Series Review: The Christmas Angel

xmasangel

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas Angel through the years. Whether it’s the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk), post World War II (L.A. Witt), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday), 2018 Europe (RJ Scott), the Christmas Angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need it’s blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

41718418Published December 2nd 2018

When John Trent, a dedicated member of the new Bow Street Runners, finds an exquisite carved angel floating in the Thames, he can’t stop thinking about it. He tracks down its creator, a sad and quiet young sculptor. But neither the angel nor the sculptor is done with John just yet. The blasted angel refuses to leave him be, behaving not at all like an inanimate object should.

Alec Allston is resigned to the fact that his love will ever be a river that flows out and never flows in. All he wanted to do was create a special gift so that a small part of himself could be with his unattainable and noble beloved, always. But when the gift keeps showing back up at his shop in the hands of a windblown and rugged thief-taker, Alec will need to reconsider his conviction that love is destined to remain an aethereal ideal.

I was drawn to this whole series because of the collection of authors writing these stories. Almost all of them were authors I know and love, and Eli Easton is one of those. Plus, it’s Christmas. I’m a total sucker for holiday romances.

What I’m not normally a huge fan of is historical romances, so I was taking a bit of a chance with this series, but it was most definitely worth it. I was sucked right into this story, the origin of this Christmas Angel that the series is based around. There was drama and mystery and sweetness and magic, and Alec and Trent were the perfect first couple to kick things off.

Alec’s quiet, artistic soul complemented Trent’s tougher, passionate heart; and they found a home in each other that they each thought they were destined never to have. I’m sure this is a book I’ll be revisiting in Christmases to come!

4/5 stars

 

41718433Published December 2nd 2018

After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however, and after Alby’s years of absence, Five Corners no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys.

When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. But for Alby to achieve his dreams of love and a real home, well, that may take a bit of holiday magic.

Alby and Xeno are from two completely different walks of life, different classes, but the magic of that Christmas Angel helps them find each other. Alby has been estranged from his family for so long that he doesn’t know where to look to find them. He has little money and few possessions, and he just wants to find somewhere he belongs. The effervescent, charming Xeno seems so far beyond what Alby could ever have for himself, but somehow fate (or some angelic force) has found a way for them to make it work.

The two MCs in this book were wonderful, it was just the setting I couldn’t quite fall in love with. There was nothing wrong with it, it’s just not a time period I’m very familiar with, especially in the US. It just meant I found it difficult to lose myself in the story. But regardless of the setting, their relationship had me captured, and their HEA was exactly what they deserved.

4/5 stars

 

42931806Published December 2nd 2018

Vaudeville stage magician Christopher Fiend lives for the spotlight. His chance at big time stardom awaits him in Chicago, the next stop on the circuit after the little town of Twelfth Junction.

Edward Smith wants nothing to do with his family’s theater. Until Christopher catches his eye on opening night, then treats him to a very special performance during intermission.

When a dead body turns up in the middle of Christopher’s act, suspicion immediately falls on him. If Christopher and Edward can’t work together to clear his name, Christopher won’t make it to Chicago in time. Edward knows he shouldn’t get attached to a man who will be gone in two days, but his heart—and a very special angel—have other ideas.

REVIEW TO FOLLOW

 

41718469Published December 2nd 2018

August 1939. Roger Miller and Jack O’Brien have been close since childhood. By the time they realize there’s more between them than friendship, Jack is leaving their sleepy Iowa town for college. But they console themselves knowing he’ll be home for Christmas. Right?

It is Christmas before they see each other again, but that Christmas comes six years and a world war later. Aged, beaten, and shaken by combat, they’re not the boys they were back then, but their feelings for each other are stronger than ever.

Neither know the words to say everything they’ve carried since that peacetime summer kiss, though. Even as they stand in the same room, there’s a thousand miles between them. But maybe that’s some distance the little angel in Roger’s rucksack can cross.

REVIEW TO FOLLOW

 

41730466Published December 2nd 2018

The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.

Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, a striking hippie invites him to join them at a music festival.

Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.

REVIEW TO FOLLOW

 

41718481Published December 2nd 2018
293 pages

Pax Polo is the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free.

Correction: Was the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free. Now he sports a black eye and his bros have kicked him out of their band—three weeks before Christmas. It’s an unfamiliar kick to his over-inflated ego, but . . . whatever. No problem.

Thanks to some stellar eavesdropping, an unexpected angel ornament, and a bribe to open for his favorite band ever, Pax will weasel his way back into his mates’ good graces.

All he has to do is friend Clifford, the neighborhood man-shrew, for the summer. Distract him a bit so Clifford’s younger sister can sneak around. It sounds like a piece of beginners Beethoven. Jolly good fun. Easy. Because, Pax totally knows how to friend people. He has heaps of friends. This shrew’s no match for his shrewd ways. Or is he?

This is the kind of Anyta Sunday book that I’ve come to adore. The relationship dynamic is actually very similar to her recent release Pisces Hooks Taurus, just with a nineties Shakespearean twist!

Pax Polo is quirky and silly, creative and charming, a total rockstar but one harbouring some deep insecurities. Cliff is stoically grieving, strict and possessive of his sister, very much suspicious of Pax but also completely captivated by him. He hides it well, but that warm hurting heart of his needs someone more than he could ever admit. Pax is hopelessly oblivious for most of the book, in true Anyta Sunday slowburn style, but their relationship is built so wonderfully that his revelation is timed perfectly.

The Christmas Angel herself doesn’t have as central a role as in the other stories, but her presence is vital and her magic can be felt in the way these two find in each other something they weren’t even looking for. A total winner for me.

4.5/5 stars

 

42645523Published December 2nd 2018

Prince Raphael, the youngest son of the Montaunoit royal family, is the custodian of his country’s history. At a Sotheby’s auction, he outbids Marc on an item he doesn’t even want. Just because he can.

Meeting the museum curator turns Raphael’s world upside down, and when lust turns to love he knows he has to change.

Can Marc be the one to show Raphael that he doesn’t have to stay the lonely prince forever, and that love is always an option?

I totally loved this one. It had that real fairytale feel to it. Snow-covered landscapes, a gorgeously picturesque castle, some royal secrets and, of course, that magical sparkle provided by the Christmas Angel.

Raphael is captivated by Marc from the moment he sees him, but the feeling is certainly not mutual. Well, maybe, but Marc would never admit it. He believes Raphael to be this entitled, demanding royal who just takes whatever he wants. But the time they spend together digging into the history of Raphael’s family brings them closer together, allowing them both to see what the other has to offer. And they really like what they see.

This whole story was beautiful and romantic. It felt so warm and cozy and everything about it brought me that perfectly festive feeling I crave at this time of year. The series, and the journey of the Angel, is brought to an exceptional close with this one.

4.5/5 stars

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