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Monday, October 31, 2011

Felines and Flowers by Stephanie J. Grace

Felines and Flowers by Stephanie J. Grace
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Genre: Inspirational, contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 Pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

During high school, Warren was just Wendy’s youth pastor. All grown up and shepherding over her own flock of church kids, Wendy Miller turns to her old friend for help. Not that Warren is that old. In fact, the two have a lot more in common than Wendy would have ever thought.

After the death of his wife, Warren was sure he was finished with relationships. Wendy changes that forgone conclusion with her bright spirit and zest for life. Lining up their desires when they’re at very different points in their lives proves a challenge that might take a little divine intervention, or at least help from friends.

In this story Ms. Grace deftly addresses the issue of age differences between hero and heroine. Pastor Warren is a widower, and Wendy Miller was one of his most faithful camp counsellors eight years ago, and is now a youth pastor at another local church.

With skilful use of dialogue the author reveals her hero and heroine’s backgrounds and their impact on present events. Mix in close communities, the gentle rivalries between the two churches and the sometimes intense disapproval of some committee members of both churches when the two pastors combine to present their annual festivities due to budget cuts on one hand and lack of space on the other and you get all the ingredients of a charming story, crammed with many different tensions and conflicts. Conflicts both internal and external. Ms. Grace pairs a bubbly heroine with a serious and introspective hero several years her senior, throws several nay-sayers in their path and then takes the reader on a fluently written journey of how they resolve each and every problem.

The author’s ability to transport this reader into her settings is artlessly achieved. The writing is fluent and carries the powerful flavour of small communities and all the concealed and sometimes open agendas within. The faith of both her hero and heroine is the backbone of the story and at times is sorely tested.

This short story is an ideal read for anyone looking for a gentle story that can carry the reader into another world for a few moments.