“Love Arrives in Pieces” is one of those books that speaks to the reader on multiple levels. First of all it is an enjoyable and well-written romance with strong characters and excellent dialogue. On a deeper level, we are shown the reality that outer beauty and popularity does not necessarily make life wonderful for us. The reader of “Love Arrives in Pieces” is given an intimate look at one young woman’s brokenness and the many ways the Lord worked to bring healing to her emotions.
Former beauty queen Stella Varland, damaged emotionally by divorce and betrayal, would rather become invisible if it was at all possible. She loves creating beautiful art but her self-esteem has been so damaged she fails to see her own talent. Desperate to continue paying her own way, she accepts a job as designer for the renovation of Bayou Bend’s old, run-down theater. To her surprise, the contractor/foreman just happens to be the man who broke both her heart and her sister Kat’s. How can she bear to work with Chase with the history they have?
“Love Arrives in Pieces” is a brilliant story that had me emotionally involved with both Stella and Chase from the opening pages. I loved the way the author used mosaic art as a way to highlight Stella’s brokenness and the way Stella’s inspiration to create a mosaic piece came about. I will admit that there were a few times that I became a bit frustrated with Stella’s repeated episodes and wanted to tell her to “get over it already” but mostly I was able to sympathize with her feelings. I liked Chase and the way he tried to protect and encourage Stella, even as he worked to overcome some of his own hangups. And of course the story would not have been the same without the somewhat mysterious and quirky Dixie who seemed to have perfect timing for bringing just the right word for Stella.
This book has earned a place on my keeper shelf and I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I did.
This book was provided for review by the BookLook Blogger Program of Harper Collins Christian Publishing.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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 www.betsystamant.com