I’m really enjoying this Angel’s End series by Cindy Holby. Angel’s End is a small – very small! – Colorado town back when the wild west was still growing. We met all of the townsfolk in the first book, and they’re back for Jake’s story, which I have been looking forward to, since he didn’t get the girl before. Now that all of his plans for the future have been derailed, he’s not sure which direction to go, something Jake’s not used to. Then he meets the most unconventional woman who does the most unexpected things. Needless to say, he’s smitten.
After one of the harshest winters they’ve had in a long while, Jake is headed into town when Libby the mule shows up at his ranch, an event that means something’s up somewhere and it’s never good. On the trail he meets up with Cassie Parker, granddaughter to Sam Parker who owned the ranch next to Jake. He’d given up waiting for the next of kin to show up, because it’s been two years since he’d written to relatives that Sam had passed on. So imagine his surprise when he runs into Cassie, a woman who’s secretive to the max. Arriving just before the first snow months ago and never making anyone aware of her presence is a case in point. Jake is determined to figure out what her other secrets are. Never mind the hundreds of sheep she’s brought into cattle country. His troubles are just beginning.
Cassie and her rag-tag family were forced to leave Texas when she went up against an influential family and lost. The result being the loss of her trust in men, the loss of her mother’s mental capacity, but they gained loyal friends in Manuel and Rosa. What she doesn’t need is her closest neighbors giving her grief all the time, one mean enough over the fact she has sheep on her ranch and one sweet enough to help out whenever there’s need. And lately there’s been a lot of need. As handsome and gentlemanly as Jake is, Cassie just can’t bring herself to trust him. But the way he makes her feel, like she’s never felt before, is still messing with her head, even when the man isn’t around.
When the local bully begins his campaign to run her out off her land, he nearly succeeds. Is the pain worth staying, despite the fact that most of the townsfolk are nice people and have welcomed them? Is it time Cassie should cast off her past and learn the feel of a real man in her life? These and so many more are questions Cassie has to answer in this new life she’s trying to carve out for the people she loves, as well as the new people who could come to mean just as much to her. I love how Jake little by little works his way under Cassie’s skin, even when she knows it’s happening. There’s just no way to keep this man at bay when he sets his mind to something. I also enjoyed getting caught up with all the other folks in town, especially Wade. I’m hoping he has his own book coming up, because there is definitely a story there.
Cindy Holby is perfection on the page when it comes to the sights and sounds, the feel of the western frontier. The hope of a new life in a new land, along with the excitement and fear of the unknown pull you into a bygone era so effortlessly. Her characters live the life, good and bad, deal with it in the only way they can and move on, keeping the faith and a smile. If you’ve not read this series, do. Only two books so far, so you can catch up. I have a feeling the best part is yet to come.
As a hard winter on the Colorado mountainside finally yields to spring, more than snow is melting in Angel’s End…
To Cassie Parker, Colorado is the farthest point on earth from the dusty, troubled life she left behind in Texas. Here she has a birthright—her grandfather’s land not far from town—and a chance at a promising new start. And Jake Reece certainly is promising.
There’s never been a day in Jake’s life that he didn’t work harder than anyone else, and he’s got a thousand head of cattle and the ranch of his wildest dreams to prove it. Yet winter has a way of making even the most independent of men long for more. That must be why he’s so drawn to the strange, secretive beauty who’s taken up on the Parker land.
But when Cassie runs afoul of the local cattleman’s association—with Jake at the helm—what started as sparks ignites into a full blaze. And things in Angel’s End are about to really heat up…
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