Title: Night Angel
Author: Renee Reeves
Author’s website: http://www.myspace.com/renee_reeves
Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions Publishing Company
Release Date: March 2009
Genre: Contemporary Western
Sensuality Level: 4
Reviewed by: BD Whitney
Morgan Fletcher’s move from Chicago to rural Montana is an attempt on her part to begin anew. After the death of her husband, all she wants is a place to heal where no one will hurt her or judge her. She’s no stranger to pain: the six years she spent being abused by her husband gave her more than enough to last a lifetime as well as a scarred face and a permanent limp. Now she’s an hour and a half from the closest city, and she plans to paint and to have as little to do with other people as she possibly can. Especially men. Men, she has found, are mean and violent and like nothing better than to hurt.
Nick Evanoff is a horse trainer who runs a sanctuary for unwanted and abused horses. He, too, feels the pressure of other people’s judgment. Although he was released from prison ten years ago, he will always bear the stigma of being an ex-con. When he first sees Morgan, he thinks she is the most beautiful creature he has ever seen. But she is as skittish and untrusting as one of his abused horses, and he knows that if he wants to get close to her, he’ll have to take it slowly. The fear that he sees in her eyes makes him want to draw her close and protect her from the rest of the world.
One step at a time, Nick and Morgan move slowly together. She finds proof in him that not all men are violent and abusive and finds that physical intimacy does not have to be accompanied by pain. Nick wants nothing more than to become a permanent part of Morgan’s life, but there is one giant obstacle in the way. His time in prison was served because he killed a man, and nothing can erase that from his past. Will this woman who has suffered so much violence still love him when she finds out the truth about his past?
Night Angel by Renee Reeves is a story about a woman who has suffered in the past and must learn to trust again. This novel is well-written and emotional, and while the emotion occasionally may flirt closely with being melodramatic, it is appropriate to the story being told. The author’s writing style and smooth narrative drew me into this story very quickly, and her characters held my attention for the duration of the novel.
One interesting aspect of Night Angel is the fact that the antagonist is dead. Morgan’s deceased husband is about as rotten a villain as one could imagine, and the descriptions of the violence that he inflicted on Morgan are absolutely horrifying. Even after death, he holds a tight rein on her, because her perception of the world and is now colored by the abuse she suffered at his hands. She can hardly make a move without being overwhelmed by unpleasant memories.
The two main characters are drawn in such a way as to make them very sympathetic. Nick has a hard and tough exterior that contrasts completely with the nurturing individual he is within. Due to the mistake he made in his past, he doesn’t feel as if he is worthy of being loved, although he has plainly redeemed himself over the past ten years. Morgan is basically afraid of her own shadow, but she is making an effort to overcome her fears, and that shows a strength that she doesn’t realize that she has. When she and Nick finally progress to physical intimacy, the scenes are not only extremely sensual, but they pack an emotional whallop that is not always present in sex scenes. I thought they were very well done.
In all Night Angel is a well-written and enjoyable novel. Because it deals with the subject of domestic abuse, it might not appeal to some folks, but I personally found it to be more than worth my reading time.