When Kate Donovan's grandmother invites her on an extended road trip to Pennsylvania to fix up her grandmother's girlhood home, she jumps at the chance to leave the stress of work and her mundane love life behind for awhile. Upon arriving at the house, Kate meets Matt, the carpenter hired to oversee the renovation project. Kate senses that beneath Matt's gruff, introverted exterior lives a tortured and lonely soul in desperate need of a friend, so Kate makes it her mission to befriend Matt while trying to keep her own attraction to him at bay. As Matt begins to open up to her, Kate learns that Matt lost his wife to cancer and walked away from his career as a professional hockey player when she died. Slowly, their conversations turn into much more, and when Kate begins casually dating one of Matt's subcontractors, Matt reveals his feelings for Kate and the two begin dating. As their feelings for each other deepen, she realizes just how much Matt misses being on the ice and is left with the burden of deciding what will happen to their relationship once she and her grandmother return home when the renovation project is complete.
I adore this story! Kate's patience in getting Matt to open up served as a catalyst for him to finally face his grief, the depth of his feelings for her, and the loss of the hockey career he loved. Wade captured the intensity of Matt's hidden feelings for Kate when he "possessively" kisses her. Lawdy! My heart wrenched as Kate had to prayerfully consider the future of their relationship- and Matt's hockey career- and the emotional struggle she underwent. I loved how Wade demonstrated that following God's leading is not always easy, but that it is always the best path. I was surprised by many twists in the plot, but was extremely satisfied by the ending!
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated in any way by the publisher or author for this review.
My Stubborn Heart is a stand-alone novel by Becky Wade, and was the only book I hadnt yet read by her, so when I had some time to just pick out random books I wanted to read from the library, I immediately went to this one. And, Im SO glad I did, because this book is absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!! I was hooked from the very first page and it was so extremely difficult to put it down because I absolutely had to know what was going to happen! And I have to say, I definitely didnt see things unfolding the way that they did! It was a good surprise, but I was surprised nonetheless.
Kate Donovan is such a sweet character. I loved her from the very beginning of this book, and I loved her even more by the time I made it to the end. She is so kind and adorable and works so hard to help Matt through his pain, and I couldnt help admiring her for that because he could be a pain sometimes. But through it all she continued to want what was best for him and to listen to Gods leading through the whole situation, which was also very admirable. I dont want to tell you what she did near the end so that I dont spoil the story, but it took serious guts and I cant believe she was able to obey the Lord rather than follow what her heart was feeling. If I hadnt already been crazy proud of her by that point, her actions near the end would have sealed the deal.
Matt Jarreau is AMAZING!!! Let me just say, some of the girls in this novel had major crushes on this handsome, brooding, ex-Im-not-going-to-tell-you-what-he-did-but-its-pretty-cool guy, and I could completely understand why they were feeling that way. Even though he doesnt seem to be the sweetest man at the beginning of this novel, he proves himself to be beyond wonderful as you get to know him better, and I cant imagine a better hero for this story.
All in all, I love, Love, LOVED this book, and Im already dying to read it again. Becky did a fantastic job of pulling this story together, and I cant get enough of the unexpected, yet perfect, way she wrote the ending. I cant imagine giving this novel anything other than all five bookshelves, especially since its already on my all-time favorites list, and let me just say, I cant even tell you how ready I am for Becky to come out with another book.
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.
Encouraging romance that inspires both laughter and tears
April 20, 2015
An Old Fashioned Girl
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!