Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When John Trent, a dedicated member of the new Bow Street Runners, finds an exquisite carved angel floating in the Thames, he can’t stop thinking about it. He tracks down its creator, a sad and quiet young sculptor. But neither the angel nor the sculptor is done with John just yet. The blasted angel refuses to leave him be, behaving not at all like an inanimate object should.
Alec Allston is resigned to the fact that his love will ever be a river that flows out and never flows in. All he wanted to do was create a special gift so that a small part of himself could be with his unattainable and noble beloved, always. But when the gift keeps showing back up at his shop in the hands of a windblown and rugged thief-taker, Alec will need to reconsider his conviction that love is destined to remain an aethereal ideal.
A holiday historical with non-noble main characters? Sign me up! This is a lovely story of how low you can feel when the one you’ve poured your heart and soul into isn’t worth what you give and how hope can make all the difference. When Alec has become so heartsick over the rejection of William, his love, he can think of only ending the pain permanently. “I loved someone…With every part of my being, every beat of my heart, purely and completely. And now…” He swallowed. “Now he’s gotten engaged.” It is only by the words of a beautiful woman that he reconsiders what he is about to do and is grateful for it later. A sculptor, he creates a beautiful Christmas Angel as a farewell gift to William in her likeness, only to have it returned to him by John Trent, who fished it out of the Thames. To have such a gift tossed away like garbage is just too much.
Trent is a Bow Street Runner, honest and wanting to make a difference to those who suffer as his family did. He lives in the most amazing boarding house with people who understand being different than society. I want, so dearly want, Mr. Stockbridge to have a story and have some happiness.
When the angel is sold and yet Trent finds it again, Alec decides she was meant for Trent. This is how the wooing of Alec by Trent begins and it is so sweet. Trent takes him for walks, brings him food and basically treats him as though he were precious. I loved that and Alec deserved that. The comparison to William comes later and made me laugh. “In fact, he’d never seemed more foppish to Alec, more a…a gilded turd.” As with so many entitled people, William only wants something if someone else wants it more.
Both main characters were interesting and worth connecting to. I felt the descriptions of the period, including powdered wigs, sodomy trials and the very strict social parameters with the ever present threat of death for who you love were detailed and rich. I want to know all about Trent’s friends at the boarding house. Mr Stockbridge….
Cover Art: Meredith Russell. I love this cover. Perfect for the story and period.
Published December 2nd 2018
Edition Language English
Series The Christmas Angel #1 setting England