Format: eBook (Nook)
Source: Purchased from BN.com
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?
So this is another ebook freebie I have had for awhile and hadn't really thought much about reading. Then I happened to use the cover for one of my daily photos on Instagram (the prompt was "heart") and received a comment from someone who LOVED the book. I thought, why not just go ahead and try it out? I'm usually more interested in historical fiction -- the overwhelming majority of Christian fiction that I read is historical -- and I have to be in the right mood for contemporary fiction (don't ask me what exactly that mood is, I just know I have to be in it).
Oh my goodness, I cannot get over how much I loved this book. I'm not usually into emotionally wrenching stories -- probably because they frequently have sad endings and I'm sorry, but I hate reading sad books. I just can't do it. But this book has a happy ending (sorry, I suppose that was a spoiler) and even though I had tears in my eyes at many points, the story was just SO emotionally raw, intense and gripping, I could not put it down. I finally had to give up on finishing in one night because I just couldn't keep my eyes open (it was after 1:00am and I had nearly half the book left) but I picked it up and finished the remainder first thing the following morning.
One of the aspects I liked was that the story felt so real -- between the characters, the storyline, and Becky Wade's crisp, no-nonsense, yet detailed writing style, this book just worked on all levels for me. And I have to admit I did enjoy reading Christian fiction that was set in the present day for a change. The story definitely had a different feel, probably in that it was more relatable due to the time period. And while I couldn't personally relate to some of the more tragic aspects of the story, there were many poignant moments that did resonate. Bottom line, I thought this was a fantastic debut for Wade and I can't wait to read more of her books!
Read this book...
~ If you like clean romances that fall in the Christian Fiction genre
~ If you like contemporary fiction/romance
~ Enjoy emotionally impactful stories (that have happy endings)
**This is my seventh book towards the #TakeControl March 2013 TBR Challenge.