My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Bethany House Publishers, 01 May 2012
Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When Kate's grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.
Yet, she discovers a different kind of project upon meeting the man hired to renovate the house. Matt Jarreau is attractive and clearly wounded -- hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Kate can't help but set her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.
The cover of My Stubborn Heart caught my attention a while back, and I've had it sitting on my kindle for a little while now. It was high on my 'to-read' list. But you know me - I have a definite bias for historical fiction, so it can take me a while before I decide it's time to pull out a contemporary.
Well, if there are more contemporary novels like this, I just may change my bias!
This is a fabulous novel. I loved it! One of those books that stay with you days after you've turned that last page. It's been a week since I finished this book, and I still don't feel like reading another book. Unless it's My Stubborn Heart again!
Kate is a great heroine - the kind that you can totally relate to. 31 years old and still hasn't found that right guy. She's not thrilled about this fact, but she's not all bitter about it either. She has her job and her house. She wants to find a husband but isn't going to settle for just anyone - despite the hassling and pity from well-intentioned family and friends.
Matt is probably the hunkiest contemporary fiction hero I've ever read. Seriously - the guy made my heart pound. Tall, dark, handsome ... wounded and mysterious. He isn't thrilled when Kate starts probing into his life, but is eventually forced to face his past, get over it, and choose to move on with life.
Their romance builds slowly, but once it takes off hold on because it's smokin'! Becky Wade has created the perfect tension between desire and hesitation. And definitely one of the best first kisses I've ever read.
The struggle Kate eventually has to deal with in regards to their relationship are heart wrenching, but it makes the ending so much more sweeter. And it's such a great example of how God is sometimes telling us 'no' to something we really really want. Becky has handled it so authentically I couldn't separate my own emotions from Kate's.
Throw in a group of slightly off-centre seniors, a charming old house restoration and you have a well balanced, entertaining, amusing, breath taking contemporary romance with an ending that left me sobbing with happiness.
Becky Wade - you have gained yourself a fan!
Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element. She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA. She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.
Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.