An Ordinary Angel
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Pages: 87
Goes Well With: Christmas cookies and eggnog (with a tiny shot of rum—just not if you’re at work)

The stockings have been hung; the presents are all wrapped and waiting under the tree. A snowy Christmas Eve like today is the perfect time to curl up on the couch with a nice, warm…laptop—and a cozy Christmas ebook, like Kathy Otten’s An Ordinary Angel.

Nineteen-year-old Julianne Spencer is frustrated by the men in the small town of Ashville, Colorado. All of the men who tried to court her were cold and distant—and none more than Terrel Lee Parker, the handsome rancher who’s been formally courting her for six months. But fun-loving, impulsive Julianne doesn’t want a stiff, formal man. She wants a man who’s exciting and heroic—like the men in the dime novels she loves to read.

After Terrel Lee overhears Julianne making disparaging comments about him, he all but gives up hope of winning her. But later that night, when Julianne leaves the Christmas pageant and goes home alone, Terrel Lee feels the need to check up on her anyway. It’s a good thing he does, too—because a band of outlaws were there waiting for her father to come home so he could fix their wounded friend.

When Terrel Lee tries to help Julianne, he’s captured by the outlaws, who threaten to kill him unless Julianne helps them save the wounded man. He’ll have to act fast if he wants to save himself—and, more importantly, the headstrong young woman he loves.

An Ordinary Angel is a warm and toasty holiday romance, with likeable characters and a sweet and (mostly) innocent story. Though its skillfully drawn 19th-century western setting gives the story a casual, laid-back tone, Otten seasons it with a touch of suspense, a little bit of action, and a healthy dose of tension between the two romantic leads.

Terrel Lee is the strong and silent cowboy—the perfect gentleman with a dark past that he prefers not to talk about. He’s sweet and shy yet strong and handsome—the ideal romantic hero.

Julianne, on the other hand, is adventurous and a little bit wild. In fact, she does seem a bit too wild and impulsive at times—and her recklessness tends to get her into even more trouble. But you’ll understand her longing for something more than a cold, formal relationship with a dull and distant man—and her need to be herself (even if it’s not always the proper thing to do).

Though the story isn’t exactly surprising, An Ordinary Angel is a quick and comfy holiday read—with plenty of old-fashioned, down-home charm. It’s just the thing for some lunchtime—or bedtime—reading on Christmas Eve.

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