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?
I enjoyed this contemporary Christian romance, all the way through its predictable ending. Some twists keep the pages turning.
The setting is a small town: Redbud, Pennsylvania. The protagonist, a social worker named Kate, takes a three-month leave, to help her grandmother restore their families' grand old house. Thirty-one-year old Kate has been unlucky in love; she is single.
Matt serves as the second half of this romantic duo. He's a good looking guy. Several times he is called a "Hottie." He even owns a Lamborghini Murcielago! This hunk, a former super hockey star in the NHL, now a widow, grieves the death of his wife by quitting the sport and becoming hermit-like. His construction work allows him to work alone. However, Kate, follows Matt throughout the house as he makes repairs. She stubbornly tries to strike up conversations. Even though the author describes Kate as an Audrey Hepburn look-alike, Kate knows that she is "out of Matt's league." She reminds herself over and over that she and Matt could be "just friends."
Other characters consist of a group of spunky seniors, used to insert humor. Velma is one example. She dictates how Morty must change before she accepts a date with him. I can't say more without ruining it for you. Antique treasures are discovered and the reader learns a bit about them.
There are two places where I strongly disagree with word choice; both times I actually stopped reading and reread to make certain the words were really there. I don't know why better word choices were not used; it would have improved the book. Another questionable item for a Christian novel is that Friday nights are Poker nights, where gambling takes place.
Discussion questions are included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Bethany House Publishers for my copy.
If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.
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