In the Presence of Angels - Katherine Kingsley Katherine Kingsley has written a few of my all-time favorite romances including the unforgettable "No Sweeter Heaven" so I began this book with very high expectations. Expectations that disappointingly were not met once the story really got going.

Major Lord William Fizpatrick is sick of war and death. After his best friend Val dies in his arms he resigns his commission and heads home. But first he makes a pit stop to visit Val's widow, to bring her the letters she'd written to Val. In those letters Louisa had vividly described her happy home life and Will, who never had a happy home of his own, fell just a little bit in love with her.

Louisa wasn't honest in her letters though and she and Val had had anything but the idyllic love life that she hinted at. Val left Louisa and their young daughter Pip in dire straits and Louisa only wrote the letters in an attempt to soothe her pride and to make Val feel a little guilt at his desertion. As a result of her doomed marriage Louisa has hardened her heart and become grumpy.

When Will arrives she mistakes him for a handyman. Will becomes tongue-tied by her beauty and pretends to be a handyman named "Will Cutter". He sees this as a chance to become free of his past and longs to spend more time with Louisa.

This setup was often emotional and held much promise but the romance that followed did not live up to its potential. Louisa is a screechy, stubborn and mostly unlikeable heroine right from the get-go. She is desperate to keep Will at arm's length and spends most of the book treating him to harsh, uncalled-for tongue-lashings. After a few of these outbursts I was really shocked when he decided to stick around. But stick around he did, and emotionally abused he was. Sucker!

Will was a great hero, and the only reason that I continued to read the story. He's kind and has a fantastic sense of humor that really comes in handy when he's dealing with Louisa's red-hot temper. Louisa eventually warms up and the plot takes a temporary turn for the better. The story becomes entertaining, moving and highly sensual for a bit but then things begin to slide downhill again. Several annoying plot twists occur including a frustrating and simple to resolve misunderstanding, a catastrophe where Louisa acts in a embarrassingly pathetic fashion and a three-month long separation that occurs near the end of the story.

Despite the plot contrivances and irritating heroine this book had some genuinely touching moments, some way better than average love scenes and a beautiful spiritual element. But in the end, there were too many problems for me to give "In The Presence of Angels" anything more than a lukewarm rating. There are too many great books out there to stick with "meh" when you don't have to.