The Guardian is the first volume in the Gables of Legacy Series by Anita Stansfield. You'll find that this series follows right after the Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga with connecting characters.
The Guardian is a full length novel that is formatting differently than most romance novels.
This book is filled with LDS content, meaning that the story explores the LDS experience from an LDS perspective.
If you're familiar with a person who is LDS (a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) then you'll know that our perspective on life is eternal.
This story explores the gamut of emotional and spiritual struggles of dealing with life's choices and actions that happen.
With that in mind, you can know that this is not a regular story with a plot that has a beginning, middle and end.
It is, however, a powerful story of the devastating consequences of accidents that can happen and how one might deal with them.
And because this story is filled with LDS content, you can know that as they deal with these devastating consequences, the characters turn to our loving Heavenly Father and our wonderful older brother Jesus Christ, for love and support.
And how by turning to Heavenly Father and Jesus, we can find the peace and joy that we so desperately need to deal with accidents that happen.
This story starts us out by introducing us to Tamra Banks and how, when serving her mission, she runs into Emily and Michael Hamilton and how they help her thru a rough time.
Then years go by and she takes them up on the invite to come to Australia to live and work in their large home.
Meanwhile, Jess has also come home as he can't deal with life anymore. He's burdened with the guilt of killing his brother and his wife, along with his best friend.
And while a love starts to blossom between them, he tries to take his own life, she realizes just how much he's hurting and broken.
As she turns to the Lord for help and guidance to not only help Jess, but also to help herself, many lessons are learned along the way.
And it's those lessons that LDS language and thoughts and ideas are used and applied.
Things like going to the Lord in prayer when struggling with decisions, or taking the time to study the scriptures to find answers, or going to the temple to have the Lord help when struggling with something huge!
And that's what these people do. Tamra tries to help Jess with the Lord's help. There's a whole ton of emotional and spiritual thoughts that they deal with and that takes pages and pages sometimes.
As you know, we have free agency to make the choices that we're going to make. And when Jess makes choices, Tamra must also makes choices.
So the whole story is not only Tamra learning and applying the Atonement in her life, so must Jess learn and apply the Atonement in his life.
And if they can meet, all the better.
And yes, he finally comes to terms with the deaths of his brother, his sister-in-law and his best friend and is finally able to see the light of the gospel and how Christ can and will help, if we turn to Him.
So the story does end happy, just not like other romance books.
This is a moving and poignant story that portrays how we can overcome trials and tribulations by allowing the Lord to help guide us to happiness.
I will admit that it wasn't an easy read. There're a lot of tough chapters when they deal with a certain issue and what they do and what they don't do to help themselves.
And how they can move together while healing or they can struggle on their own.
Anita Stansfield has the unique talent of being able to portray in words the experience it can take to actually understand and apply the Atonement in one's life. And how moving it can be. I cried right along with the characters as they learned and grew.
And as this author is a fav of mine, I'll be sure to check out the rest of this series to see how Jess and Tamra fare!!
Check out the other books in the Gables of Legacy Series:
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