This review was initially posted on Sept. 11, 2012 but I have reposted it here because it was one of the top five books in the Romance category of the INSPY awards of which I was a judge.
On a whim I had clicked to download a free ebook on amazon as I so often do – and yesterday My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade just happened to be the book I decided to open and read. It seems that lately every book I pick up by Bethany House, whether historical or contemporary romance – have been beautifully written and have touched my heart. This book is no exception.
Kate is on a break from her job as a social worker and on a three month stint to help her Grandmother restore an old family estate. She has reached the advanced age of 31 with no husband and is constantly reminded of her lack by those around her – as well as the loneliness she feels deep inside. Yet she has determined and prayed that she would never settle for any man – but only the one God would have for her.
Matt has had a career as a hockey player, fame and beautiful wife. After his lovely bride died of cancer he walked away from everything he knew, even shutting out family and friends, to live a hermit’s life and live with his grief and subsequent anger at God for not answering his prayers. Accepting the job to work at renovating an old home, he shows up to work to find that there is an annoying woman who keeps coming by to talk. He doesn’t want to talk, he wants to be left alone.
Over time though Matt has a change of heart as Kate worms her way in with her light banter and teasing. She is not afraid to challenge him as she is determined to help him escape his self made prison. Definitely attracted to this “hottie” she feels that he is above her reach and tells herself they could only be friends. The heart doesn’t always listen to logic.
I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I loved the challenge of this book as it looked spiritually at two key issues: 1) Can you trust a sovereign God with your prayers and that He, knowing what’s best will answer them in His perfect timing? 2) How far are you willing to go to obey Him?
This book is not preachy at all – but it deals with the honest gut-wrenching decisions we all at times have to face at the foot of the cross and as we deal with the painful realities of life. Becky Wade does a beautiful job weaving that all together in a compelling story.