My Stubborn Heart

My Stubborn Heart

by Becky Wade
4.7 63


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My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

2012 RITA Award Finalist

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764209741
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 260,099
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Becky Wade is a graduate of Baylor University. As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States. A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas. Visit her Web site at

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My Stubborn Heart 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
StorytellerKL More than 1 year ago
Becky Wade is the Queen of Emotion. Normally, I am a fast reader, but she had me slowing down to absorb each and every word on the page. I didn't want it to end...even though parts of it hurt to read. A lot. Heroine: Kate Donovan has prayed for a husband and has now come to the town of Redbud, PA for a break from her childrens' services/social work job, which having worked in a simliar position, I can understand the need for a break. She's there to renovate her grandmother's childhood home. She's spunky and quick-witted. She's petite and funny. She has a beautiful, pure heart and someone I would love to be friends with. The one thing I wished differently for her was that she wasn't so down on herself about her looks. Yes, she had been dumped a few times, but even the beautiful people of the world have been. I didn't see any past experience in her life that would make her see herself in this light. BUT having said that...I suppose when the hero is some beautiful, world famous athelete who could have any woman in the world, ANY simple woman would wonder if she was worthy to be on the arm of that guy. And speaking of the HERO: Matt Jarreau is all that! I typically don't like jocks, because of their ego, but he is the exception. The story is not so much about his ability, but about his pain. He is wounded and hiding. Yes, he is beautiful, but he is not superficial, and, man, does he know how to treat a woman...when he sets his heart on her. He has a family who loves him and hates to see him hurt. They pray for him. They pray for someone to reach him. And God answers that prayer. But sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers the way we think He should. And that's all I will say about that. :) READ IT! You'll be glad you did. My Stubborn Heart is filled with insight and great writing, tidbits to take away and ponder later...and even savor. Thank you to the publisher for sending this to me for my honest review.
StoutLover More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! I loved every bit of it- wonderful storyline, great Christian theme throughout, and strong characters. 
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
A Great Romance! I really liked this book.  I loved the characters of Matt and Kate.  Both are struggling in their own way.  This is a story of deep hurt and loss, broken relationships, and a loss of faith in God. Does God put certain people in our path to help our healing from a loss and deep hurt?  Does he care about us if we have broken relationships?  Can God restore our faith through love, caring, and just being there for another person? I really bonded with Matt and Kate and was a cheerleader for them.  I held my breath when things weren't going the way I wanted them to.  I laughed and smiled too with other loveable characters in this book.  I will admit toward the end I cried.  This book really touched me. Even though this was the authors debut book I must admit I read her second book, Undeniably Yours, first.  Undeniably Yours was also a 5 star book for me.  I am so looking forward to this author's next book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Clean romance story. I loved it, couldnt put it down. I would love it if they made a movie out of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Kate, her grandmother, and the quirky old timers. This was a deep read with the kind of roller coaster of emotions that I enjoy in a book, and I love the faith and clean romance. A few holes in the story at the end and left some questions, but I'd recommend it for the good story! Review by CherishD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book about waiting for God's timing. Had a hard time putting it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You know a book is good when you turn the last page and sit there grinning as you replay the story in your mind. This was a really great read with excellent characters. I experience so many emotions while reading this book. I laughed, I got teary, I was apprehensive, I had uh-oh and ah-ha moments. There's also a great lesson about being obedient to the voice of God and being in position.
madaboutbooks2 More than 1 year ago
WHAT A GREAT FIRST NOVEL!!!! I couldn't put it down! The story is about Kate and her grandmother who come to Redbud, Pennsylvania for three months in order to oversee renovations to Chapel Bluff , her Gradmother's childhood home from the 1800s that’s been in Gran’s family since it was built. While Kate & her grandmother are there they enlist the help of carpenter Matt Jarreau, who was once an all-star hockey player, married to a real-live Miss America winner. But, tragedy has left Matt a shell of a man, and after Kate meets him she truly believes that she can bring him back around. Over the course of those three months, Matt and Kate both undergo an amazing transformation, and God shows Kate that it’s always better to trust His lead than to follow your own plans. & that when he says is sometimes no, not yet. I loved that Kate’s faith was smart, and not pushy. She felt God lead, but was also intuitive to the needs of those she was in relationship with — she held off at times, and other times knew to push a little more it was the perfect combination. I also loved the romantic tension between Kate & Matt. Very well-done, and kept the story moving at a good clip. The little love-triangle didn’t hurt, either. It really helped you see how much Matt cared for Kate. I loved the romantic scenes in this book....Matt was absolutely perfectly romantic. I also loved how Mrs. Wade described everything in such detail that i felt like i was there. There was so much to love about this book! The seniors!! Who wouldn't love them?!?! They provided comic relief, and they were too cute. And, I loved how the sensitive topics of grief and loss were handled throughout the book — very realistically. It was a perfect book!! I will be looking for more of her books in the future. P.s. Thanks Bethany House A Division of Baker Publishing Group for sending me the free copy!
