Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for 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. 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 discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force 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 their brokenness.
I’ve read several, if not all of Betsy St. Amant’s books. I loved the premise of this one—two people with a past involving each other have to work together on a restoration project of a movie theater while having even more past the other one doesn’t know about. For Stella, she’s divorced and suffering terrible anxiety because of it. For Chase, he lost his fiancee.
Like a mosaic, pieces are there for a great piece of work. I loved the umbrella aspect of the story, that really stood out to me. But I felt like a piece was missing. That we could get to know Stella a little bit better but we didn’t have access. Like her beauty pageant past we saw a beautiful glimpse of the outside, but didn’t get to know her beyond that. Chase was a bit more developed but I wanted to know and feel more from the both of them.
Their chemistry is great and there’s a lot of conflict to keep the pages turning. It would be a great book to bring to the beach.
To read Love Arrives in Pieces, order here.
I received a copy of Love Arrives in Pieces in exchange for an honest review.