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Made to Last (Where Love Begins Book #1)
     

Made to Last (Where Love Begins Book #1)

4.3 38
by Melissa Tagg
 

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Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

Overview

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.
 
When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

"Sweet, fun, and faith-filled, Melissa Tagg's Made To Last is a story made to delight lovers of romance and behind-the-scenes reality TV.  Pull up an armchair and enjoy!"--Lisa Wingate, National Bestselling Author of Blue Moon Bay, one of Booklist's Top 10 of 2012

"Clever plot. Engaging, funny, fresh writing. A winning voice with deeper layers that touch the heart. Melissa Tagg is the whole package. A delight for CBA readers."--Rachel Hauck, award-winning and bestselling author of Once Upon a Prince

"If there is such thing as a perfect story, Melissa Tagg has written it with this first novel. Laugh-out-loud funny, a delightful premise, hunky heroes, surprising plot twists and poignant, heart-tugging moments, all wound together with beautiful writing. Made to Last is a keeper that will charm its way onto your shelf, and into your heart."--Susan May Warren, RITA Award winner and bestselling author of Take a Chance on Me

"Made to Last is a fun romantic comedy that will have you turning the pages. Melissa Tagg is a fresh voice to watch."--Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and There You'll Find Me

"Melissa Tagg has written a fun, fast-paced romance. Her first novel will certainly not be her last."--Kristin Billerbeck, author of The Scent of Rain

"A must for fans of romantic comedy! Melissa Tagg's endearing characters charmed me and their story line captured my imagination. Reading Made To Last was like eating a hot fudge brownie sundae with girlfriends. Fun. Delicious. Completely entertaining."--Becky Wade, author of My Stubborn Heart and Undeniably Yours

"With witty dialogue, lovable characters, and an entertaining plot, Melissa Tagg is sure to become a new favorite among fans of Christian romance. Made to Last reminds us all that we are more than the roles we play. At our core, beneath our failures and hang-ups, we are loved and cherished by a faithful God."--Katie Ganshert, author of Wildflowers From Winter and Wishing on Willows

"Readers are going to fall in love with Melissa Tagg's novels! She writes vivid stories filled with true-to-life characters who wrestle with questions about life, faith and romance. Melissa's writing is equal parts laugh out loud humor and moments that touch your heart. I can't wait for others to discover this talented new author!"--Beth K. Vogt, author of Wish You Were Here and Catch a Falling Star

"What happens when a harmless lie you didn't intend to tell takes on a life of its own? When you're Miranda Woodruff, star of a home improvement show, you learn how to let go and become who God called you to be because nothing else is left. A great story with life-impacting truth surrounded by romance to make you swoon."--Cara Putman, award-winning author of A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island

"Reading Made to Last, Melissa Tagg's debut novel, was like meeting new friends whom I wanted to continue hanging out with long after the book ended. Melissa's fresh voice and ability to craft a well-written story hooked me with the opening line and held my attention to the very end. Her flawed characters, LOL moments and spiritual truth provided a foundation for a stellar debut novel. I even had to dab my teary eyes a couple of times. Melissa Tagg is an author to watch and one whose books I want to fill my shelves."--Lisa Jordan, award-winning author of Lakeside Reunion and Lakeside Family

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/15/2013
Miranda Woodruff, the reality TV star of From the Ground Up, faces a dilemma. She landed her job as the host of one of television's most popular home-building shows based on a lie: her husband taught her everything she knew. Unfortunately, she's not married, but her fan base thinks she is, and with her ratings slipping, her husband might be the answer to saving the show. The Hollywood solution: hire an actor to play her husband. Enter reporter Matthew Knox, who needs to salvage his career. He's been assigned to write a blog following Miranda, her show, and her husband. But there's something weird going on. Miranda and her husband aren't quite in sync, an ex-fiancé has shown up, and, strangest of all, Matthew thinks he might be the right person for Miranda. If only she weren't married. VERDICT This debut romantic comedy with hidden layers will appeal to fans of Sandra D. Bricker, Trish Perry, and Rachel Hauck.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441262806
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/15/2013
Series:
Where Love Begins , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
202,500
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft-and-coaching community for writers.  When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.
Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former newspaper reporter, current nonprofit grant writer, and total Iowa girl. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly at www.melissatagg.com.

