Anyone looking for a heart-warming mix of romance and the new frontiers possibilities of time travel and body sharing will find The Vicarage Bench an endearing and engaging mix of the two. Add suspense and the zing of strong sexual attractions and the result is a real winner.
The Vicarage Bench is composed of three inter-related novellas:
She’s Me offers a new and hopeful road for us, merging the good in two people to the benefit of both, transferring their spirits and strengths to make each a more balanced person. Barbour’s startling method is body sharing and, in spite of our initial doubts and a big faux pas that has to be undone, she makes it seem a welcome possibility.
He’s Her brims with warmth and the feeling that these two people truly belong together. It builds a reason to imagine that eternal togetherness is possible for those who love deeply.
We’re One offers another twist: a tool for escaping from dangerous situations. Safety and justice are achieved with the help of body sharing and we feel the relief of seeing good triumph over evil.
Barbour hooks us quickly as we share her characters’ shock of having their worlds turned inside-out and she keeps us hooked by our apprehension that, since these people seem as real as we are, maybe this could really happen, even to us. The conversations between the characters sharing bodies is lively and genuine – what you can imagine feeling and saying if you abruptly found someone else living inside your body along with you.
Barbour’s smooth intertwining of the characters and times in the three novellas carries us right into their lives.Their innocent reliance on a good cup of tea easily reminds us of the setting and, through it all, a kindly central character knits all three tales together.
Barbour’s particular genius is in her descriptive writing. She makes us feel things right down to the tips of our toes with her descriptions such as “… happiness zinged around her like electricity from a live wire.” Or, “… a voice that slid around her skin like luxurious white rabbit fur.” Or in a more sensual vein, “… she crawled naked into her virgin bed.” You can take it from there.
The Vicarage Bench is time travel, romance, mutual sexual tension and fulfillment, hope, and justice achieved. It makes us re-think the possible and leads us to say to ourselves, “Maybe, just maybe, this could happen—even to me.”