Summertime is the perfect time for grabbing books and enjoying the sunshine. Unless you live in Texas, then you better be by a body of water otherwise, you’ll melt. Anyway…Summer reads are always fun and Betsy St. Amant’s latest arrived just in time.
For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.
Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.
Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.
I’ll start off by saying I really liked that this featured the journeys of Stella and Chase. Each had their own path of discovery and I thought that was done well (it fit well with Stella embracing her art along the way). Dealing with the rejection of a breakup/divorce is no easy web to fight through and St. Amant wasn’t afraid to show the messy.
There were some characters that warmed me from the beginning (Dixie) and some I didn’t quite understand (the mom), but overall I thought this was a sweet tale about finding beauty in the broken.
And that’s always an amazing thing.
What’s on your summer reading list?
(Thank you to Litfuse and Zondervan for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)