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Hope at Christmas: A Novel by Nancy Naigle
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Hope at Christmas: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Nancy Naigle (Author)

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187787,596 (4.13)None
Member:arlenadean
Title:Hope at Christmas: A Novel
Authors:Nancy Naigle (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2017), 352 pages
Collections:Finished Reading
Rating:*****
Tags:Holiday/Christmas, Women's Fiction

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Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Hello dear reader friends. I’m just going to put a few things out there front and center. First World Problems, life gets big and I Dream (big D) of ditching everything for a sweet town little town, with cute shops, and kind people...for just a couple of days. Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle does just that. Sure, I’d miss my real life, the adventure, the thrill, the variety of experiences and people. But sometimes I just want my blasted flannel pajamas friends. This book is flannel pajamas, and I love it so much for that!
Hoping to start over after her divorce Sydney packs up her daughter for the small town of Hopewell to her grandparents run down farm. Here she find friendship, community, a wonderful home at the Book Bea, and something unexpected in local coach and teacher, Mac. I’m a huge fan of Nancy Naigle and highly recommend Hope at Christmas for lovers of holiday romance, especially those that wait for Hallmark movie lineups each year (#thatsmenoshame).
I received an advanced reader copy (eGalley) from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. This review reflects my honest and unbiased opinions. ( )
  CMDH5 | Apr 24, 2018 |
Full review appeared on Reader's Edyn on 1019/17

Sydney Ragsdale is at the end of a very unexpected divorce. She had thought she had a good life, but was blind-sided when her husband up and left her for a younger woman. Worse still, all of her friends knew and it had been going on for a couple of years behind her back. She had been that strong woman behind the successful man and for what? Dealing with hurt, anger, resentment … all of the emotions that go along with loss, she moves herself and daughter to the small town of Hopewell where her grandparents had left her a house. Memories of childhood flood her thoughts and a connection with an old acquaintance helps her come to terms with her new circumstances. Opportunities arise in several places and before too long, Hopewell is looking more permanent than a temporary stop to get her life back in control. She still has a couple of run ins with her ex, but the most unexpected romance begins to blossom with an all-around-good-guy. Fresh out of this divorce and still smarting from the hurt has understandably given her trust issues. Problem is, trust is everything and she’s not sure she can put her or her daughter through it again.

Kevin (Mac) MacAlee is almost too good to be true. Almost. There are a few perfect guys out there, right? He’s been a single Dad since his young wife took off and left him and their son around Christmas years ago. He and Seth have a good groove and have moved on – mostly. Seth is still not much in to Christmas since is brings back memories of their old life. Seth and Sydney’s daughter, RayAnne, hit it off and before too long their parents are hanging out frequently so the kids can be together. Mac sees something in Sydney that he wants to explore further and spending time together has only increased his longing. But he also knows he has to tread carefully or risk never getting the chance he wants. After progressing a bit, an accident puts their fragile relationship to the test, but most especially Sydney’s trust. Mac is the only one who can convince her that the risk is worth fighting for.

This is a really sweet contemporary romance novel. A few kissing scenes and nothing else, those who enjoy tame romance have definitely come to the right place. I’m not sure you could classify this book as inspirational, but there are a few scenes with prayer peppered throughout, so possibly. This book was actually quite refreshing as a break from the more explicit romances I have been reading lately. Sometimes you just need something romantic and uplifting. There is a bit of sad within the story, but the hope that surrounds everyone within the town battles back every time. I guess you really can go back home. 😊 Probably my only complaint is the slow moving progress between Mac and Sydney. The first half is geared towards getting to know everyone and the second half, they finally “meet” and go from there. However, I felt that the story was pretty realistic had it been actually occurring. Everyone doesn’t just hop in to bed as soon as they meet and, having completed this book, I am glad they did not. Such an action would not have fit these characters. I love the holiday spirit in the town and their caroling tradition. I could see myself participating in such an event. All in all, Hopewell is the kind of place people would want to visit – a place for magic – a place with the cutest little book shop that any reader would love to encounter. If you are looking for a story full of Christmas cheer and hope; not to mention overcoming circumstances beyond ones control, you will not be disappointed. Throw in a sweet little romance – fuzzy socks, a fire, and coffee required – and you will be set to enjoy this holiday season.

Kindle version provided by NetGalley/St Martins Press in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  GzNKz4evr | Dec 2, 2017 |
In at Hope at Christmas, the story of Sydney’s character was written realistically and I appreciated that. It is hard for anyone to recover after revelations that lead to divorce and I think that there are many people who can relate to her feelings and the defenses she had in place. Mac’s character also had his share of loss but from a different viewpoint. I liked that his character had already been through the loss and was on the other side so that he did not have his own emotional baggage to contend with.

