Michele’s lack of focus in life hasn’t bothered her, until the day she finds herself with mounting credit card debt, unable to afford her rent, and without a job. While her meddling family questions how she can end up in this predicament, at the age of 29, and single to boot, Michele doesn’t want to admit the truth. All she wants to do is sew.
Faced with the prospect of moving back into her parents’ house, Michele throws a Hail Mary pass and applies for a TV design contest, Made for Me. In order to win the contest, Michele will have to compete with nine other contestants to design the new wardrobe for Duchess Maryn Medrovovich, who’s about to marry Prince Stephan of the United Republic of Montabago.
While in the seclusion of the show, Michele starts to realize where her focus in life should be, and what’s truly important to her. However, a dashing competitor might just cause her to lose her focus once and for all. Can Michele keep her eye on the prize while being true to herself?
My Rating: 4½/5 stars
Michele is on the verge of turning 30 and so far, her life just hasn’t turned out the way she had hoped. Her “boyfriend” is douchebag, her job just got cancelled thanks to dumbassery, and she’s going to have to move back into her parents’ house thanks to her mounting debt. To be fair, it Michelle could find an ounce of motivation and/or focus, she might not be in the colossal mess she’s currently in. What is a girl to do?
Apply for a reality show competition, of course . . . .
The one thing Michele can do better than most is sew. She creates wonderful, wearable outfits that are both retro and relative to her contemporaries. Michele has a knack for discerning proper proportions, body types, and knowing what will and will not work on a woman’s body. The reality competition will pit Michele’s considerable skills against nine other talented designers for a chance to become the personal designer to the future princess of the United Republic of Montabago. Should Michele win, she would be out of debt, her name would become a household one, and her design career would be virtually assured. All she must do is drum up the two things she’s never been able to drum up before, motivation and focus!
From the moment she steps into the competition house, Michele feels at odds with all but a few of the contestants including her roommate, Kira and the resident hotty, Asher. Asher is her fiercest competition who is also smoldering hot and a shameless flirt. Trouble is, Asher’s sexuality is a bit fluid and Michele can’t always tell if he’s actually interested in her or someone else. Kira never turns on Michele, as many of the others do and as the competition (and plot) unfold, she becomes not just an ally, but a friend as well. As the competition unfolds, Michele finds her groove and produces beautiful garments that both flatter and please the future princess. With the very real possibility of winning the whole shebang, Michele has to keep all her ducks in a row and for the first time in her life make smart decisions if she has any hope of finally making something significant of herself and her life
The Bottom Line: I really, really liked this book! Though I know basically nothing about fashion and even less about sewing, I found those things to supporting details to the story more than the focus. Michele and her to-date ridiculous life are the primary focus of the read and despite all her failings and bad decisions, she is a thoroughly likeable character. Though she lives in the modern world, Michele is somewhat old fashioned and a bit naïve (the bathroom threesome, for example!) which makes her an endearing character. Additionally, over the course of the story you see Michele truly begin to mature, to make smart decisions, and take steps toward fixing all the crap she’s gotten herself into. I appreciated immensely that Michele is character who takes responsibility for herself and her situation rather than blaming others and/or wallowing in self-pity. The romantic elements is certainly present in Made for Me, but it is very tame and almost completely clean. In all Made for Me will certainly appeal to readers who enjoy sweet romances that end in a lovely HEA.
About the author and where to find her:
Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), and Fly Robin Fly, a short story (part of Cupid on the Loose: A Valentine’s Anthology 2015).