Following a youthful moment of indiscretion, Mick Gerrard was forced to marry a woman he didn't love. He tried to make the best of the situation, moving his new wife west to fulfill his dream of owning a farm. Regrettably, the marriage was fraught with heartache, and after his wife died and his beloved daughter, Phoebe, was confined to a wheelchair after an unfortunate accident, Mick is left in dire need of help. He reluctantly sends a plea to his former in-laws for funds to hire a nurse for Phoebe, but help arrives instead in the form of Mick's sister-in-law, Jennifer.
Jennifer Whitmore fancied herself in love with Mick as a young girl of only thirteen, and has never been able to stop thinking of him for the past decade. She is a trained nurse, and is more than happy to travel west to assist in her niece's recovery. When Jennifer sees Mick again for the first time, all of her old feelings for him are rekindled in the form of new, womanly desires, but she believes that he is still in love with his dead wife. Mick doesn't entirely trust Jennifer, because his in-laws have made threats to take Phoebe away from him. He harbors a secret which could help their case if Jennifer were to find out and tell them. He is also very reluctant to give his heart to any woman after his disastrous first marriage. It may take a little help and a Christmas miracle to get these two stubborn people to open their hearts and see that they are completely right for one another.
A Christmas Angel is a sweet, emotional novella that I really enjoyed. Mick was a sympathetic hero, a man who had essentially been forced into marrying a woman he didn't love, and was now struggling to provide for his seriously injured daughter. Jennifer was a sweet, caring soul who was also a strong woman. She had gotten an education, become a nurse during a time when career choices for women were few, and lived on her own, providing for herself. I found it heartwarming that Jennifer had loved Mick since she was just a girl and had never stopped loving him. Mick's daughter, Phoebe, was an adorable child who was wise beyond her years. The only thing that was bothersome about the story was that the conflict relied heavily on the tired cliché of misunderstandings, and two people who were too afraid to just admit what they felt for each other. I suppose it was somewhat believable though, since Mick had been badly hurt by his first wife. However, it didn't all get sorted out until the very end, and the resolution seemed a tad rushed. Overall, I was happy with this novella, because it exhibited a great deal of tender emotion and pretty good sexual tension even though it was never consummated. A Christmas Angel was a quick and easy, but enjoyable tale that was a pleasure to read. It was my first story by Robin Lee Hatcher, but has definitely left me open to reading others by her in the future. A Christmas Angel can be found in the anthology, A Frontier Christmas.
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