Hope at Christmas was a really sweet story that created such vivid imagery of a holiday season that it truly gave me a hankering for the holidays to start and I had an overpowering urge to want to start the seasonal baking that I do each year. Definitely gave me a whole ‘the magic of Christmas’ feeling. There are several classic Christmas traditions that are included in this story such as tree decorating, caroling and lots of baking. Plus, there are traditions that revolve around quaint small town living.

Wrapped up in all this Christmas goodness there was a real story of love and loss and I appreciated that the loss was not only described for the mother but for the daughter as well. Both of these characters had to create a new path for themselves in their hearts and struggle with what moving on from such loss means. Also, this is a Christmas story but there is not a great influence from the religious aspect of the holiday. It is more about the traditions that surround the holiday and the ‘good cheer’ vibe of the season.

Even though I did enjoy this heartwarming story it did drag a little for me. I am not a big fan of small town anything so a story set in a small town, well not my cup of tea. I was looking for a holiday romance read but there was actually very little of that in this story. More elements of romance rather than it being a true romance story. So, the whole small town thing, meh, but I did appreciate the overall rediscovery of love and rewarding experiences for the characters.

Hope at Christmas is a story that actually encompasses the Christmas holiday and it is filled with Christmas traditions and holiday fun. Plus, a lot of the story revolves around an independent bookstore and several lovely characters. As a bibliophile, I can say that I adored that element! If you are looking for a clean holiday story that has a sweet romance element and all the goodness of Christmas time, then Hope at Christmas is a perfect choice for you.

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating. ( )
  TheGenreMinx | Oct 15, 2017 |
Title: Hope at Christmas
Author: Nancy Naigle
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Hope at Christmas" by Nancy Naigle

My Thoughts....

This was quite a good holiday story that involved two divorced parents and their children. I liked how this author brings Sydney Ragsdale and Kevin [Mac] Alea together in this wonderful Christmas magical read that is fulled with 'love and hopefulness.'

We find from the story that after an very unexpected divorce Sydney moves from Atlanta to Hopewell, North Carolina with her daughter where her grandparents had left her their farm house to get away from it all ... a controlling ex and some ex friends. Hopefully Sydney plan to start a new live there in Hopewell.

As you read through this well written story one will find the characters so very relatable as well as realistic giving you a good senseable read. Will these two people [Sydney & Mac] be able to get just what they needed as they find there way around Hopewell N.C? This author brings out a interesting point of what can happen when there is a divorce ex and who is left hurt and abandon when a marriage is dissolved...the child. In this case the children were Ray Anne & Seth. Be ready for a lots of action, surprises, drama, trust issues, fun, hope, love, sadness and even laughter, and Christmas cheer as the story continues to the end. What will happen when Sydney starts working for Bea over the holidays?What was so special about this book store? Who will she met? What was it about Mac. divorced, who was teacher at the local HS, baseball coach and during the holidays would dress up as Santa in that interested Sydney? Will their be sparks between Sydney and Mac as they go some some series of non-dates? Will these two lost souls who had been wounded be able to find healing? Will Sydney be able to trust again after that ordeal with her ex? To get all of these questions answered you will have to pick up "Hope at Christmas" and see how this author will bring it all out for you.

By the end the reader will get a good heart-warming holiday story of 'love, hope and second chances' and YES, a ending with a wonderful HEA. ( )
  arlenadean | Oct 12, 2017 |
Hope for Christmas by Nancy Naigle

A heartwarming and teary Christmas romance novel where a bookstore is a retreat and salvation.
Newly divorced Sydney and her daughter RayAnne move to Hopewell to rebuild their lives. Sydney rediscovers the bookstore where she spent her childhood and discovered the joy of reading.

The bookstore owner has a lot of little pieces of advice such as “Like yourself” and “Be open to new opportunities.” Good advice. She seems so at peace and worldly.
“You were meant to come in here today. Trust your journey, dear. It will take you where you’re supposed to go.”

10 year old Seth. So selfless. I cried when he talked to Santa. It wasn’t sad. Just so heartwarming.

These two extra characters made the depth of the stories so rich.
Overall, a joy of a Christmas story. ( )
  Madison_Fairbanks | Oct 10, 2017 |
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Publisher Annotation: A recently divorced woman and her daughter look for a fresh start by moving to a small town that embraces them in ways that only fate and the magic of Christmas can explain. (Original), 352pp.

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