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.
I'll be honest - when I realized that this book is the follow-up to All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes I was a little disappointed. The first book wasn't my favorite, so I was expecting the same experience with this book. I was wrong!
In Love Arrives in Pieces, we get to venture around in Stella's life. Once the beauty queen of the town, Stella now suffers from a horribly broken heart, a bout of embarrassment, and a very low self esteem with a guarded personality. Her mom gets her a job at the restoration of the local movie theater, and she discovers a "not so blast from the past" is working the same job.
We got a little bit of information about Chase in the first book, but we really get to know him this time around. He also has a broken heart and a broken past, and is also guarded about working with Stella after all they have been through. We get to see him struggle with the emotions of losing someone he loves, yet falling in love with someone else. We get to see him worry about his past and his future, while trying to make the right moves with everything he does.
I loved watching Stella grow in this book. She is really making an effort to get back to a life of love and happiness, but her past continues to haunt her at every move. It's only when she truly lets go and lets God work that things begin to fall in place for her.
I loved how this story came to a close at the theater opening. Of course, I'm not going to tell you how it ended, but I can tell you it was a perfect ending for a perfect couple. I'm so glad I didn't toss this book aside and actually gave it a chance. It was a great book and I definitely recommend it.
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.