My Stubborn Heart, Becky Wade's debut novel, is a delightful contemporary romance that is slightly "edgy" at times, but filled with well-drawn characters and humor.
Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.
Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.
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?
My Stubborn Heart is an enjoyable romance with some surprisingly deeper elements, as Matt struggles with grief over his beloved wife's death three years before this story begins. The setting of Redbud, Pennsylvania provides a rich backdrop as Matt and Kate work to renovate her grandmother's family home.
Spiritual themes are woven into the narrative in a quiet, but ever-present way. Matt's grief gives voice to the universal struggle to understand suffering, and Kate comes to appreciate how God works through His children when He brings someone into another person's life.
One of my favorite parts is the group of seventy-something "seniors," friends of Kate's grandmother, who add humor and depth. These secondary characters are endearing and quick to offer advice. The romance between Velma and Morty is especially fun to watch.
The only negative for me was the use of a few words that lowered the standard from what I expect from Christian fiction. I'm not sure why they were chosen - maybe to stretch the boundaries or to come across as more realistic? While mild by ABA standards, I would have just preferred other word choices and skipped over some parts because of it.
I really liked this novel overall and would recommend it to those who enjoy a good romance, maybe starting at an older teen level. Becky Wade is an author worth watching. Her next novel, Undeniably Yours, is out now and begins the Porter family series.
Becky's a California native who attended Baylor University, met a Texas boy, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the ABA, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves the kind of books she's writing now! Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, has been named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's 2013 RITA Award. Her new contemporary romance, Undeniably Yours, is available now.
To learn more, visit Becky's website at beckywade.com.