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?
I enjoyed reading My Stubborn Heart and journeying with Kate and Matt on their rocky path to happily-ever-after. Kate is single, on the wrong side of thirty, and looking for a new challenge. The stately home of her ancestors in small town Pennsylvania needs a lot of work and a lot of love. She’s drawn to Matt when they first meet, despite his polite but aloof manner. She recognises the pain in his eyes and feels prodded by God to befriend him.
Matt is the contractor hired by Kate’s grandma to complete the home renovations before they return to Texas for Christmas. Kate’s grandma reconnects with her old friends in town, and the seniors in the story are hilarious. I understood why Kate was happy to hang out with her grandma’s friends.
Matt has survived the tragic loss of his beloved wife. He has erected mile high emotional barriers to keep everyone away and protect his heart from being hurt again. Kate’s stubborn heart refuses to give up on Matt, and she prays for guidance in how to negotiate their fragile friendship.
A fun and tender friendship, with a strong and undeniable attraction simmering, challenges both Matt and Kate to consider their faith and what’s important for their life and future. Highly recommended.