First time a tornado gets a chance at playing cupid...

Not Afraid - Elizabeth Monvey

A Hearts On Fire Review

THREE HEARTS--"Not Afraid" is a interracial short story set in small town Missouri about decades long acquaintances who became lovers for the last year. Augustus or Gus is the bear hardware store owner who has been hiding his sexuality from the town because: being black AND gay in a small town could effect his livelihood. Raleigh or Leigh, the white farmer hasn't exactly announced to the town he was gay but he doesn't want to hide anymore now that he found a steady lover. Gus is afraid of the reactions from their town if they do stop hiding.

Now you could argue, hey, it's 2015, why are they so scared of being an interracial couple? Checking the current American headlines regarding race and the story's setting in Missouri (intentional? Or just luck?), I get their worry. The premise was interesting enough. The parts it flowed, then a statement is repeated that I just read, once more. The effect starts to wane. And sometimes the words got too flowery.

Gus held out his hand.
“What?” Raleigh asked, looking at that hand.
“Touch me.”
“Because I’ve got to know if that spark out there was just a fluke or if it’s still there. I’ve never felt anything like that before.”

I understand the intent, it just could've been written differently or like that example, edited out the scene. It wasn't necessary. The guys didn't act like that in the beginning.

There's a hip talking grandma that was a thread above annoying. She was too much, I get she was supposed to comedic relief but it was happy this story was short so I didn't have to read more about her.

The story could be better if ever expanded and edited. There were a couple of typos and the aforementioned repetition (yes, in 32 pgs). The romance between Gus & Leigh is insta-love even though a flashback was included to show how they hooked up /fell for one another.

A tornado comes in to get these two back onto the path of love. A HEA and epilogue a few months later shows where the lovebirds are now.

A decent read.