Wednesday, July 3, 2002

More Than a Garden by Dorothy Compton

Awe-Struck E-Books, 1587492814, price TBA

Love at first sight is possible even in one's golden years, as is the case with Oklahoma nursery owner Kevin Wilkerson. From the moment he sets eyes on willowy Lenora Deakins as she chases her granddaughter around his shop, he is smitten. Soon he is making up excuses to visit her newly acquired home, and delivering gardening supplies at no extra cost. Lenora is initially put off by Kevin's bravado, believing at first Kevin sees her as a poor, helpless widow who can't afford the labor and supplies he offers. Much to Kevin's delight, Lenora's suspicions eventually fade and a relationship blooms. Kevin's steadfast faith in God propels him to persue the lovely Lenora, whose ability to interpret Scripture into a spiritual dance ignites a longing in him more powerful than a Midwestern storm.

No garden is without its problems, however, and in More Than a Garden Lenora and Kevin find a pest that threatens not the tranquility of Lenora's backyard but the security of her family. Thinking the widow has come into money, a seedy day laborer executes a ransom scheme that tests the boundaries of Lenora's relationship with Kevin. Through his devotion to her and God does Lenora come to find the strength to resolve the crisis.

Garden is one in a line of romances published under Awe-Struck's "Silver Linings" imprint. At first I was under the impression that "Silver Linings" alluded to stories of over-50 protagonists; I have learned this imprint serves to promote the publisher's line of inspirational romances. Regardless of the connotation of the imprint's name, More Than a Garden is a fine addition. Author Compton crafts a sweet, playful courtship story fringed with an edgy, heart-rendering conflict. Kevin and Lenora come across as genuine people who prove that passion is not necessarily reserved for the younger set.

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