While out searching for the perfect Christmas tree for her young son, Daniel, single mother Abby March, finds herself caught in the crossfire between an outlaw and a bounty hunter. After being shot, she awakens under the care of a dangerous stranger, but as she gets to know him better, she understands that he hides his softer side because of a devastating loss. Ford has promised to leave by Christmas, but as the holiday rapidly approaches, Abby can't help wanting more with him than just one magical holiday.
After the deaths of his wife and daughter, Ford Statler has lived his life on the edge, hunting down some of the most dangerous criminals as a way to atone for leaving them unprotected. A part of him doesn't care whether he lives or dies, but he'd never deliberately hurt an innocent woman. When he accidentally shoots Abby, Ford takes responsibility for her and Daniel until she recovers. The young mother and her son get under his skin, making him long for the life he once had. But can he get past his fear of losing another person he loves to fully let them into his heart?
Fallen Angel is a sweet, holiday-themed, western romance novella about a bounty hunter and a single mother who find love in time for Christmas. While searching for the perfect Christmas tree for her son, Abby finds herself caught up in a gunfight between the bounty hunter and an outlaw and she's accidentally shot. Before he could see her and react, Ford had already fired at the outlaw with his bullet hitting a woman instead. He goes to her rescue and takes responsibility for Abby and her young son, Daniel. Over the next several days, he cares for them both and does everything he can to make sure they have a good Christmas. Although he finds himself developing feelings for Abby and Daniel, Ford has experienced a tremendous loss in his life, and if he can't get over his fear of losing someone he loves again, they may not have a future together.
Abby was raised in a well-to-do family back East, but following her heart left her heartbroken and alone. She married a man she thought she loved, but of whom her family didn't approve. He turned out to be a gold-digging scoundrel who left her when it became apparent that no money would be forthcoming from her family. Disowned and with nowhere else to go, she took a position as a ladies companion to an older woman who was traveling to San Francisco, but found herself sacked and left to fend for herself in Colorado. She's been struggling ever since to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads for the sake of her son, Daniel. Although she can't afford much, she's determined to give her son a nice Christmas and all he wants is the perfect tree. However, while out searching for that tree, she comes upon a gunman who points his weapon right at Daniel. Trying to save her son, Abby rushes the man, only to be shot herself. She awakens in the care of the bounty hunter who wounded her. At first, she's afraid of this dangerous man, but as he cares for her tenderly over the next several days, she begins to discover his softer side that makes her fall for him. Abby is a great mother whose biggest priority is her son. She's also a stubborn, determined woman who won't let Ford get away easily.
After losing his wife and daughter and feeling responsible for their deaths, Ford took up bounty hunting as a way to avenge them. He knew that it was a risky proposition, especially given that he usually goes after the most hardened criminals. However, a part of him doesn't care if he lives or dies, until the day he accidentally shoots a woman who reminds him of an angel. Feeling terrible about what he's done, Ford pays for Abby's care as well as a room for her and Daniel at the hotel. There, he keeps watch over them both and does everything in his power to give them a good Christmas. Although he develops feelings for Abby along the way, Ford fears what it might do to him if he lost her and Daniel, too. It will take some determination on her part to get him to see reason and fully let them into his life and heart. Ford is a man who's lost everything that meant anything to him, which has caused him to more or less check out on life, but Abby and Daniel bring him back to a place where he can open his heart again.
Overall, Fallen Angel was a good read that I enjoyed. I liked both Abby and Ford, and little Daniel is a sweet boy who's been raised well. Their romance was perhaps a bit rushed. It takes place over, I think, less than a week's time, which is maybe a bit too quickly to fully believe that they could fall in love that fast. But the story was heartwarming enough to help make up for that and I did feel a connection between them. I enjoyed the little twist at the end. What Abby did to get Ford back was cute. So, overall, I had a good time reading this story. Fallen Angel is the first novella in Jenna Kernan's Winter Wild West Weddings series, but since there were few supporting characters in the story, I'm not entirely sure how it connects to the others. I look forward to continuing the series, though, to find out. Fallen Angel was originally published in the multi-author anthology A Western Winter Wonderland and was later reprinted as a stand-alone novella.
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