Light Perpetual Shines by Kathleen Hayes

Light Perpetual Shines by Kathleen Hayes
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, GLBT
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Sam works as a hospital chaplain and volunteers as chaplain with the local police department. Called to the scene of a domestic dispute, he crosses paths with Frank, best friend of the victim. Though the two share a moment, they go their separate ways… but meet again outside the hospital after one of Sam’s patients dies…

Sam is an Episcopalian member of clergy, a consultant with the police and works frequent shifts for his pastoral care rotation in the local hospital. He’s also gay. When Sam is called out to a domestic dispute, he meets Frank and the attraction between them is instantaneous. They bump into each other again a few months later while Sam is doing a difficult shift at the hospital and this time neither can deny the chemistry between them.

This is a great, but very different type of short story. While the romance aspect of it is very sweet (a lot of “getting to know you” and a few kisses) I feel much of the rest of the content might press the buttons of some readers. When Sam and Frank meet initially, it’s because Sam is called out in his position as a police consultant for a domestic case. One where the offender is a transvestite named Sandra. I actually really enjoyed Sandra’s character, and found the scene very powerful and emotional. There is a lot of praying and a serious, spiritual confession. I strongly feel this won’t be every reader’s cup of tea.

While this is certainly not your “standard” romance story, I enjoyed it. My main disappointment was that instead of being swept away and carried off in the story like I often am when I read, the entire book was so serious I found myself unable to let loose. Rather than the usual entertainment/escapism feeling, I found this a well written, but serious-toned book. I didn’t find it lighthearted, fun or frivolous. And while that’s not a criticism, it did mean I didn’t relax and enjoy it in the normal sense of my reading pleasure.

I did, however, enjoy the experience of reading a book from a completely different perspective. I found the hospital cases Sam worked very difficult and emotional, and also appreciated seeing Sam and Frank learn more about each other and begin their relationship together. In some respects I felt this was a procedural style story, with the various cases and outcomes. While the bulk of the spotlight was on Sam, and he did begin a relationship with Frank, much of this happens in the last quarter or so of the book. Sam’s work, and the “cases” he fielded really set the tone for me. There is romance, but after reading it that felt more like a sub-plot, or secondary to me.

I found this to be a different, fresh type of story, one that certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste but romantically sweet nevertheless. I feel open-minded readers could well enjoy this story as much as I did.

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