To Stand With Angels by Caitlynn J. Gabriel
May 7, 2010
Western Paranormal Romance
PB or E-Book, Novel length
Set in the late 1800’s Wyoming, Rian has lived 30 miles from civilization for seven years with only her young nephew, Kendall as company. Her sister in law died of illness and her brother died from wounds suffered from an attempted burglary. Since then Rian has protected Kendall, and done what she can for them to survive.
One day she sees a man riding up on a horse. Leery of any stranger, she gets her gun but soon realizes this man, is tied to his horse unconscious. After finding a Marshall’s badge on him, she quickly decides to do what she can to save his life. He has been stabbed, and beaten and in very bad shape.
This man does survive, and Rian soon learns his name is Bradyn Preston. He is actually not a Marshall, but that is just one of the many secrets he holds. As he slowly recovers, Rian gets the feeling she knows Bradyn from somewhere, and Bradyn reciprocates the feeling.
Bradyn has many enemies, and they soon come calling. After a few very close calls, Bradyn decides he has to leave, in order to keep Rian and Kendall safe. Rian has fallen for this handsome stranger, and doesn’t want to see him go. As she secretly follows him into Laramie, the world as she knows it changes drastically. Soon, instead of fighting off thieves, she is up against demons and the offspring of the devil himself.
I would love to be able to chop To Stand With Angels in half. The first half of the book is a very lovely, sweet romance between Rian and Bradyn. Rian, so alone in the world, comes to trust Bradyn with her life. They have both had very abusive pasts, and they eventually bond over their past horrors and future hopes. I enjoyed their quiet romance and with the threat of people from Bradyn’s past trying to find him, it provided just enough tension to keep the story going.
But then things change – quite drastically. Throughout the beginning of the book, Rian has reoccurring nightmares about two men, and it is always very dark and ominous. I expected this to come into play eventually. However, the extent of the way the tone changes in this book was too much for me. Demons, the devil, a secret baby – so much information – basically an entire paranormal world is built in the last half of the book, and I couldn’t keep up. The first fifty percent of the book has a very sweet, romance and all of a sudden the world hangs in the balance of the heroine and I didn’t like the twist. It turned into a ridiculous plot in my opinion. While the blurb mentions an evil supernatural presence, I felt almost tricked by the beginning of the book. If I had known in advance the extent of the paranormal aspect in this book, maybe I would have accepted it better. So here is your warning.
To Stand With Angels has a nice start, but an unfortunate ending.