Monday, June 15, 2015
Love Arrives in Pieces - Betsy St. Amant
Stella Varland has not ended up where she expected; divorced at 25, depending on her parents for assistance and job leads, she suffers debilitating panic attacks over her memories of being left. Now, she has a chance at a fantastic job to boost her interior designer resume, only it comes at the cost of working with the man who broke both her and her sister's heart and caused years of rift between them. Chase Taylor has returned to Bayou Bend, also damaged but with a renewed faith and a determination to not waste any more time. Can these two broken people find healing, or will they get in each other's way of finding the true Healer?
When I started this book, I hadn't realized it was a sequel to All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes. If I had realized they went together, I would have tried to read them closer together, because it was hard for me to remember the backstories of the characters who carried over. It would have been helpful to remember afresh the hurt and heartache between Kat and Stella, and to know how Chase and Lucas were connected. Even so, this book functioned fairly well as a stand alone. On the surface, it was just another light romance, but there was a lot of deep stuff there to uncover about our brokenness and how the healing can seem just as hard as staying broken. The author uses some unusual characters to get her main characters to think - the "homeless" woman, Dixie, and the fire department chaplain serve as catalysts for changing how Stella and Chase see not only each other but themselves as well.
The only hard part of this book for me was to believe that Stella could reconnect with Chase so quickly. If he really had caused a years-long rift between Stella and Kat, it seems natural that there would have been more distrust or conversations, or that he would have had to prove that he'd really changed. There just weren't enough details on why he'd run; there were a lot of allusions to Kat having reinterpreted the story of what happened, but her version versus what really happened were never fleshed out. I think a flashback to what had happened and what each of the three of them had felt at the time would have served to make the story fuller and more cohesive.
I enjoyed this book, and give it 3 stars. The themes of brokenness and beauty added depth to the story that made it more thought provoking than a typical romance.
You can find Love Arrives in Pieces HERE.
You can find the Author's website HERE.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.