CHRISTMAS ANGELS – Nancy Naigle
A Perfect 10
St. Martin's Griffin
North Carolina, pre-Christmas Holidays
Liz Westmorland has a good job that pays well, and Dan, a male friend who is just a friend, but her dream is to one day have an inn like her beloved grandparents had. She had grown up visiting them every summer and winter in the small mountain town of Antler Creek, North Carolina. She's been saving all her money for a chance to make that dream come true. At home one evening before taking time off, she stumbles on an ad for a property offering that looks a lot like the old place of her Gram's and Pop's. She checks the internet to see. It's listed in an auction taking place soon. With no time to waste, she makes arrangements to bid on it . . . and wins it! There will be technicalities before she can take possession, of course, but no reason she can't drive up to see it. She pays little attention to Dan, who warns her against being foolish.
Once up in the hills, she sees that the place for sale is, indeed, her longed-for Angels Rest. Its terrible condition is daunting, but that doesn't stop Liz. She soon hooks up with a local resident, Matt Hardy, who recently built his own house there. Liz doesn't remember Matt who used to join in with other local youngsters, including her, with her Pop's activities. He's never forgotten Liz, however: she had no match at fishing the streams; she could cast a line like no other. She also had other qualities he admired.
The local town folk are very friendly, even more so when they learn who she is. Liz chats with Maizey, the waitress at the local diner. Maizey eventually recommends Matt as someone Liz could hire to help her clean up the mess and do repairs.
The story takes off with Matt and Liz hiring a crew and working together to fix up the old house, two old cabins, and the grounds. The story rapidly expands to include many of the residents of the idyllic Antler Creek. Everyone loved Liz's grandparents and greatly miss the many traditional activities they sponsored. They take Liz to their hearts.
CHRISTMAS ANGELS is a beautiful story full of kindness, warmth and love that can be enjoyed any time of year, but it should definitely not be missed at Christmas time. I give it a Perfect 10!