I truly cannot believe this is a debut novel. Melissa Tagg is incredibly talented, and her book has stayed with me since I read it.
It's not just the characters, who are completely lovable and -- understandably -- flawed. It's not just the dialogue, which is witty and reminiscent of Gilmore Girls, or the setting, which made me want to move to the mountains.
To me, the thing that stood out most is the way Tagg weaves the story together, using descriptions that are fresh and unique. In addition, her message came aross clear as day without being preachy or extremely obvious. I won't spoil it for you, but I will say I related in so many ways to Miranda's fears and the lie she believes.
I would without a doubt recommend *Made to Last* to anyone who enjoys a clean romantic comedy with spunky characters and witty dialogue.
The publisher provided me with a promotional copy in exchange for my honest review.
If you buy one book this year ... make it this one
September 25, 2013
Melissa Tagg's debut novel, Made To Last is my year's top pick for sure.
This story was engaging. The best part for me was that it seemed the plot was resolving at the midway point through the book. At first you may think that sounds bad - predictable plot, blah, blah, blah. But it isn't bad. It was exciting that I thought I knew where we were going and how the ends would tie together but then I'd see the solid inches left of unread pages still in my right hand. It was enthralling!
Tagg's characters were fantastic. I loved getting inside Miranda and Matthew's frame of mind. They felt real and almost touchable. Usually my head is controlled by the characters of my own writings that roam around and rule the roost of my brain. I push them aside while I open a novel and then when I close the book, they come right back, front and center. However for the three or four days I poured into Made To Last my mind was fully and completely consumed with Melissa's characters. They tugged on my heart and teased my thoughts and perceptions. They truly came alive to me.
I can't wait to see what Melissa Tagg will do next!
"Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practise to deceive." Sir Walter Scott
Remember that cliche? The protagonist in this Christian contemporary romance, Miranda Woodruff, should have heeded it. She's the star of a reality TV show with a problem. The ratings are slipping, so to keep the interest of her fans, she's pretending to be happily married. To further complicate things, Miranda, "Randi," allows a reporter to shadow her for an entire week! Her dilemma is keeping him from finding out that the handsome guy "playing" her husband is really just pretend.
I appreciate a lighthearted read--a "sugar candy for the brain" book. Here is an interesting one with a happy ending.
Discussion questions are included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Bethany House Publishers for my copy.
For those of you that love Home Improvement shows, you will love Melissa Tagg's unique twist on building a romance that lasts in her latest novel, Made to Last! In this heart-warming novel about healing and dealing with the pain in our pasts, Miranda Woodruff takes the lead role in her own home improvement show, From the Ground Up. Using all her experience from being a missionary in Brazil and working with her fiancÃ¨ Robbie, she now hosts her own show teaching viewers everything from painting to plumbing, and everything in between. Only the one thing missing from her life is the romance and love from her now absent fiancÃ¨ that left her high and dry with only a note telling her that he needs to move on. But it's the advice that Miranda or Randi keeps dolling out that has viewers tuning in week after week hoping to catch a glimpse of the love of her life behind the scenes. Only those who are close to Miranda know the true story and that she is missing that piece to her life.
Matthew Knox is searching for a way to make a comeback seeing as his writing career is bordering on a huge story. After being a little too energetic at making his big break in reporting on his own father's embezzlement which led to a colleague being fired and Matthews career taking a back seat when the allegations turned out to be false. Now Matthew has been assigned to do some dirt digging of a different nature into the background of up and coming celebrity Miranda Woodruff and just who the mystery man is in her life. But will Matthew run the risk he experienced in his past or will he offer up a different kind of story to aid in helping Miranda find a way to keep her show running for another season when the network threatens to pull it?
In the novel, Made to Last by Melissa Tagg readers are taken along for the journey through a publicity stunt to find a replacement husband for Miranda as a way to save her home improvement show and hopefully give her a new romance at the same time. But when a pesky assignment from her manager leads to Matthew Knox shadowing her every move for a week, how will she work out the knots in her complicated fake marriage to a man she barely knows but it a dead knock out for her former fiancÃ¨ Robbie. For readers that love shows like Home Improvement, this is a wonderful twist to that television show that will have you crossing your fingers at Miranda's chance at true happiness and laughing with her unique brand of humor that comes across whenever her and Matthew interact.
I received Made To Last by Melissa Tagg compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are my own. I absolutely LOVED this debut novel and the fact that Miranda actually does possess the skills of a home improvement expert contrary to what both Matthew and the men in her life believe. She knows the differences in the types of wood and the power tools she uses on set and even uses her skills to help out those less fortunate in her lives make their home a better place to live. She truly does have a heart of gold behind her tool belt. I easily rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to read more novels from Melissa Tagg in the future.