Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Review - Undercover Angel by Cynthia Rutledge
Title: Undercover Angel
Author: Cynthia Rutledge
Genre: Christian, romance
Yes, I know. What is a romance book doing on my blog? A little outside my usual reading tastes, yes? There was a time when it was my favorite genre. Undercover Angel was one of my favorite romances and Cynthia Rutledge was my favorite author. Since my IRL friend, Libby, and I don't read the same books, I re-read this one as a bit of a challenge to myself. Libby reads nothing but romance, cozy mysteries and children's books. So we can't really discuss our books because we read so very differently. I was telling her about this one and since I own a copy, we read it.
Undercover Angel is the story of Angel Morelli who goes undercover at a local high school to bust a drug ring. While there she falls for her history teacher, Jake. His faith has been shaken with the murder of his brother and he's turned from God. He finds out her real age but doesn't expose her. While she investigates, sparks fly. She wonders if he could possibly be behind the drugs though and is more than a little freaked out by his apparent attraction to her. She thinks he thinks she is 18.
Even though I (strangely) remembered most of the story and knew how it ended, I was still interested in both Angel and Jake as characters. I thought they were likeable and well developed for romance characters. I didn't swoon over Jake quite as much as I did the first time reading it but in Jake's defense, I don't swoon over any man like I did then.
One of the most important parts of a book for me is believable dialogue and Rutledge does a good job of making it mostly not "preachy". Although this is most certainly a Christian romance and is written for Christian readers, it isn't so over the top as to be annoying nor does it beat you over the head with Scripture. Angel is a strong character both in her faith and in her job but she speaks matter of factly without flowerly speech and that is a huge plus in my opinion.
The ending is a bit abrupt but not jarringly so. The story progresses as much as it can and once the story is told, it ends. The romance is believable and predictable as is the ending but what romance reader wants her romance to end without a happily ever after?
When I first read this, I loved it so much that I looked up the author and emailed her. This was before the days of Twitter and Facebook and our instant interaction with authors so I was most impressed when she emailed back. We had a back and forth conversation and she mailed me a copy of another of her titles and autographed it to me. Even back then I fangirled...it just wasn't called that back then.
3/5 stars for a solid, enjoyable read. While I don't enjoy romance books now, I still enjoyed Undercover Angel. Maybe not as much as before but I still found it to be entertaining and fun with likeable characters.
Any romance readers out there that will fangirl about a favorite title?