May 1, 2012 by Bethany House
Paperback, 352 Pages
Texas dweller Kate Donovan is a young 30-something, up to the gills in frustration, waiting for a man, waiting on life and waiting for something good to happen. She loves her job as a social worker and the accomplishments shes made in her life: but her biggest dream is to get married and have children before her woman parts get to old to have them. A little fed up, a little tired of the same ol' same ol', Kate jumps at the chance to help her Grandmother restore an old property in Pennsylvania. She takes a leave of absence, packs up the car and heads out for an adventure that unbeknownst to her will change everything in her life.
When Kate arrives at the old family home, its like an antique dream, with all its possibility's. She's excited to get things started and captivated by the little town. What Kate hadn't planned on though, was meeting the most handsome man she's ever seen. Looking at him sparks fire her veins and plays bells in her head that ring: this man, this tortured looking soul was put on the earth for you.
Matt Jarreau (even his name says hot) was hired to renovate the Donovan's house, he's good at it, but keeps to himself, he doesn't want friends or conversation, its business only. When Kate blows into his life like a summer breeze he's at first annoyed, since his wife died Matt's heart has grown cold, he doesn't want to talk and certainly doesn't want to deal with a too skinny, talks to much girl. But as time passes and the daily visits in her ballet flats promise light banter and a sparkling personality, Matt realizes with a shock that the interaction has softened his heart. He looks forward to seeing Kate and he slowly begins to understand that he's falling in love again. But how could he possibly love another woman? How can he betray the only woman he's ever loved. How can he forget what he gave up, who he pushed away, or how to even get passes it? Matt's answer, tuck it away and ignore it.
Kate and Matt become inseparable, the relationship that started one-sided, hurdled over a few walls and raced through some obstacle courses is now entering the phase of true romance, but there are things in Matt's past that haven't been healed. Kate is completely in love with him, but knows he hasn't addressed some very serious things in his life. They cant move forward until his issues are resolved, even though Matt believes he's ok. The question left: will Kate listen to that small quiet voice telling her to step away, or will she follow her instincts and ignore the problems? Either way one of them will walk away with a broken heart until the past and future collide.
My Stubborn Heart, offers a light and fantastic summer read, while its heavy in a few spots with the issue of grief, most of its seriousness is surface level, hope always played the main character and watching Matt and Kate fall in love was the most fun I've had reading this summer. This is Inspirational Romance done right, it was a perfect mash up of wholesome characters yet real people who think, act and feel outside of CBA bologna. I fell head over heals with this book, I adored the story, I loved Kate and had a blast getting to know her, so imagine my shocked surprise when I found out this novel sparked a bit of a controversy regarding some of its language, and Im not talking F-Bombs here, Im talking the B-bomb, yup that's right our quirky, fun, independent heroine refers to her "boobs" and the lack of that she possesses.
Other foul words (insert snark here) like pissed, hottie, make-out and crap are used and hold on to your cookies kids, there is actual sexual tension and male brooding. Compared to the latest trend in best sellers, this novel is the talk of My Little Pony's. Wade is also getting some bad mojo due to the fact that her story is not overly religious, or hence, fails to talk about Jesus every other sentence. As readers, we know Kate is a Christian and that Matt himself is struggling with it due to the death of his wife, but neither dwell on drawn out sermon like thoughts, or preachy should-a done that mantras. There are small, very subtle faith aspects in the majority of the story, but don't let that deter you my read only Inspy followers, even with its whisper of faith, the book ends with a significant thumbs up for God, so while this is not your next dirty shades of whatever- as the spiciest scene is a shared kiss- it certainly beats the over stuffed, diluted, unrelatable Christian prototype.
My hats off to you Ms. Wade for creating lovable, realistic characters in a fallen world of sadness, loss and tragedy. Seeing them overcome, rise up and embrace hope again touched my heart the way only truly inspired authors can.
Recommended to adult readers (but could also be read by mature teens) and contains: Romance, issues dealing with depression & greif.
5/5- Inspy Romance
Thanks to Bethany House for Review Copy
What Others are Saying about Content in Christian Fiction:
Mike Duran/The Parchment Girl/Rachel Held Evans/This Dude's Crazy