cover image An Angel's Touch

An Angel's Touch

Heather Graham, Heather Graham Pozzessere. Zebra, $17.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8217-5126-8

Don and Cathy Angel are an enviable New York couple--he's a successful lawyer, she's a rising interior designer--until a deadly car accident on Christmas Eve turns them into a couple of angels. In the crowded, misty corridors of the afterlife, ruled over by a God who's depicted as a celestial CEO, they take a meeting with the angel Gabriel. Acerbic and businesslike, with a taste for Versace suits and stretch limos, Garbriel briefs the couple on procedure: to earn their wings, they must perform six Christmas miracles by midnight. Equipped with paranormal powers, Don and Cathy return to Earth. In Boston, they help unite a hard-drinking man with his long-suffering wife and aid an elegant bag lady; in Florida, they offer comfort to a terminally ill nun, who is afraid to die, and to a suicidal young angel expert who needs a reason to live. Returning to New York, the angels face their ultimate test. Cramming a plethora of miseries into her slender tale, Pozzessere, who writes contemporary romances under that name and historical romances under the pseudonyms Heather Graham and Shannon Drake, veers unevenly between the sad circumstances of characters at various nadirs and the forced comic mayhem of the yuppie couple trying to get an afterlife. While some heartwarming moments seep into the hackneyed scenes, this novel is, for the most part, an ill-conceived exploitation of the angel craze that pulls sentimental strings as shamelessly as it does spiritual ones. (Nov.)