bookreviewer1977 More than 1 year ago
I loved everything about this book. The main characters are fantastically written and seem like people that I would be friends with if they existed in real life. And the secondary characters and storylines are just as great. This book has romance and laughter and friendships and stories of forgiveness and living life after tragedy. I especially like that, even though this is a Christian novel and has strong elements of faith and discussions of God, the characters never came across as fake or "holier than thou". If you're a fan of Christian contemporary romance novels, definitely check out My Stubborn Heart. And be sure to not start reading it until you have a large block of free time ahead of you- you're not going to want to put it down! I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review for myself. All opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.
19264725 6 months ago
Great book
4Gazpacho 8 months ago
My Stubborn Heart was one of the sweetest romances I have read in a long time. Two hurting individuals meet while renovating an old home in the reclusive town of Redbud, Pennsylvania. Kate Donovan and her grandmother had arrived to renovate Gran's childhood home, Chapel Bluff, and return it to its old glory. It was a massive job, requiring them to hire a local contractor for the work. That's where Matt Jarreau came in. He specialized in working on old homes and restoring them. Kate's first impression of Matt was that of tragedy. He had a heart-breaking story filled with sadness and bitterness. She could sense it. Matt was reclusive. He preferred working alone. He didn't socialize much. People in the small town knew who he was but left him alone. Matt was the local celebrity. He had been a world champion hockey player. He had married a sweet girl, an actual Miss America, but after being on top of the world as a married couple, his wife died of cancer. He was so ripped up about it, he left hockey behind. Kate didn't know this at first, but she could see that he needed a friend. She was determined to be that friend. Kate lived in Dallas. She was a social worker. The job was demanding, but she loved it. That is, she did until one of her children she had worked closely with had committed suicide. It sucked the joy out of her life. She needed a break so that she could get her head on straight about her purpose in life. So she joined her grandmother in a journey up north to remodel Gran's old childhood home. The break was just what she needed. She loved antiques and old homes and this was just the therapy she needed. She joined Matt daily in taking down wallpaper, designing rooms, painting walls, and so on. Matt was reluctant to work with her, but she was persistent. Keeping everything on a friendly note, she knew God had a purpose for her to be there. I love the simplicity of the story. It's not overly complicated. There are a few other subplots, but the story stays true to the major theme--renovation. Not just the home, but Matt's heart as well. It took a lot of time and patience, but eventually he started to warm up to her friendship. Kate didn't try for anything deeper than that. She had already set her heart on not reading anything personal in their relationship. She felt that God had sent her for only one bring Matt's heart alive again. The part of the story I like best is the relationship Kate has with God. She prays and listens to Him. She tries hard not to insert her own personal interests in what she thinks God wants her to do. I really like her humble spirit and teachability. So many of us struggle with these character qualities. I felt encouraged in my own prayer life just by watching how Kate kept her expectations in line with what she felt God wanted her to do. Many of us try to do that, but often fail if we don't use the Bible as a guideline. We often want to read into situations things that aren't there because we fail to know and understand the God of the Bible as it teaches us. Kate demonstrated a good balance between knowledge and personal application. The author accomplished this in such a natural manner. There was no awkwardness, no preachiness, no finger wagging, no guilt trips. The issue of faith in God was not overtalked or forced. This was truly an enjoyable book to read.
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
My Stubborn Heart is a stand-alone novel by Becky Wade, and was the only book I hadn’t yet read by her, so when I had some time to just pick out random books I wanted to read from the library, I immediately went to this one. And, I’m SO glad I did, because this book is absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!! I was hooked from the very first page and it was so extremely difficult to put it down because I absolutely had to know what was going to happen! And I have to say, I definitely didn’t see things unfolding the way that they did! It was a good surprise, but I was surprised nonetheless. Kate Donovan is such a sweet character. I loved her from the very beginning of this book, and I loved her even more by the time I made it to the end. She is so kind and adorable and works so hard to help Matt through his pain, and I couldn’t help admiring her for that because he could be a pain sometimes. But through it all she continued to want what was best for him and to listen to God’s leading through the whole situation, which was also very admirable. I don’t want to tell you what she did near the end so that I don’t spoil the story, but it took serious guts and I can’t believe she was able to obey the Lord rather than follow what her heart was feeling. If I hadn’t already been crazy proud of her by that point, her actions near the end would have sealed the deal. Matt Jarreau is AMAZING!!! Let me just say, some of the girls in this novel had major crushes on this handsome, brooding, ex-I’m-not-going-to-tell-you-what-he-did-but-it’s-pretty-cool guy, and I could completely understand why they were feeling that way. Even though he doesn’t seem to be the sweetest man at the beginning of this novel, he proves himself to be beyond wonderful as you get to know him better, and I can’t imagine a better hero for this story. All in all, I love, Love, LOVED this book, and I’m already dying to read it again. Becky did a fantastic job of pulling this story together, and I can’t get enough of the unexpected, yet perfect, way she wrote the ending. I can’t imagine giving this novel anything other than all five bookshelves, especially since it’s already on my all-time favorites list, and let me just say, I can’t even tell you how ready I am for Becky to come out with another book. (This review is from my blog,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book mixes antiques, senior citizens, hockey, and young love together in a way that makes a great romance novel. I think the thirty-somethings will particularly appreciate this book.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I loved the vibrant characters in this book! They were so easy to visualize and enjoy.
