“NOW AND ALWAYS YOURS,” by Anita Stansfield, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 265 pages (f)
Anita Stansfield’s latest work of romantic fiction begins in prison. While that might not be the most likely opening setting for a love story, “Now and Always Yours” quickly grows, becoming a tale to which almost anyone can relate.
Stansfield, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and best-selling author of LDS romance, dabbles in creating stories with unique angles, and this is one more to add to that collection.
Greg’s life has been difficult. Tormented by abusive parents, he and his older sister bounced through foster homes, and Greg ended up in an ugly marriage while still young. Turning to drugs to dull the pain, Greg made decisions that eventually landed him in a penitentiary.
Released early for good behavior, Greg plunges back into life on the outside, but his balance is upset. His sister, his teenage children, a job, a car — it is all incredibly overwhelming, until he meets Celia.
A dynamic woman with plenty of struggles of her own who works with Greg’s sister, Celia is drawn to Greg’s honest way and kind nature. As problems mount, Greg and Celia must battle prejudice, hatred, abuse and anger to try to make a relationship work.
In Stansfield’s typical style, this story revolves around the lives of good people tossed into difficult circumstances.
Greg and Celia are genuine and good in every way, constantly looking for the bright side while standing strong against injustice and cruelty. The two are determined and focused and are working to build lives of virtue and grace despite the garish flaws flaunted by many of the people around them.
The story is flecked with several endearing moments and painful struggles, giving it a dappled feel as Greg and Celia work to hold on to their future while balancing the demons from Greg’s past.
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Like Stansfield’s other works, “Now and Always Yours” is a romance free of described sexuality or foul language. The characters in the story are religious, attend a Christian church and rely on prayer and faith.
Readers of romantic fiction will likely enjoy the gossamer feel of this story of forgiveness and love.
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six children and lives in West Valley City, Utah. Her email is email@example.com, and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.