Saturday, October 5, 2013

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

"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. (As an aside, I, and my husband too, thought that this was a Shakespearean quote, so I am glad I looked it up to confirm the quote, rather than mis-crediting it.)

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.

If you are looking for a fun, romantic story, then I would recommend Made to Last.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.