Book Cover and Synopsis:
Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance, takes a leave of absence from her job as a social worker, and the two of them set off.
Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man her grandmother has hired to renovate the house. From the first moment she meets Matt, Kate can't help but be attracted to him--he's got a combination of good looks and charisma that draw and tug at her. But she knows there's zero chance of a romance between them. Matt's in love with his dead wife, and even if he weren't, Kate realizes that she's way too ordinary for him. For Matt Jarreau is no ordinary guy. Kate discovers that he was once a great NHL hockey player who left the sport when his wife--an honest-to-goodness former Miss America--was diagnosed with brain cancer. Matt's been hiding from people, from God, and from his past ever since. Yet Kate is absolutely determined to befriend him, to try to reach him, to help him in some small way.
No, Kate's not looking for love. She knows better than that by now. But 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?
Oh my, what a great read! I loved how Kate so quickly and firmly made up her mind to befriend Matt; his withdrawn personality didn't matter to her at all. I wish I could be like her in that way! Even when Matt gave little or no response to Kate's small talk and friendly gestures, her stubborn streak didn't allow her to give up, it pushed her even to the point of embarrassing herself in her attempts to befriend him. This was amusing and very encouraging to see.
Since Kate is helping her Grandmother restore the old family home, several older characters are also a large part of the story. They're her Grandmother's quirky friends, but Kate quickly develops rapport with them as well. I couldn't help but be extremely entertained by Kate's scheming with one of the older men to get a certain older lady to go on a date with him....this whole storyline was very original, clever, and amusingly eccentric.
Now, about the humor....because YES, this book is quite humorous! I honestly didn't expect it, but I was presently surprised and very much amused by it. Everyday situations are portrayed very humorously, and things that most people don't talk about (or even think to talk about) are presented in such a way that several times I had trouble not laughing out loud! Many other times I'm sure I must've had a huge stupid grin on my face, because the situations and comments just kept striking me as giggle-worthy!
Overall, this is an exceptionally great debut novel for the Christian market from Becky Wade; I must say I'm very, very impressed. I don't want to say any more for risk of revealing spoilers, but let's just say I really enjoyed this one, and I'm sorry to have reached the end. Now I'm anxiously awaiting news of her next book.... if it's anything like My Stubborn Heart, then it's quite likely I'll be all over it! :)
My Rating: 5 stars
(I received this book courtesy of the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, a positive review was not required.)