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Made to Last 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Melanie19 More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying that contemporary romance is not one of my favorite genres, but after reading a few good ones this year, I've wanted to branch out and read more of the genre. I'm so glad I did as Made To Last is another winner and I absolutely loved it! There's just so much about Made To Last I loved. The characters were fantastic! Not only did I love the main two (Miranda & Matthew), but Blaze was another great character and my favorite from Made To Last - cannot wait to read his book! The story was very interesting and well written - I can't believe Made To Last is the author's debut novel! I loved the whole T.V. show/fake husband aspect and how the story showed how lies can drag a person down. There are lots of other things I loved about Made To Last, but suffice it to say, this book made my favorites' shelf and I definitely recommend it! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for my honest review as a part of her Tagg Team. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
girlsmama More than 1 year ago
Have you ever gotten yourself into such a pickle that you just have no way of figuring out how to get out of it?  I would say that is the general feeling of Miranda Woodruff, the heroine of the debut author Melissa Tagg’s book Made to last.  But it’s not just Miranda who feels that way, I would venture to say the male lead Matthew Knox feels the exact same way. And so how do two people that find themselves in a pickle  with insurmountable obstacles come together? Well it isn’t easy, that’s for sure. We have Miranda Woodruff who is the star of a homebuilding television show called From the Ground up, who has been pretending to be a happily married woman and quoting on her show all the tips and tricks her dream husband has passed onto her regarding home building projects. But here’s the problem, the shows ratings are sinking and the show is in danger of being pulled and so, a pretend husband is introduced to the public. And where does Matthew Knox fit it? Well he is a down and out reporter looking to make a comeback in his career and has been assigned the job of digging up dirt on Miranda Woodruff- America’s favorite tomboy. The problem? He’s a good reporter and actually does discover all of her little secrets. And so how can he possibly print all that he knows when he is falling for her...    This is one of those books where you are reading the storyline, fall in love with the characters and are rooting for them to get out of their messes, get over their insecurities and mis-understandings and just figure it out already!  I can’t help but hear those sage words of wisdom in my head- “ Patience, Grasshopper! “ I did enjoy the fact that  there are a lot of subplots going on here which really made sense to me with regards to the decisions the characters were making. For instance, the basic identity question- who am I? We all have to answer that and if a vocation was taken away or if you fail big at something where does that leave you- are you completely defined by your mistakes? Do you end up lost or do you trust that God has a plan in all of it, even if a dream changes to something different than what you thought. Could the new dream be even better? Lot’s of interesting thought to ponder.   This was a great contemporary novel and wonderful first run for Melissa Tagg, I think that she will definitely have a nice niche in this genre. I found her character’s engaging, real ,and very relatable and a storyline that played out well in the end.  4 stars I was given a complimentary copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Impressive Debut! 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.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
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.
lilacqueen75 More than 1 year ago
Have you ever assumed something and it ends up being a lie? That's what happened to Miranda when she assumes she'll be marrying her fiance and uses that knowledge to land herself a job on a homebuilding TV show. Who would've guessed that he would run and leave her days before the wedding? But her mystery husband is very popular with the viewers and when the show finds itself in trouble, the producers decided to find a "husband" for her to drum up some publicity. Add a good-looking, if nosy, reporter and a reappearance by a former fiance, and you're looking at a recipe for disaster---and laughs. Although Randi has been living a lie, I did like her. She's a very driver and hardworking woman and hasn't landed where she's at by chance. I love that she has that tough side, yet she strips it off on occasion and lets her soft side shine through. Just like anyone else, she's gone through some hard times, rejection, and pain and has found a way to cope. Her mask is thick and strong and it was fun to watch it get chipped away. As for the men...there is a definite attraction between her and Matthew, the reporter, but he thinks she's married to the man hired to play her husband. It