by Judy Duarte

May 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2016-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Kensington Publishing
Trade Paperback

Craig Houston has just been hired as the new youth pastor at a community church in California. He is trying to move to California, when his car broke down. But a homeless man, who introduces himself as Jesse, fixes the car, and hitches a ride with him the rest of the way. Craig’s job description includes more than just youth though, it also involves visitation with the shut-ins and working in the church’s soup kitchen which services the area homeless. The homeless is becoming a problem in the area, with the more well-off of the community resenting the church for feeding them, thus drawing them in.

Renee Delaney is a pregnant minor, kicked out of her home when her pregnancy is discovered. Renee is desperate to make it on her own, to support herself and her baby, but she only has $300 to her name and that won’t go far. When a homeless man, Jesse, tells her about the soup kitchen at the community church, Renee heads that direction and even finds a tree house that she can sleep in—when she rents it for a $1.00 a day from some little boys.

Kristy Smith learned her lesson nine years before, when she was pregnant with her son, Jason. The father was a one-night stand who conveniently vanished when Kristy discovered she was pregnant. Now, Kristy, who’d planned on medical school, is stuck working as a waitress in a period pub, supporting both herself and her bedridden grandmother. She is worried about how she will make ends meet, when she meets up with a homeless man, Jesse, who promises her better days are ahead.

Jesse seems to have the ability to turn up at unexpected times, and to have a ‘gift’ to know the past history and future of the people he came in contact with. Was Jesse really a homeless man? Or was he a visiting angel?

Entertaining Angels is the first book I’ve read by Judy Duarte. I enjoyed reading it, getting to know the characters. I was able to figure out, for the most part, where the many different story lines were going, but my interest was piqued enough to keep reading.

Judy Duarte is a talented author that I hope to see more from. There was a bit of repetitive phases that drew me out of the story a bit, and the characters didn’t have a noticeably different voice, and the setting wasn’t really distinctive, the story could have been set in any large city, and the only inspirational thing about the book was a youth minister, and a potential angel, but otherwise, the story did have a well thought out plot line, and the conflict was enough to keep the story going. I recommend Entertaining Angels.

Reviewed in July 2009 by Laura.

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