Published by St. Martin's Griffin on October 15, 2019
Genres: Christmas, Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Source: the publisher
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A heartwarming Christmas story filled with the magic and miracles of the holiday season by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.
Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Antler Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.
When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn't another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.
While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she's meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Antler Creek—be able to show Liz that she's found a home? And possibly true love as well?
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Christmas Angels is a sweet, heartwarming, feel-good romance: a nice, light Christmassy read that reminds me of the best aspects of a Hallmark movie.
The book starts off a little slowly, and didn’t really hold my attention until about a quarter to a third of the way in, when the main characters finally start actually working on the lodge renovation. The heroine and hero are both likable, possibly a little too much so. Matt appears to have no flaws and even his sister thinks he is quite a catch (not in a squicky way! She’s encouraging Liz to take a chance on Matt.) Liz has a few flaws, but they aren’t deep. Despite the characters’ near-perfection, I enjoyed their romance and was rooting for them to get together.
The town of Antler Creek is idyllic (again, perhaps a little too idyllic, but in a very comforting way.) Everyone there seems delighted that Liz has bought her grandparents’ old lodge and supports her plans to reopen it. The secondary characters in the town are all down-to-earth, kind, cheerful people; I wouldn’t mind living in town like that! I especially liked the cafe owner/waitress, Maizey, and the young mother who invites Liz to help make Christmas cookies.
The plot really centers around Liz and Matt’s efforts to renovate the lodge, and whether Liz will stay and realize her dreams, or give up and go back to her old job. Other than a physical injury, there are no real setbacks and very little tension, which is quickly resolved… all of which is just fine in a holiday novel. The only secondary character I didn’t like is Liz’s friend Dan, who is self-centered and unsupportive. I couldn’t see why she put up with him, let alone liked him.
I mentioned that the romance is sweet, and I mean that in both senses of the word. Liz and Matt only get as far as kissing. Also, they are both Christian, of some unspecified denomination; they attend church, and Liz prays on page at least once. However, if you prefer your fiction on the secular side, don’t worry; the faith aspects are neither preachy nor overly emphasized. It’s simply one facet of each of the main characters, and doesn’t dominate the novel as a whole, or the characters’ thoughts. Personally, I would have been happy with a little more of it, as I suspect their faith motivates both Liz and Matt — if not regarding the lodge, then in their dealings with the people around them.
I would definitely recommend Christmas Angels when you’re in the mood for a light, charming, and comforting holiday romance.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER with Friends (Winter 2019-2020)