was almost uncomfortable to watch them both deny those feelings because of this fake marriage. The "husband" is hilarious! I love the way he and Miranda tolerate and look out for one another. The ex has his reasons for leaving, but I can't believe he had the nerve to come back! I was very curious how this would all work out and was entertained in the process. There are religious themes lightly sprinkled throughout, as well as humor, tender moments, and fun. Content: no language; very mild violence (minor accidents); mild romance (kissing, implied living together with no details); mild religious elements. Clean! *I received a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say that if u r looking for romance w/out smut and foul language look no more. This is one of the best romances i've ever read. Great characters and story. Loved it all!!!!
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Sprinkle23 More than 1 year ago
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 “hook” 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
mattidw More than 1 year ago
This book took me a minute to get into but once I got a few chapters in I didn’t want to put it down. I feel in love with characters and felt sad when the book finally ended because I became attached to the characters and the story. In this book you get to follow along with Miranda as she is trying to save her show but is also lying to the public. You get to see how she makes everything right and that telling the truth is the way to go!I I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished Made to Last and I loved it! Great story of true imperfection redeemed. Loved the characters and twists and turns. Will definitely add Tagg to my list of must read authors!
Apassion4pages More than 1 year ago
This book was great. The characters, the setting, the plot, the trajectory of twists and turns throughout the book that kept bringing the characters together and apart... and the words. Melissa, much like the reporter hero she created, "knows how to use her alphabets". And even though the hero was under the assumption that the heroine was married before he ever met her, it didn't bother me as much as I supposed it would that he couldn't help falling for her despite the fact... or rather, the lie. It was the fact that I knew she wasn't actually married that kept me reading. There HAD to be a way through this crazy maze of seemingly never-ending complications to see Matthew Knox and Miranda Woodruff attain their happy ending together! This book was written with perfect execution and was a complete joy to read. :) I received a paperback copy of this book from the Bethany House Review Program in exchange for writing and sharing an honest book review.
booksandwindows More than 1 year ago
Miranda thought that one lie would be okay. But lies have slowly overtaken her life, and what was once one lie, has turned into many. Now she is juggling three men: Robbie, the ex-fiancé who abandoned her years ago, Blaze, her pretend husband, and Matthew, the reporter who she accidentally finds herself falling for. The worst part is that, in her tangle of lies, Miranda has lost herself. Her life is hollow and empty. Her life is a façade that she has created for herself and for other people to see. So, when people look at Miranda, they don’t see her, they see who she wants them to see. This is a wonderful novel. Debut author, Melissa Tagg, has written a book infused with the perfect balance of humor and warmth, of light moments and poignant ones. It explores the truth that our identity is not in how other people see us, or in the image of ourselves that we create for the outside world to see. Rather, our identity is found in Christ alone. I have to add that this book almost made me cry, which never happens to me! The moment when Miranda is sitting in the church pew, surrounded by the people in her life who matter. That is a beautiful moment that brought tears to my eyes. One last thing I must mention is little Celine, Matthew’s niece. She is a deaf little girl who speaks ASL (American Sign Language), which is something that I am eager to learn. So, when I met this little girl in the book, I instantly loved her!
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
busymomoftwo More than 1 year ago
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!" - Sir Walter Scott As I was reading, Made to Last, the debut novel by Melissa Tagg, I couldn't help but think of this quote. The story, Made to Last, is told from two perspectives, Miranda "Randi" Woodruff and Matthew Knox. Randi is the host of a home building show called From the Ground Up, who lives in the mountains near Asheville. Matthew Knox is a reporter that lives in Minneapolis, near his brother and family. During the recording of her first season of her new show, Randi would often times talk about her husband and the influence he has had on her. It wasn't completely true, but was not something she worried about, since by the time the shows aired it would be the truth. Three years later, her small lie had snowballed out of control. Her show was at risk of being cancelled and they wanted