Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
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 fiancée 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.
About the Author
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing. Visit her website at http://www.betsystamant.com Facebook: BetsySt.Amant Twitter: @betsystaman
This is my second book to read by this author and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I really connected with Stella, the main character of the book. Betrayed, broken and feeling worthless, she is pushed into a job she doesn’t want with someone she doesn’t like. Yet, she gracefully pushes herself to do the job. While this book does not claim to talk about PTSD, it covers it in one of the best ways I have seen it portrayed in a fictional story. She makes you taste it. I could feel the despair and pain in the words. It takes a talented author to do that, and Ms. St. Amant does this skillfully. Yet, she also causes you to feel the hope as well. Despair and Hope that go hand in hand, make for the perfect combo. She has to have cupcakes mentioned in here, but no recipes in this one.
I really was touched by the story, as well as the awareness of the homeless plight as it is mentioned as well. It gets to a root of many issues that Christians have with homeless people by teaching you to know and love with Stella. Plus, you have to just love the cover! For me that was icing on the cupcake!
This wonderful book was provided for me for review by BookLookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.