If you love vintage romantic comedies, you’ll love Melissa Tagg’s Made to Last. Melissa is a classic movie buff, and her story was actually inspired by Christmas in Connecticut, a great film where Barbara Stanwyck juggles a houseful of men—some, love interests and some, simply there for comic relief. The same sort of plot happens often in old films. A beautiful debutante has too many suitors, gets in a pickle, her creative solution blows up in her face, and delightful romantic antics ensue. Think The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, Adam’s Rib and you won’t be far off from the vibe of Made to Last.
But what I especially loved about this story is that the main character isn’t a high society beauty but a power-tool packing working girl.
And her spiritual journey as she wonders “Would she ever hear God’s voice as clearly as the voices of her past?” is very natural and sweet.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes . . .
Let me set up the story: Miranda Woodruff stars in a homebuilding TV show, From the Ground Up. Her TV persona is a happily married young woman who fixes up her home for her hubby and future children. However, in real life, Miranda is single—which even her producer doesn’t know. So when ratings slump & her producer hires a reporter to boost the show’s publicity, Miranda decides (with some prompting from agent and best friend) to produce a husband. Of course, the reporter following Miranda around is male, single, handsome and attracted to her—but he now thinks she’s married.
Throw in Miranda’s bubbly best friend, suave agent, the reporter’s adorable niece, a stray relative or two—and you’ve got quite a plot. But when Miranda’s husband-to-be from the past shows up, things really escalate! Trust me, you don’t want to miss what happens!
One of my favorite things about Made to Last was the old movie references sprinkled throughout the story. For example . . .
- Audrey Hepburn won the humanitarian award Miranda is up for.
- Miranda’s agent Brad is “this century’s William Holden.”
- Her friend advises, “Think about it tomorrow. At Tara.”
- Miranda calms herself with a “Sound of Music-like favorite things: Bubble baths. Bonfires. Powermatic 2000 3HP table saw.”
- And here’s a great line: “Gregory Peck should be so lucky to get a smile from Audrey like you just flashed.”
I kept imagining the characters in a musical, like High Society, where Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra burst into song all throughout as they wrangle over who’s going to end up with Grace Kelly.
I can almost hear Miranda singing (to the tune of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend) . . .
“A hubs from the past
Makes me quite sentimental
But power tools are a girl’s best friend.”
And I must admit to falling for a charming secondary character accident-prone adventurer, Blake “Blaze” Hunziker. Fortunately, Blake will have his own story very soon!
Melissa films Classic Movie Gush with fellow author Clay Morgan, a series of video discussions of vintage movies. (You can follow their YouTube Channel here.) They inspired me to think classic movie. So here’s my attempt at a movie poster . . .
You can grab your own copy of Made to Last at this link. ***Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy for me to review!
About the Author: Melissa writes and works as a grant-writer at one of Iowa’s largest private nonprofits. She also serve as the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for novelists founded by Susan May Warren.
This week I’m linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, The Better Mom, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Tuesday Muse, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Wednesday Hop @Adorned from Above, Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Thoughtful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Desire to Inspire,Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Faithful Friday Blog Hop, Faith-filled Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Aloha Friday Blog Hop, Womanhood w/ Purpose Friday Link Up, TGIF, Friday Company Girl Coffee Link Up, Essential Friday Link-up, Sunday Collective, and Heart Reflected.