Christmas Angel for the Billionaire
I chose this book because I’ve read one other by Liz Fielding and it made me cry. There is a quality to her writing that pleases me – she lets dialogue stand for itself without cluttering it with speech tags and the sentences roll off each other in the best tradition of understated British prose; her stories are tasteful fairy tales with moderately stiff upper lips.
Christmas Angel for the Billionaire is a fairy tale that not only requires the reader to buy into a love-at-first-sight, across-the-tracks, whirlwind romance, but also the Princess and the Pauper, the Christmas spirit, and a 26-year-old virgin. If you can’t buy into all of that, then nothing will make this book work for you. If you can, then read on.
Our Princess is Lady Rose, a British aristocrat whose entire life revolves around charity. Desperate for time to herself, she pulls the old switcheroo for one week of total anonymity. (The Pauper gets her own book.) Love-at-first-sight happens when Lady Rose (who actually goes by Annie) crashes her car and calls the local garage to tow it away. The guy who answers is one George Saxon, a billionaire engineer whose father owns the garage in question (so it’s kind of cross-the-tracks, although the billionaire pretty much equalizes the mechanic part). The whirlwind romance is one week of Annie staying with George and his daughter, while visiting George’s sick father, trying to get everyone in the family talking again, and decorating their house for the holiday, even though she hates Christmas.It took me a while, but once I accepted all of the above, I enjoyed the book. Annie is sheltered, but neither self-indulgent nor spoiled, and she has self-awareness and a sense of humor. She’s not wholly perfect (so you can’t hate her), and has good reasons to be a Christmas-hating virgin. Annie also shows surprising depth and, inasmuch as I could empathize with a duke’s granddaughter dubbed the “nation’s angel,” I felt for her. George is more two-and-a-half-dimensional, but he’s well-rounded enough to forestall any serious complaints. The secondary characters surpass cliches, the story is grounded in reality, the writing is slick, and the humor is gentle.
Other than that, there’s not much to it – it’s a nice story, nothing less, nothing more. The book certainly requires suspension of belief, but I do no less for other romances or, say, Disney’s The Little Mermaid. And given the choice between this book and the tale of a narcissistic, self-indulgent, carrot-topped fish, I know what I’d prefer.