smexys_sidekick (Tori-Smexybooks)'s Reviews > Angel's End

Angel's End by Cindy Holby
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May 19, 12

bookshelves: arc, read-in-2012, review-for-smexybooks, romance-historical
Read on April 18, 2012

Originally posted at http://smexybooks.com/2012/05/review-...

Favorite Quote: “The man definitely needs some pants.“

Cade Gentry is a gunfighter. His brutal childhood led him into a life of crime and he despairs at ever achieving forgiveness in God’s or his own eyes. The victim of a double cross and left for dead in the middle of nowhere, he stumbles across a preacher who is headed towards his new congregation in Angel’s End. When the preacher is killed by a bullet meant for Cade, he decides this may be God’s way of opening a new door for him and trades identities with the preacher in hopes of hiding himself. He arrives at Angel’s End half dead and is rescued by the sheriff’s widow, Leah Findley. Leah nurses him back to health, caught between the memories of her love for her husband and the strong attraction she feels for this “handsome” preacher. As Cade begins to recover, he and Leah form a tentative bond despite his deception. Cade falls in love with Leah and vice versa. When Cade finally decides to leave Leah and the town, in hopes of avoiding trouble, we find out that trouble has found him and is holding the town hostage. Cade stays to fight and reveals to the town and Leah who and what he really is. It’s only when God sends him another message does Cade return to Angel’s End and accept his redemption.

Angel’s End is a sweet, lightweight, historical romance about a lawless hero, a beautiful lonely heroine, and a small western town that offers redemption The storyline reads like an adult rated episode of Little House On The Prairie. Yes, it was that nice. A nice predictable plot balances well within a smooth flowing storyline and dialogue. Engaging characters offer insight, background, and humor to the story. Even at 300 pages, it reads extremely fast. Religion plays a large part of the storyline. That put me off a little, only because the book blurb doesn’t hint at the strong Christian undertones we see in here.

I liked this book. Focusing more on the developing romance between Cade and Leah than the plot, we are treated to a long but sweet courtship between the two. It’s like a lazy day on the river. Slow and smooth; winding around the little pitfalls of life. Not a lot of thinking required in here. Small smexy scenes with hints of heat. Cade is quite tortured as his past and present collide. He doesn’t like lying to Leah and feels that if she knew the real Cade, she wouldn’t want anything to do with him. His feelings of betrayal deepen as he makes friends with her little boy and grows to love them both. Leah, at first, feels ashamed for lusting after the preacher. She is over the mourning of her husband, yet there is another man who wants her and the fact she feels nothing for him while lusting after a virtual stranger leaves her feeling uncomfortable. As she begins to falls in love with him, she knows in the back of her mind he isn’t quite what he seems.

Our secondary characters are engaging with their dialogue and actions. Did I mention how much this reminds me of Little House On The Prairie? We have a town matron who is nosy, a sweetheart of a saloon girl, the incorrigible saloon owner, a marriage ready schoolmarm, and a cantankerous cafe owner. Everyone has their own stories that remain hidden for now, yet they all gather to help along the love affair of our gunman/preacher and the widow.

The main conflict is revealed in the beginning so it was only a matter of time before it reared its head again. It comes at you fast and resolves itself without much fanfare at the end. I do admit to giggling when Cade has his “come to Jesus moment.” I would have liked a bit more controversy in the story. As stated earlier, there was another rival for Leah’s affections but he spends more time pouting and stomping away-which explains why Leah doesn’t choose him. Everything flows together well but without any real tension, angst, or emotional turmoil. You know from page two exactly how this will play out. This is a good rainy day read.

Overall rating: C+
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