The Redemption of Rico D'Angelo by Michelle Douglas

Reviewed by Desere 

Most people come from a difficult childhood, not everyone makes it out of there alive or living on the straight and narrow, but for some they pull up from the gutters and get our there to make a difference.

One such person is Rico, he has shown an enormous amount of courage and strength to make his way onto the path of a normal life, only his life is not half as normal as it should be.

Yes, he works hard to help others in need, saving one at a time is the name of the game, but instead of tasting sweet victory he feels empty and lifeless, like it is all worth something to the person being saved but to him just another day, another one for the rescue books.

That is until I-am-the-light-in-the-dark Neen walks into his life, she is a brilliant ray of sunshine shining through the clouds of grey, and soon he wants a piece of that warmth but to let go of his past wounds and let the sunshine in is of course easier said then done.

The character of Rico was very fascinating, I found myself wanting to dig deeper and deeper to get to the wounds lying in wake on the surface of someone that to the outside world seems to have it all. The author letting him be this empty shell of a man while still maintaining a air of perfection was a really stunning addition. It reminded me that in real life there are some of us that do the same, think about actors or any number of other famous people, even your neighbours,it seems that they have it all, or even that they have what they want but when the doors close what type of person is really standing on the inside, someone that feels content with it all or someone that is simply going through the day to day ritual of dealing with bottled up emotions of unhappiness.

The character of Neen was really great, I liked that she is the type of person that is in complete contradiction with Rico, she has her own issues but instead of letting it get to her by just going day to day she instead shines out this ray of hope and love whilst going through the tears on the inside. It showed her as I think we all need to be, yes we need to cry to let it out sometimes but we also need to remember that there are far worse things that can go happen and others out there face far dire situations. So plaster a smile on your face and instead don't dwell on the past,be thankful for what you have. Your rays of love and hope might just give someone else the courage to do the same.

The backdrop settings were very well incorporated and gave the read that 'there is light at the end of the dark' feel. The dialogue was really heart-warming and so touching that it left me with feelings of joy and true understanding of how the past can effect even the strongest of people and all-though it looks like you have made it, there will always be a part of you that will be hiding in the corner of fear.

I am taking away a message of hope can be found in the most unexpected places or in the understanding arms of others, once that comes along don't push it away. Everyone needs a little help in life, but instead of only giving help allow others to also help you, there is no shame in asking or letting someone else do what you do for others, it could be a word of comfort, a embrace of love or simply a look of understanding but in the end it will pull you up from the ground and up to the top, where you really need to be.

I highly recommend this read for all fans of sweet, heartfelt, emotional and sensual romance reads. It was simply the prefect look into realism and a reminder of what life can be.

4.5 star review
" She is the ray of hope that can bring him to life" 


Reviewed by Nancy Crocker

I really enjoyed this latest book by Michelle. She writes strong characters in this book both main and secondary. But the two main characters were the shining points. Both the hero and heroine were written with depth, both are dealing with demons of one sort or another. But they come together in a way that is believable.

Rico D’ Angelo was a dream of a hero. He has totally turned himself around from the young teenager of his past. But he still carry’s around the guilt from his teenage years. He now helps troubled and at risk youth stay on the straight and narrow and gives them a chance that they normally might not have. He finds himself attracted to Neen, but feels he is not deserving of happiness, not now not ever.

Neen Cuthbert seems to bring brightness to all those who know her. One would believe she had been loved and cherished as a child, but nothing could be further from the truth. And now Neen has a stalker terrorizing her. Somehow through it all she still manages to bring joy to those around her. I loved how the character of Neen was still was able to be so strong in the face of adversity.

I have to admit I love a surprise in a book and this one had one I did not see coming. I for some reason seem to figure them out faster than most, but was shocked when I learned who was doing the destruction. Well done Michelle!

One of many favorite lines:
All of her sweetness vanished. ‘If only everyone who decided to get a dog had half as much foresight,’ she muttered, and the grin inside him grew. ‘There should be some kind of dog-ownership test that people have to pass before they’re allowed to get a dog.’

4.5/5 stars

I received an Autographed Copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Nas

THE REDEMPTION OF RICO D’ANGELO by author Michelle Douglas is a Harlequin Romance release for October 2013.

Rico D’Angelo opens a charity café to have all his disadvantaged kids and kids living on the street work there. His plan—to train these youth for better future prospective employment opportunities.

In need of a café manager, he hires Neen Cuthbert. But Neen takes everything in her stride. She realizes that though Rico was helping these kids, he keeps a part of himself apart. He closes off his heart to any hurt by trying not to get emotionally involved. She discovers that Rico is a very sincere, courageous and an honorable person and can’t help but fall helplessly in love with him. Would Rico reciprocate her feelings? Is he ready to move forward from his past tragedy? And then they discover someone wants Neen down and out. Who could it be? Who set fire to her house? And is trying to threaten her?

THE REDEMPTION OF RICO D’ANGELO is an intriguing mix of sweet romance and is also filled with mysteries. Once you start reading, you will be hooked from the first page till you end the story. Rico is a tortured hero and Neen is one sexy, feisty heroine.  Author Michelle Douglas presents this sparkling romance. There is good, fast and witty dialogue. And the story is intensely emotional.

 Highly entertaining and well worth reading!

Reviewed by Maria

Michelle Douglas's novels always have attractive heroines - the type of girl you'd like to be, or have as a friend.  The hero in this story has a touch of glamour as well - Rico D'Angelo, he of the sexy Italian name and proactive attitude towards helping teens in trouble.  He's a social worker and he identifies youngsters in need of help - those from unstable backgrounds, in danger of going on with a disastrous life and he tries to see to it that they get the support they need to get it together.

But some of us have come from nice homes, good homes, where there was no violence, no obvious breakdown or  neglect - yet we can still be damaged beyond what anyone could imagine.  Rico came from a loving home and nearly blew all the benefit away by venturing over to the wild side in his youth just for the heck of it.  And Neen (don't you just love that name?  Short for Janeen!), the heroine, had been raised by caring parents who ran an animal rescue shelter.  The trouble was, they seemed to care more about the animals than they did about their child.  Her need for love was so compulsive that a love affair gone south had resulted in a potentially dangerous situation.

When Rico and Neen meet, they both have baggage.  The attraction is there, always bubbling under, but in their shared project, a job initiative for troubled teens, they come to know each other and the power of love gets a chance to work it's healing magic.  This is a really charming, gentle read.  And mercifully, a really clean read too. It's not that I'm against a bit of sexual frisson (and believe me, you'll find quite a bit of that in this story, but think more frisson than sexual) but there is nothing worse, for a bored reader, than to have to wade through pages of someone elses' sexual shenanigans just to get to the action.  That's why I have so much respect for sweet romance authors.  They have to come up with something good to hold the readers attention because they can't just throw in a few pages of 'hot' to distract you while they wait for inspiration to strike.  I'm sure that Rico and Neen will set the sheets on fire just fine when the time comes.  I just don't wanna be there when that happens.  I'm one of those weird people who'd rather 'do it' than read about it.

Another great story from Michelle Douglas, who consistently turns out quality romance fiction with the constant message  that love can truly heal and give you new life and set you free from the bondage of past mistakes. 

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.