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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Angel by Christine Young

My Angel by Christine Young
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (262 pgs)
Heal level: spicy
Rated: 4 books
Review by Snapdragon

When her father decided to send her to a finishing school back East, Angela Chamberlain refused to be confined to stuffy drawing rooms. Instead, the daring spitfire who could shoot like a man and ride like the wind longed for a life of adventure and romance—and she knew exactly who could give it to her. Devil Blackmoor was a hired gun with a dangerous reputation. But Angela was willing to go to the ends of the earth to capture the handsome devil's heart.


He'd come to America looking for excitement, but Devil Blackmoor got more than he bargained for when he encountered a beautiful rebel who answered his kisses with a wild innocence that touched his very soul. Yet standing between them were more obstacles than either ever dreamed. For Devil had strapped on a gun for the wrong man. And that made Angela his enemy. Now he'll have to choose between his duty and the woman he loves more than life.

Don't let the 'Turkish' twist on the cover deceive you, this is indeed an American Historical romance novel. 1893 Denver, to be exact, at the start. Although there is plenty of travel and adventure, it's most surely American at the center of it all.

Angela Chamberlain is something of a driven soul. It's plain from the start that she wants more out of life than the average woman of 1893. Nonetheless, she's a young woman and bound for finishing school... and one man comes to symbolize the wild freedom she craves: Alexi 'Devil' Blackmoor. It all seems too entirely perfect that he should be attracted to her: too easy that they could run off together. We begin to get suspicious when we realize this fellow that we first meet riding around the streets of Denver suddenly claims to be Russian royalty...or is it Turkish? Angela's father has doubts as well. As events move forward, we realize that nothing between Alexi and Angela will actually be "easy". They find themselves in opposition in more than one way, and there is more than one test of wills. Dialogue in several places simply riveting.

The best of this work is how Angela's distinct personality develops and exerts itself throughout. She's got courage and cleverness and grows significantly throughout the novel. She goes from having to cope with the local scamp, Rusty, to coping with European aristocracy. To a young woman who might have found New York City exotic enough, the world holds no terrors - but captivates and intrigues. And she won't obey; not even Devil himself. 'Devil' is an interesting character in his own right: brash and arrogant, but also curiously duty-bound and genuinely in love. Other characters are also well done, from Sam (Angela's father) to lesser characters.

I really disliked the book's layout and found editorial oversights; small matters really, but distracting. However, the content, originality and the distinctive characters of My Angel make this a worthwhile read in spite of these concerns.