her to 'produce' her husband in a publicity move that they hoped would save her show. Blaze was working for a catering company and happened to be on the set at the right time, and bared a resemblance to Randi's former fiance from afar. He is hired to play her husband and moves in at her cabin in the mountains. Matthew was a reporter that was down on his luck. We first meet him when he was chasing what he thought was the story, only to miss the real story at an event at the zoo. Reluctantly, in an effort to help pay for his niece's surgery, he agrees to take on an assignment, writing a blog about Randi and her show. Part of the coverage includes staying at the guest cabin at her house. The story that unfolds is entertaining, even if slightly unbelievable. One of my favorite lines is when Blaze comments that she is caught up not in a love triangle, but a square, when her former fiance suddenly arrives on the scene. I wish I could find the quote, to do it justice, but alas, I can not. As the story progresses, we learn more and more about the secrets and mysteries of their past that Randi and Matthew each have. Events and things that have defined who they are and continue to influence their decisions. The book is romantic, funny, and even deals with some real issues like insecurities. I think it is always nice when the characters in a story are not perfect, when they have characteristics that we can all relate to. I mean really, who doesn't suffer from insecurity or at least occasionally question the decisions they make or the actions that they take, we all do. There are questions unanswered about Blaze, about Liv and Brad and what lies ahead for Randi and for Matthew. Seems to me like there are a few springboards for future books.
Writingsof_Rosie More than 1 year ago
A comical, cute, debut from Tagg! I knew after I looked at the cover and read the blurb that Made to Last would be a read I'd enjoy. I was right! I easily entangled myself within Miranda's story. I loved how both she and Matthew's voices were down to earth and distinct. They read as real people. Imperfect people. People with troubles and struggles. I loved the home-improvement TV show angle. It's unique, fresh, and it was really cool to read about. More than once I found time slipping past with ease while I read earnestly, and before I knew it, I was halfway through. Sadly this book didn't surprise me, but, the genre is "contemporary romance" and not "mystery" so I'll let it slide. ;-) Tagg is one to watch in the future. I like her writing style and her spunky characters, especially Celine. I don't know why I adore side child characters, maybe it's their innocence, but Celine is absolutely wonderful. For those who are looking to read something different, then you need to try out Made to Last, it'll be worth it. I recommend to ages sixteen and older for readability and content. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, thanks!
esosweet More than 1 year ago
Made to Last by Melissa Tagg is the story of TV host Randi Woodru and her quest to fix everything in her life. Randi's problems though are wrapped up in a very big secret that could easily be her undoing. Enter journalist Matthew Knox who may just make her biggest fears into her reality. Made to Last was a wonderful novel that brought me into the story and kept me reading. I was interested in what was going to happen. Just when I would think that the story was getting predictable, something new and fresh would happen. I liked that the story included overtly spiritual aspects without being to preachy. It was a true part of the character development, but not added just to make this into a Christian novel. The characters were realistic and relatable which is why this story moved along so easily in such an interesting manner. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Melissa Tagg certainly delivered with her debut book, Made to Last. The story line is fast paced with good humor mixed in at just the right moments. I found the characters to be well developed. I loved all the side stories with the secondary characters. Melissa has a secondary novel due out this summer. I am hoping it tells Blaze’s story, because he is a man with a story begging to be told. Made to Last is a refreshing book. The main heroine is quite unlike any other I have read in Christian Fiction. She is strong willed and determined, but she is also not adverse to lying in order to accomplish her goals. At times, I struggled to relate to Randi, but most of the time I found myself cheering for her as she worked to find her way in the competitive world of reality television. I loved how Melissa brought closure at the end of the book.
MountainsJJ More than 1 year ago
If you buy one book this year ... make it this one! 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 a bad thing. 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. I love when characters from a book or movie stay in my head at others times when I am not reading and even long after the book is done. I found Made To Last's characters fully and completely consumed my mind. 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!