Angels are among us. When Avery encounters her own angel, he brings her tidings of great joy!
Avery Royce has recently landed her dream job—the prestigious position of head pastry chef at a quaint historic inn in Maine. But she's on her own for the first time in her life and things aren't going well. Homesick and surrounded by resentful co-workers, she needs to get away, but she can't get time off work. Then she purchases a beautifully crafted Christmas ornament, and her life is forever changed.
Entombed within the fine glass of the ornament by a powerful wizard, Aiden has spent an eternity waiting to be freed. When a beautiful mortal woman's tears finally frees Aiden from his prison, he's eternally grateful. Still, freed does not mean the danger has ended. When an old nemesis begins to stalk Avery, Aiden will have to fight to save her and the love they are destined to have.
Content Warning: contains explicit sex and some violence
Confused, Avery didn't know whether to rush out of the cabin or sit down. This is so odd. "Dear God, I'm going bonkers." For several minutes, she sat there trying to rationalize what was going on.
When she looked up, she saw her crystal angel laying on the table only inches from her elbow. The ornament sparkled at her.
She picked it up. "How did you get here?" She caressed its wings. Again they looked as if they were in a different position.
Tears started rolling down her face. What's wrong with me? Her tears rained down on the ornament, washing it. She wiped them away with her fingers, and the ornament gleamed even brighter. She set it down and sighed. Obviously, I need a mental health evaluation.
"Be at peace, child. I bring you no harm," a deep male voice said.
Startled, Avery looked up. She gasped in fear at the sight of a man sitting next to her at the kitchen table. When she looked closer…it was the angel from the crystal ornament, now flesh and blood. He was vibrant and colorful, with black hair, dark eyes, and a nice tanned complexion. To be sure, she glanced down to where she'd placed the ornament on the table. It was gone. He truly was there, materialized into a full-sized man sitting next to her.
"You can and will accept my presence. All is well, Avery." Warmth emanated from him, making her feel flushed, but his words strangely relaxed her.
His features were strong, as perfect as they had been in crystal form. Surprisingly, he touched her arm as if to soothe her. A scream started to form her throat. Then she froze, unable to make a sound.
"Be at peace, young one." Huge white wings unfurled behind him. "I am a heavenly angel, I mean you no harm." Tilting his head to the side, he studied her. Once more, a calming sensation passed over her, chasing all fear away.
Avery coughed, nearly choking.
"Do not scream. All is well."
She sighed. As if hypnotized, all she could do was stare into his sparkling eyes. They were captivating. Intelligence and wisdom stared back at her. In the lamp light, his skin glowed with an unearthly radiance. When he smiled, his teeth were perfectly white.
"I am Aiden. I was trapped within the crystal prison until you freed me with your tears the night you brought me home."
"Are you my guardian angel?" Avery asked in a soft voice.
"No. I am a guardian angel, however, I have not been assigned to protect you. It is happenstance I am here and that you rescued me with the shedding of your sweet tears."
"Yes, when your tears fell on my crystal prison, it reversed the wicked one's curse, freeing me from captivity."
"How come I'm not freaking out more about all of this?" she asked. "I'm oddly accepting."
"Yes, you are. It is perceptive of you to notice. I have calmed you with my words. For centuries, angels have appeared to men and reassured them with mere words. It is one of our special gifts."
"I have been imprisoned for more than a century. Much has changed."
"How do you know my name?" She pulled back from him.
"I heard Norm call your name."
"Did Norm see you?"
"Yes, and I allowed my presence, my angelic persuasion, to make him change his attitude and show you more respect."
"I have a supernatural influence over people, especially weak ones. Norm is a simple man with a coward's heart. It was easy to sway his thoughts with only a glance from me." He chuckled. "Also, I know your name because the magazines are addressed to Ms. Avery Royce."
Avery studied her unusual guest. Even seated he was imposing, taking up most of the space in the room. His sword rested against his knee, shimmering in the light.
"Do you use your sword?" Avery nodded toward it.
"If and when necessary, but if my sword bothers you, I will put it away." He waved his hand, and in a flash, the sword disappeared. "I had grown used to needing it regularly when I was fighting off the wicked one. It seems my sword did me little good. Despite my efforts, the wicked one caught me and imprisoned me. Then he took my ward's life." He shook his head sadly. "I deeply regret my failure." Aiden stood up, towering over the table.
"Dear me, you're big." She looked him over.
"I am a warrior," he reminded her. "I protect those assigned to me with brute force as well as angelic abilities."