Thursday, July 23, 2015

Love Arrives in Pieces {by Betsy St. Amant}

Title: Love Arrives in Pieces
Author: Betsy St. Amant
Genre: Christian romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: publisher

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 her brokenness so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but always falls short. So she keeps her passion for her secret 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 fiancee in a car crash. 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 learn former flame Stella is the designer for the project.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and their pasts as they struggle to compromise and come together on a vision for the theater. Chase doesn't understand why Stella is such a subdued version of herself, while Stella doesn't get Chase's constant need for productivity and speed. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness and their unresolved feelings for each other until Chase breaks through Stella's walls and convinces her to enter her mosaic tile art in a contest.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force both 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 the broken.

This is a companion to All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes, following the story of Kat's sister. Stella was a pageant queen, but her glory days are over. Now, she divorced, and only a shell of the person she used to be. Until her former flame, Chase, comes back into town. After hurting both her and her sister, he is the last person she wants to work with on a project, but she has no choice.

I wasn't sure if what happened with Chase was said in the first book. In fact, I even went back and flipped through it, but got nothing more than a vague sense. So we go through much of the story not knowing exactly what happened, only that he hurt both Stella and Kat, tremendously, harming the sisters' relationship in the process. So no one is exactly happy to see him. (I will point out, this can be read without reading Kat's story. I suppose there will just be spoilers for how Kat's story ends up.)

Stella and Chase were very real characters. They have both been through a lot, they're both hurting. They had real flaws, went through real problems. They're relationship was so real, as they had ups and downs, learning how to trust each other after such a hurt. Stella has really drawn into herself, trying to make herself not as pretty. She's lost her brightness, her shine. Chase helped her to come out of her shell, become the bright, beautiful shell she used to be. I loved seeing her growth and change.

This was a very fun story. I think it dealt with deeper and darker issues than its companion, but it was still sweet and cute. I loved these characters and this story.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Betsy St. Amant:

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