder in her own right, Miranda attributes her handyman knowledge to her "husband," who always remains behind the scenes. When the network threatens to cancel her show, Miranda's producer comes up with a plan to save the day via a lookalike to the fiance who abandoned her years before. Miranda's world is turned upside down when Matthew Knox, a reporter with his own career to save, begins to shadow her every move and takes up residence in the cabin on her property. Unfortunately, that means the truth about Miranda's fictional husband may hit the blog-o-sphere sometime before breakfast.
Filled with unique characters, Made to Last offers an interesting perspective on the world of reality television and the facades that people build around themselves, whether as stars, reporters, or everyday people. While Miranda discovers the price of the secrets and lies constructed around her on-screen persona, Matthew realizes the truth behind his own priorities and decisions.
Overall, I thought that Made to Last was surprisingly well done and much better than I initially expected. I found the beginning portion of the book started off somewhat slow, but it picked up speed in later sections.
Miranda Woodruff hosts her own homebuilding television show, but lives in an unfinished house, has an imaginary husband, and is plagued by her past; a recipe for disaster when a handsome reporter comes sniffing around for a story that will rebuild his own career. As MIranda's ratings begin to plateau and whispers abound that the network may not renew her contract; her managers come up with a daring plan; to showcase Miranda's husband, who of course, does not actually exist.
This lovely romantic comedy starring Miranda Woodruff, Matthew Knox, Blaze Hunziker, and an-awful-time-to show-up-again former fiance, might take a few chapters to take off, but the resulting ride is exhilarating; and the ending is one that any story would love to have. Melissa Tagg is "here to stay" as a talented writer of contemporary romance with a solid inspirational heartbeat.