‘Made to Last’: A Kind of Renovation of the Heart


STORY | Miranda Woodruff or “Randi” to friends, takes “complicated” to whole new level. Three years ago, she began her own homebuilding show with more than ratings on the line; she also had the love of a good man. Trouble is, during her first season, her love for him causes her to claim him as a husband on national TV! After things fall apart, including a wedding that never came to be, bad ratings now plague the show. This inspires Miranda to scramble for a husband and some good PR.

To make matters more complex, reporter Matthew Knox has been assigned to shadow Miranda and chronicle her life – as a TV celebrity whose private life has been secreted away, more than one celebrity tabloid is curious to catch glimpses of Miranda’s private life, and Matthew is just the guy to get the scoop.  


REVIEW | If only one thing could be said about Melissa Tagg’s debut, it’s that it’s unique. Fortunately, I don’t have to hold myself to a limit and can instead explore the sparkling chemistry and wit that is Made to Last. Early on, one thing that made me skeptical was how the three men in Miranda’s life and their relationship with her would play out. There are always enough mishaps in rom-coms with one hero, I couldn’t imagine what would happen when you put a plucky heroine in the middle of three (uh-hum, hunky) heroes. All of whom (well… with exception to perhaps one) could win Miranda’s heart to readers satisfaction. It’s that much harder when we fall for more than one guy yet to her credit, Melissa never toys with our emotions; we “know” early on who won’t get the girl. 

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Though this is what is commonly referred to a “debut,” this is anything but. Made to Last offers its readers not only lots of happy, but also grace even in dishonesty. All of the characters have some kind of emotional scar, no one is untouched by mistakes. Matthew is probably one of the most memorable contemporary heroes I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. He’s not just heart-stoppingly protective of Miranda (protecting someone isn’t always a physical act), he’s a wonderful uncle (these scenes!), and has honor. Miranda’s own life is an interesting puzzle. Not because we don’t know where her lying stems from, more that it makes her eventual process of healing a joy as she finally realizes she can finally to rediscover God. It take love to help her see this.  

Sparkling characters, smart dialogue and a story that wraps itself around your heart, Made to Last is a timeless novel. Tagg digs deeper than the average contemporary novel does. Our reward is a writing style that is like enjoying a warm cup of cocoa. Any contemporary genre fan will be hard-pressed not to fall under the spell of this charmer. It doesn’t just remind us of the importance of facing our mistakes, there is also a beautiful albeit subtle message of faith.

Melissa Tagg is not only an author to watch, she has firmly affixed her characters and story on my list of most favorites. ♥

About the Book:

Author: Melissa Tagg
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Dates: 2013
Add the Book: Goodreads
Find the Review Elsewhere: Goodreads | WordPress
Series: Where Love Begins, Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Christian
Rating: 5 out of 5

‘Made to Last’: A Kind of Renovation of the Heart. A review of the 2013 debut by Melissa Tagg (with Bethany House). #FWArchives #BookLove #BookReviews #Romance #RomCom #MelissaTagg Click To Tweet

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Sincere thanks to author Melissa Tagg (Team Tagg) and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Good review Rissi! I've read this book as well and should really write a review for it. But… I'm afraid I wasn't as positive as you are, so I'm putting off writing the review. Plan to do it coming weekend though!

    1. Thanks for reading, Birdie.

      Really sorry you didn't like this one as well, however I can see where some readers may find it "hard" (the three guys or some may view Miranda as "indecisive") to accept. It's funny because I have read a couple reviews from bloggers who are self-proclaimed historical fiction addicts and they said this rom-com actually won them over. :) It's always cool to get other people's perspective and I'm glad we don't all like all the same things; it makes like more interesting and means there is more variety in the world!

      I'll look forward to your eventual review – I feel your pain in writing it though. I always struggle writing one that I don't "love" also. It's difficult to strike the right balance. Good luck!

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