His Christmas Angel
I haven’t really read since the beginning of October when I last had free time—but now that I’m officially free for the holidays and the foreseeable beyond, I decided it was high time I got back to my idea of perfect escapism!
And since Christmas is right around the corner I figured I’d get in the festive season this year and read up on some Christmas-themed Harlequin romances (because I love my Harlequin).
So I stocked up on five books and then ordered those books by year, and I’m knocking them down one-by-one before New Years’ eve—so these will hopefully be my last TBR stack of 2014.
Here’s to the first review then!
As promising as the blurb at the back of the book, Michelle Douglas’ debut His Christmas Angel is a treat of a read. By which I mean it had more ups than downs.
Set in a small town, this holiday-themed reunion story kicks off with the return of a prodigal member of the community. Hero Sol Adams has traded his poor life in his Podunkville—the town is actually called Schofield—for his great success in the city. A big-time architect, Sol is back in Schofield with no plans to stay until Christmas. He’s returned to take care of some family matters, not to face down his overbearing, ill father. Because in Podunk/Schofield he’ll always be seen as the little boy who had an unfortunate family situation and ran away the first chance he got after high school.
The only blip of happiness in Schofield for him is the girl next door: Cassie Parker nee Campbell.
But Cassie Campbell has changed in as much ways as she still surprises him with her usual kindness and compassion. She’s now Schofield’s trophy widow. Though once upon a time ago both Sol and Cassie were the charity cases of their town.
In losing her husband, a local town hero, Cassie had gained a family in her in-laws and the town’s support for what seems to be a comfy and permanent widowhood.
Without spoiling any of the story—which is hard!—Sol and Cassie manage to work their way to a HEA and overcome the difficulty of balancing a reputation by not being together, because it would look bad for the grieving widow and the runaway boy-turned-architect, and following their desire to be together.
What got bonus points:
Cassie – is a strong heroine. She’s funny and sassy and her family story really breaks my heart. And I also love that Sol can go toe-to-toe with her. Sometimes I find one-half of the coupledom is doing all the work: all the teasing and all the chasing and asking—it gets boring to read. But Sol took as much as he gave and Cassie did pretty much the same thing.
Sol – I talked about him up there with Cassie, but to add on that I think I’ve come to a revelation after experiencing Sol (sorry! That sounded so dirty! Haha) I realize now that I can read a book WITHOUT an alpha hero. It’s possible—huzzah! Whowouldathunkit? Sol is not an alpha and I totally loved him. I mean he wasn’t a complete beta either—but he did play more as the best friend in this friends-to-lovers romance. He was, if anything, assertive when he wanted what he wanted, and usually that was Cassie. All his alpha~ness is saved for the sexual tension and pent-up scenes of moderate petting…
What lost points (or a point):
First… SPOILER ALERT!!!
It was miniscule, but I didn’t like that no one discussed how Brian Parker, Cassie’s deceased husband, used to beat the tarp out of her during his drunken rage spells. Seriously. It’s never brought up to his family. I get that the guy’s been dead for a year and the wounds are still so fresh for his grieving parents and family and friends, and there’s that hero-image of his to maintain, but I feel there are just some things that should have been discussed.
Granted I’m all about the “let sleeping dogs lie” or whatnot, AND Ms. Douglas handled the news of Sol and Cassie’s relationship outing to the town and Brian’s family really well, I figure I can let this irksome point go.
Another thing I didn’t like: the language/speech threw me for a loop sometimes. Especially at the start when it didn’t occur to me that they were using country/rural idioms…or whatever.
Though out of context, take this first mention of the phrase “clap eyes on” for instance: “I may not have clapped eyes on you for ten years Cassie Campbell…” (p. 20). It took me sometime sans dictionary—because I’m a stubborn brat—to realize it meant “He saw her ten years ago…”. >_<
Why not just write something along the lines of “I may not have SEEN you for ten years Cassie Campbell…’? Oh vey.
Anyways, go out (or open your Kindle) and buy His Christmas Angel—I promise it won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a sweet, Christmas-themed romance.