Angel's Den - Jamie Carie (Christian Fiction)
Released February 2010
Marrying the most attractive bachelor in town, Eric Montclaire, is a dream come true for Emma Daring. However, she soon learns that her husband is not a kind, loving man after his abusive nature appears on their wedding night. Ashamed to tell her family, Emma hides her bruises with face powder and does all she can to keep Eric's temper assuaged.
It isn't long before Emma learns Eric's ordered a man killed in order to gain possession of a journal tied to Lewis and Clark's expeditions. Eric hires a cartographer to follow the clues in the journal to find an area to set up shop out west. At the last minute, Eric decides that Emma must accompany them to keep her from revealing information about the murder. The cartographer, Luke Bowen, recognizes Eric's cruel side and vows to keep Emma safe.
As their voyage gets underway, Luke and Emma face the biggest challenge of their lives. Not only must they keep their growing attraction for one another secret, but also conquer Eric's determination to keep them from revealing the truth to a new judge who is following their every move.
I'd love to say that Angel's Den was a fascinating read, but while it had it's moments, I found myself eager to skipping sections to bypass anything not focusing on Luke and Emma. The writing is fluid and well paced, but at times the narrative was a little too preachy for my tastes. As this is a Christian novel, that won't bother many, but I prefer a subtle message, not one that is repeatedly thrown out there.
I also found myself questioning why Emma didn't try to escape early on. She's a smart, tough woman, yet when she had the opportunity to get away during Eric's regular afternoon trips to the local saloon, she never even tried. For that reason, I found it hard to truly admire her character once she was on the trail.