Baker Publishing Group|May 1, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7642-0974-1
A Sensational CBA Debut in Contemporary Romance Kate Donovan is burnt out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance, takes a leave of absence from her job as a social worker, and the two of them set off. Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man her grandmother has hired to renovate the house. From the first moment she meets Matt, Kate can’t help but be attracted to him – he’s got a combination of good looks and charisma that draw and tug at her. But she knows there’s zero chance of a romance between them. Matt’s in love with his dead wife, and even if he weren’t, Kate realizes that she’s way too ordinary for him. For Matt Jarreau is no ordinary guy. Kate discovers that he was once a great NHL hockey player who left the sport when his wife – an honest-to-goodness former Miss America – was diagnosed with brain cancer. Matt’s been hiding from people, from God, and from his past ever since. Yet Kate is absolutely determined to befriend him, to try to reach him to help him in some small way. No, Kate’s not looking for love. She knows better than that by now. But when the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?
I totally loved this story and fell in love with both Kate and Matt. Both were looking for a relationship that neither really thought they were but slowly over time, discovered that their penchant for each other was more than they originally thought it was.
Kate, who lived in Dallas, Texas and worked as a social worker enjoyed her job but had lost some of the pizazz she felt about helping the children she worked with after one of her kids committed suicide. A hard blow for anyone to take, so when her Grandmother asked her to take a 3-month leave of absence and travel to Rosebud, Pennsylvania to help her restore the old homestead she’d grown up in, Kate jumped at the chance.
Upon their arrival, Kate meets one handsome, hunk of a man named Matt Jarreau who appeared to be a tad arrogant, non-conversational, and didn’t appreciate being bothered while he working restoring the house. Beverly, Kate’s Gramma had hired him since she’d known Matt since he was a young boy.
Kate could clearly see that Matt was not a totally happy man inside and that there was a real sadness about him which she was determined to somehow fix. What she didn’t know at first was that Matt used to be a famous NHL hockey player and was married to a former Miss America who had sadly passed away from brain cancer at the young age of twenty-seven. Kate figured her work as a social worker gave her a leg up on helping kids with all sorts of problems so why not befriend Matt and help him. However, Matt proved to be a much tougher client than Kate had counted on. His answers to her questions were short and often bordered on out-right rude until he finally just came out and told her that she was bothering him while he worked and that he much preferred to work alone and in “silence”. Kate however, wasn’t to be deterred that easily and kept up the daily banter until Matt finally gave in realizing that this skinny, red-headed, bubbly woman just wasn’t going to go away.
Over the three-months that Matt was restoring the old home, he and Kate slowly began to open up to each other and what would happen next will blow your socks off!!! What a beautiful story.
Becky Wade’s descriptions were amazing and to the point that I could picture clearly in my mind’s eye the entire house and the little church chapel at the back of the property. Her group of old folk friends who came for Friday night poker games proved to be a hoot in and of themselves and provided much of the comedy in the novel.
MY STUBBORN HEART is a lovely story about having faith in God and realizing that He doesn’t always answers our prayers the way we want Him too, when we want Him too, but that He does answer in His own time; and it’s a book about love and having the faith to put yourself out there and allowing yourself to experience the romance that is waiting. I’ll definitely be recommending this to my friends and look forward to reading more of Ms. Wade’s novels. Well-done!!
A big “thank you” to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a preview copy.