Title: Always Have, Always Will
Author: BJ Sheppard
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Pages/Word Count: 64 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Imagine losing everything you ever loved in the blink of an eye. For Clayton Palmer, that terrible fate has just become a reality as he buries his lover, Gregg, after a brief and futile battle with cancer. Now, in the house in which they shared their love for all those years, Clay’s own life is slowly fading. In a war with his ailing body, Clay reminisces over the life they shared. Knowing time is running out, memories of their joy and sadness come to him; vignettes forming a road map back to the man he always loved; always has and always will.
Review: A love letter…that is what this novella is, a love letter to a dying partner. How we handle death is often a reflection of how we have handled life. For Clayton Palmer, that same nagging feeling that he never fully deserved the love and attention of his partner, Gregg, made it so much easier to withdraw when the cancer consumed Gregg’s body and forced death into their lives. But, just as Clay had loved fiercely in life, he could not hide his passion for Gregg in the end, and this is really what Always Have, Always Will is all about.
“There was something I forgot to say.” As we are privy to a dying man’s thoughts, we realize how important that statement is—not only for him, but for the reader as well. Author BJ Sheppard pulls your heartstrings taut, then nearly destroys them as he recounts the life and death of a pair of lovers whose lives were cut way too short. Through a series of memories, we watch Clay and Gregg fall in love and move through death, together—always together. This is a true love story but not one that is cozy and sweet; rather, it is filled with pain and sweat and, yes, death…but…in the end, there is that one shining moment when you realize the author is dishing out the most important thing…hope.
Always Have, Always Will speaks of a bond that reaches beyond our simple lives and carries us into the arms of that one person we will love forever. Tender and raw, this novella is poetry in motion, a love letter, a glimpse at redemption, and a window into eternity. And, at the end, through tears of sadness, you are given that chance to see that the strength of love transcends death. A beautiful story, a gorgeous promise that we can find a lover we will have in our heart…always.
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