Title: Wheat Kings and Pretty Things
Author: G.S. Wiley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 9, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 45
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
As soon as he graduated high school, Paul Thompson fled the tiny, heavily Ukrainian town of Liddon, Saskatchewan, for bigger and better things. Now in his late thirties, Paul owns a struggling art gallery in Toronto. His grandmother’s one-hundredth birthday is approaching, and Paul will return to place where he grew up for the first time since he left.
The town—and the province—don’t match Paul’s memories. Have they changed? Or has he? He reconnects with Dylan Shevchenko, an old friend who now teaches phys. ed. in Regina. When Paul learns his grandmother had an Aboriginal son he never knew about, he wonders what else he missed while he was away. Did he make the right choice all those years ago? He receives the rare opportunity to start over when he discovers a gallery for sale in Regina. He’s faced with a choice between his youthful dreams in the big city and making a life with Dylan in a place that somehow finally feels like home.
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Paul hasn’t seen classmate Dylan since graduation night twenty years ago when their graduating class (all eleven of them!) partied, and Dylan unexpectedly kissed Paul. Paul couldn’t wait to get out of town the minute he graduated, but a lot of things can change in twenty years, and people change as well. Now Paul’s back in town for his grandmother’s 100th birthday.
The blurb basically tells the plot of this novella, but in just 45 pages the author does a nice job of fleshing out characters and developing a story that feels nicely complete at the HEA ending. Wheat Kings and Pretty Things is a sweet story about reassessing your dreams and deciding on happiness. Paul’s grandmother tells him about happiness:
That’s what’s important in life, Paul. We didn’t used to believe that, but it’s the truth.” […] “Just be happy. People your age don’t have any excuse not to be.
I enjoyed this story and recommend it for anyone looking for a story about what happens when you return to your roots. 3.5 stars.