Made To Last.

Made To Last is Melissa Tagg’s debut novel.  Not a bad effort at all.  The only complaint I have is that for me, the middle part of the story is a wee bit too long.  This is just my personal take on it and I do believe many other people have found it a fantastic story.

Miranda Woodruffe is the star of a home improvement TV show called From The Ground Up.  She appears to have it all, a successful career in TV, a wonderful husband who inspires her talent in home improvements and a fantastic home.  The truth on the other hand is so different.  Her talent is real, yes, but her home is only half-finished and her wonderfully inspiring husband is no-existent.  The lie about her having this wonderful husband stems from her audition for the position on the show.  She told the director all about the man she was involved with at the time, the man who she expected to marry and who had taught her everything she knew about home improvements.  She didn’t think there was any harm in the little white lie that she told at the time, after all, she and Robbie were going to be married soon anyway.  But shortly after she began filming the TV show Robbie walked out on her, leaving her broken-hearted and living a lie.

Three years on and fans of the show still believe she is married.  The only people who know the truth are her best friends and the show’s producer.  With the show in danger of being axed her producer decides it’s high time the public get a glimpse into Miranda’s very private personal life.  The only snag is, she doesn’t have a husband!  The plan is to hire a fake one for a while. The producer also thinks it’s great idea to have a journalist shadow Miranda and blog about her life.  There is a fantastic twist in the tale towards the end, I think the reader kind of expects this to happen though.

Great read, if a little on the long side.

Recommended.  4 stars ****

The Story Guy

This was a lovely read, a tale of courage, sacrifice and love.  Carrie West stumbles across an online dating add that piques her interest.  The add says “I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park.  Kissing only.”

Carrie messages the poster, who has included a personal photo of himself.  Carrie is struck by the sheer beauty of the man in the photograph.  Before too long the anonymous poster messages her back and they begin to chat, agreeing to meet the following Wednesday.  Carrie turns up at Celebration Park, not sure what or who to expect, but when a male bicycle rider approaches her she recognises the man from the photograph online.  He tells her of his rules and then they start kissing; kissing which thrills Carrie so much that she wants to take things further.  As the story progresses the reader gets caught up in the angst that Brian Newborough portrays.  Carrie knows Brian has a secret, a secret that fills his life and keeps him from committing to anyone, but she wants to share his burden and very gradually he lets her in, bit by bit.

My first thought was that Brian had a severely disabled wife whom he had to care and provide for and that was why he could not commit to anything other than the Wednesday kissing dates.  But then I sussed out what was going on and felt myself hoping he would let Carrie in, which he does eventually.

I found this to be a lovely read, some have said not so hot on the sex, but I think explosive, steamy sex scenes would detract from the message the author is trying to get out.

Recommended.

5 stars *****

After The Kiss.

Julie Greene is a writer for a very popular magazine, Sex, Love and Stiletto.  Her latest assignment is to write about falling in love, not her usual gig.  Julie is all about first dates, wonderfully, sexy first kisses and getting out before things get too serious.  But now her editor wants a different angle from her and rather than allow a work rival to fill her shoes on this particular assignment, Julie agrees to write the article.  Cue the start of Julie’s research into “how to fall in love” and her mission to find a man for her experiment.

Mitchell Forbes, recently single after ditching his long term girlfriend, is also on the lookout for a woman to help with his own experiment.  Mitchell and a friend wage a bet that Mitchell cannot get involved with a woman without falling in love with her.  Mitchell works on Wall Street and is quite staid when it comes to life and living it.  But can he have a casual fling, and if so, who with?

Julie and Mitchell are set up by their respective friends, neither mentioning their own personal reasons for wanting to hook up.  They hit it off immediately and the chemistry between them is fabulous.  They begin dating and neither wants to admit to themselves that they are falling for one another.  Eventually they both decide to come clean to one another about their reasons for getting involved in the first place, which ends in disaster, leaving Julie’s journalistic career in the balance.  Can Julie’s career be saved?  Can Mitchell ever forgive Julie for what she did?

I loved this book.  It is was a fun read and not as predictable as I thought it would have been.

Recommended for lovers of this genre.

5 stars *****

Review Of The Storycatcher.

Wow!!!

This book was just brilliant.  I was captivated by the story and the characters right from the very first page.

The story tells the tale of Shelley Parker, her mother and brother, Faith Dobbins and her mother and father, who is the Pastor at the church.  There are also a couple of other characters that are vital to the story.  Shelley can see ghosts, as can one or two other characters in the book, and she is being haunted by the ghost of a young girl who is insisting Shelley reads her diary – she even tells her where to find it.

Pastor Dobbins is one of the central characters in this book and he is as rotten as they come.  Shelley, her mother and Faith and her mother, along with a handful of ghosts are trying to bring an end to Pastor Dobbins reign of terror.  The story weaves in and out of each other integral characters lives throughout the book, building the suspense and anticipation to a fever pitch, until the point of no return is reached for each of the characters.

A very well written, gripping tale of love and betrayal and the building and destroying of friendships.  The author really captivates the reader right from the off and keeps you hooked right until the end.  Clever and brilliantly written.  Cannot recommend highly enough.

5 stars *****

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!