ganderson523 More than 1 year ago
Kate Donovan took a three month leave from work to travel from Dallas to Redbud, Pennsylvania with her grandmother Beverly Donovan to help her restore the elegant old house where Beverly had grown up. The property, Chapel Bluff, consists of the three story house, a barn and chapel and is very special but needs lots of work. Matt Jarreau has been recommended to Beverly to do the renovation and he has already gotten the house ready for them to stay while the work is being done. Kate is a thirty one year old who has been praying since fourth grade that God would send her a husband when the time was right but so far she has not met him. She has had a couple of serious relationships that have ended because neither of the guys was not the right one. When Kate meets Matt, she senses right away that he is a wounded soul. He is a very good looking man but doesn't have the air about him that shows he knows it. Kate feels that something has happened to him that has caused him to build a shell of protection around himself. Kate and Beverly try to draw Matt out of his shell by having him eat dinner with them at night while Beverly gives him cooking lessons. He thaws a little bit at a time but only so far. Matt was a professional hockey player who lost his wife to cancer a few years prior and withdrew from the world after her death even going so far as to leave hockey. A group of Beverly's friends that she grew up with join them at Chapel Bluff on Fridays for Friday Night Poker and fun times. This is a special sweet story of two people who come to care for each other but neither one allows the other to see how much. Kate prays everyday for God's will in helping Matt overcome his painful past but Matt is too afraid to allow anyone close to him and is angry at God for taking his wife. He is stuck in own prison of hurt, guilt and punishment. I enjoyed every page of the book and hated to see it end. The characters and setting seemed real and the seniors added a fun group of secondary characters. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading other books by Becky Wade.
KayMKM More than 1 year ago
I rarely read straight romance, but this book is fabulous! I love it! I think the reason I love it so much is because of the major spiritual theme of trusting God and following His will—no matter the cost. In addition to that, it has great characters, an exciting storyline, and a wonderful ending.
BeachLamb More than 1 year ago
Kate Donovan a petite, 31 year old single social worker with asthma, who is an expert in antiques and poker, trusts God for the husband she has dreamed of since she was four. Matt Jarreau an ex hockey star, who is still in love with his dead wife, does not want to believe in a God who would let his wife die. While Matt and Kate work on the restoration of her Gran’s childhood home, deal with a group of senior citizens, and play poker, Kate purposefully draws Matt out of his darkness. When she realizes Matt is the deepest desire of her heart, she asks God “Do You want this relationship to continue. God says, “No.” This is the freshest contemporary romance I’ve read in a long time. Becky Wade even makes taking the trash out romantic. A very satisfying read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LisaD More than 1 year ago
This book is about Kate who is a loving young women who goes to her Grandmother's childhood home to help her remodel and update the home. She is not satisfied with her life at the moment and is looking forward to the break. When she arrives at the beautiful Chapels Bluff she meets the attractive contractor Matt who also happens to be an ex professional hockey player. Kate so learns Matt like to be a lone and has issues of his own he needs to deal with. So she makes it her miss to help draw him out of himself. This book is full of emotions. I laughed and cried and it just made my heart happy. This is a book i have read over and over again. I love it that much!!
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
I recently listened to the audio book version of My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade while on a road trip. I had heard from quite a few people that if I enjoyed the Porter Family books, then I needed to read this story. So, I ordered this book on Audible. I’m so glad I did! I was really impressed with these two main characters and the way that the story flowed. Kate was stubborn and unyielding in her determination to help Matt get past the pain of losing his wife and hockey career. I was surprised that she was such a strong character and really stood up to Matt a number of times. While, at the same time, she had such a vulnerability. She was so unsure of herself and felt very ordinary compared to Matt through much of the book. It really made me feel for her. And Matt was such a complex character. He was the epitome of tall, dark, and brooding! And he had every right to be. He had lost so much and shrunk into a shell that he had no desire to be free from. Seeing him slowly begin to overcome all that had weighed him down was very uplifting. This book has it all. There is pain and uncertainty for both Matt and Kate, humorous side characters, and a wonderful romance, all wrapped up in a story that highlights God’s guidance in our lives. I will add the small disclaimer that My Stubborn Heart has a slightly “edgy” feel to it, with a few words that are not curse words, but are a little rougher than is sometimes found in Christian fiction. I enjoy a wide range of Christian fiction and very much enjoyed this book and also recommend the audio book reading of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
allimo81 More than 1 year ago
My favorite book. Of all time. Seriously - this book is amazing!! I have read it 4 times, and the first time I read it, I had never heard of Becky Wade, and I can promise you that it had me saying "Who is this lady, and where can I find more of her books?!!" At the time this one was her only book, but now she has another series out (The Porter family series - which is just as good!) My Stubborn Heart has it all - wonderful characters, a great story that keeps me up late into the night, and great chemistry too!! Seriously - you will not want to miss this one!! Definitely one for the keepers shelf!! :)
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