SKU (ISBN): 9780310228073
Binding: Trade Paper
Brooke Martin is a stained-glass artist who fled her hometown of Hayden, Louisiana, ten years ago after a scandal in which, as a high-school student, she was wrongly accused of having an affair with her twenty-one-year-old art teacher, Nick Marcello, who was fired as a result of the gossip. Now, as a struggling artist, she accepts a commission to return to Hayden to redesign the stained-glass windows in the city’s historic church only to find that the person who hired her was in fact Nick Marcello. Nick is now a Christian, but that doesn’t stop the gossip from starting all over again once Brooke returns, sparked by Abby Hemphill, a trustee of the church. Brooke’s family is greatly bothered by the gossip, especially her younger sister Roxy, now in high school, who has problems of her own and is in fact, as Brooke discovers to her dismay, somehow involved with a mystery married man, Bill. Despite the hypocrisy of many of the church members, Brooke begins to see the mystery of God’s relationship with man as she designs the window panels. When Brooke comes to a point of surrender to God, she and Nick confess to each other that, although they didn’t act on their feelings for each other years ago, those feelings were nevertheless there, contributing to the feelings of guilt they’ve suffered all these years. They kiss. Meanwhile, Abby Hemphill is finally successful in convincing the church trustees to freeze all funds for the window renovation. Nick and Brooke offer to continue the work for free. In a Gift of the Magi touch, Nick and Brooke, unbeknownst to each other, each sell something of great value to finance the work. Brooke discovers that Roxy’s married man, Bill, is Bill Hemphill, Abby’s son. He has been pursuing Roxy for months through threats and intimidation, but in fact Roxy has not given in to him yet. Brooke tells Bill and Abby she will go to the press with the whole story unless it stops now. As the book ends, Brooke and Nick are engaged and church members raise enough money to reimburse them for their expenses and labor in finishing the church windows.