Precious and Few: Volume I in the "Polly's Heartsongs" Trilogy
By Alexis
Dec 1, 2004 - 4:56:00 AM

Ben Shepherd and his wife Tina attend a retreat center for coping with life after football. The state of their turbulent marriage is apparent from the moment they arrive. Although Ben and Polly, who is their assigned counselor and founder of the retreat, hit it off from the onset, Tina takes a dislike to Polly and they don't become friends until some issues are brought to light and discussed. Ben and Polly develop a very close relationship and start to feel an intense love for one another. Ben and Tina leave the retreat confident that they'll be able to renew and heal their relationship and also having made a friend that they both care about and can confide in.

Portia 'Polly' Bartholomew has developed close ties with both Ben and Tina so when Ben calls her to be with him when his wife dies she flies out to offer him whatever comfort and help she can provide. Their relationship takes a new turn when he seeks solace in her arms. At first she tries to stop their involvement, but lets it continue when she sees how much he is hurting. Polly thinks that Ben's professions of love have only to do with his grief. Ben claims that they're his true feelings and not something that he's imagining.

To get away from some of the talk that can occur if her relationship with Ben is made known, Polly goes to work as an interior designer for Lance Whitman who is a reported ladies man and temperamental actor. The two seem to be on the same wave length and get along well. Lance is there for Polly when she needs him after Ben is injured and at times seems to hint at wanting a closer relationship between him and Polly.

PRECIOUS AND FEW is a well written story about relationships and how they develop and are constructed. The feelings that exist between the characters are heart touching and thoughtfully expressed. The love felt between Ben and Polly is wonderfully written and the conflicts and inner struggles of Ben, Polly, and Lance make it difficult for readers to decide who they want Polly to end up with. Bonnie Sue Bradshaw has created a good story that navigates the travails of relationships and leaves readers wanting to learn the fate of her characters.

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