I rarely read straight romance, but this book is fabulous! I love it! I think the reason I love it so much is because of the major spiritual theme of trusting God and following His willno matter the cost. In addition to that, it has great characters, an exciting storyline, and a wonderful ending.
I recently listened to the audio book version of My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade while on a road trip. I had heard from quite a few people that if I enjoyed the Porter Family books, then I needed to read this story. So, I ordered this book on Audible.
Im so glad I did! I was really impressed with these two main characters and the way that the story flowed. Kate was stubborn and unyielding in her determination to help Matt get past the pain of losing his wife and hockey career. I was surprised that she was such a strong character and really stood up to Matt a number of times. While, at the same time, she had such a vulnerability. She was so unsure of herself and felt very ordinary compared to Matt through much of the book. It really made me feel for her.
And Matt was such a complex character. He was the epitome of tall, dark, and brooding! And he had every right to be. He had lost so much and shrunk into a shell that he had no desire to be free from. Seeing him slowly begin to overcome all that had weighed him down was very uplifting.
This book has it all. There is pain and uncertainty for both Matt and Kate, humorous side characters, and a wonderful romance, all wrapped up in a story that highlights Gods guidance in our lives.
I will add the small disclaimer that My Stubborn Heart has a slightly edgy feel to it, with a few words that are not curse words, but are a little rougher than is sometimes found in Christian fiction. I enjoy a wide range of Christian fiction and very much enjoyed this book and also recommend the audio book reading of the story.
My Stubborn Heart will speak to any woman who has grown up knowing that out there somewhere God has been preparing The One--the man they're going to marry. But it will really speak to those who have known it and are waiting . . . and waiting . . . and losing hope that they will ever marry and raise a family, because the years are passing and he just isn't showing up.
For all the serious pain and hurt in this book, there is a lot of humor. Kate's view of life tends toward optimism, quirkiness, and seeing things a little differently than most people, and thus her viewpoint tends to be be pretty funny. She describes the garage sale as "the day one man's trash would become another man's trash." (So true. But it feels like treasure for a while anyway.)
Right away in the beginning of the novel, the author wrote a line that hit me hard. "The hardest and the truest thing was the supremacy of God's will, which meant that no matter how hard she prayed for a husband and a family, she wasn't guaranteed that she'd ever receive what she asked for." (39). Keep knocking, keep asking, don't give up--we hear those words all the time. It's all over the bible--the woman pestering the judge for justice until he grants it, the man bugging his friend in the night for food, the verse on ask and it shall be given. But God still won't necessarily grant it. His plans are not our plans. It's hard. And it's really hard to have hope in those situations, especially the longer they drag on without change.
Both humorous and covering some tough subjects, My Stubborn Heart is an encouragement in hope, healing, and God's perfect timing--a novel to inspire both laughter and tears. I highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 stars!
I've recently determined that she knows how to write exactly the kind of romance I love. Her books aren't overly cheesy, the characters act like real people and I laugh out loud through most of the story. She's a great writer and I shall now be singing her praises right alongside my other favorite authors.
So that being said... you might be getting a bit of a biased review. :)
Kate and Matt are wonderful characters. I love the spunky woman who gives her all to restore a broken soul. I love the brooding yet vulnerable hero who isn't afraid to put his heart out on the line when he knows he still has a chance to win the girl he loves. I love meddling old people who bring a little joy into lonely lives and I love hockey players. Good looking ones. So ya... you might say this was my kind of book!
I highly recommend this story if you love a funny, lighthearted romance with depth. I'd read it again. In fact, I probably will...
This is such a fun, lighthearted read. I thoroughly enjoyed Becky Wade's writing style. The story is both humorous and fun, yet it has a powerful message. I fell in love with the little town of Redbud and Chapel Bluff through the pictures the author painted. The interaction between the characters was comical and the dialogue felt very realistic.
I loved Kate Donovan. Her character was smart, funny, strong, and yet so human. Her actions spoke of her faith in God, but she wasn't written as a saint. She recognized her faults and worked to keep them in check. It's refreshing to see a Christian author write such human characters. Matt Jarreau's character really struck me, on a very personal level. His actions and personality at the beginning of the story spoke of his great loss and his anger and bitterness toward God. He, also, was written as a very human character. It's hard to capture the emotion and grief a person goes through after a loss, and Becky Wade did an amazing job. The supporting characters were just as great! I loved the "seniors" and their role in the story. Their interaction with Kate and Matt kept the story fun and interesting.
The romance between Matt and Kate was well written, yet not overplayed. The Christian message was two fold. For Matt, learning that God forgives and is always there for you, even when you can't see Him or feel Him through your hurt, was the hardest. Kate's role in Matt's life was to help bring him to that realization through her interactions with him. Kate, while strong in her faith, struggled with learning that God's way is the best way, even when you don't think so.
Overall, this is a fun, lighthearted romance with a great message. I highly recommend it!