Now and Always Yours is a true stand-alone book by best-selling LDS author Anita Stansfield. This story is much more of an inspirational story than it is a romance but it does have romance in it.
While this book is a complete story and has no cliffhanger, you'll find that it's a continuation to the Legally and Lawfully Yours story.
But there's no book series name that goes along with these two books, they're just connected with characters and the lives that they have been leading.
And while this story was written by an LDS author, there are no LDS phrases or usage in it at all. There are, however, much dialogue about God and spiritual matters that we all have to deal with.
There're no sexual content at all in this story, no reference to any at all.
I found that this book was more about the journey of Greg Tourney and how he adjusted back to life being outside prison.
If you've read Legally and Lawfully Yours, you'll know that Greg is Shannon's brother and the kids that she adopted are his kids. And it's Shannon that took care of them while he was in prison.
Now as this story starts, we hear the story from Greg's POV and what life was like in prison and what adjustments he has to go thru when he's finally free.
And because this classified as a contemporary romance, there is a romance that happens between Greg and Celia, Shannon's legal assistant.
This story is also about the transition of his two kids, Neal and Jeanie, and how they adjust to having their dad in their lives in more than just letters and a weekly phone call.
I found this book to be printed bigger than a pocketbook size as well as an ebook but only 272 pages long. So it's an easy and uplifting read.
This story starts us out on hearing and seeing what life has been like for Greg while he's been in prison. We also get to see how much he's changed and how he definitely wants to keep the changes that he's made.
And because there's quite a bit of introspection of Greg's as he prepares to leave the prison and what life would be like out of prison.
And how grateful he feels when he feels completely welcomed into Shannon's and Phillip's home. So I would also call it an inspirational romance as well.
The best way to describe this book is about life, about life after living in prison. But it's also about the courage and determination it takes to make solid changes that actually stick.
So we hear about endless counselling thoughts and ideas that they were taught that not only Greg learned but so did his kids and so did Shannon and Phillip. Advice and counsel that they now have to put into practice, which isn't easy.
Not only do we hear about Greg's thoughts and concerns, ideas and feelings, we also hear about Jeanie's and Neal's and even some of Shannon's.
Then as Celia starts being a part of the pic more, we hear about hers as well.
This story as so much more introspection on behalf of the characters than other stories. I would call them much more dimensional characters with dynamic characteristics and personalities.
And that makes for the story to be so much more real and believable.
And the characters are interesting and charming as they go thru the experiences that they go thru.
What's nice here too, is that Greg makes a point to settle some underlying fears that his children have, even though they happen to be teenagers by this time. He knows that they need to confront their mother to make sure that she can no longer threaten to take them away.
And all of this is done with prayer and turning to God and each other to help them cope.
Please note that Celia's story plays a part too in this storyline. She came from a troubled childhood and, thru counselling, has learned to deal with certain things. But we see her flourish under the love and devotion that she gets from Greg. And we see how their relationship progresses towards marriage and eventually children.
Needless to say, this story is a glimpse into the lives of not only Greg and Celia but also the kids and how Shannon and Phillip fit into all of it.
You'll find that this story is definitely more about the spiritual journey of Greg and Celia than about their romance. It's about how they forge their relationship with God, together. And how Greg learns from Phillip's example on how to really make a better life for himself and for his children.
This story is also about healing. Healing from trauma that they've all had and how God can help you, if you have faith.
Anita Stansfield does a great job in creating the setting and the characters that are completely believable. As much time passes during the story, this helps us to know that to truly heal takes time and patience and love.
This was an easy read, although a poignant one! Completely enjoyable and worth reading again and again.
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