Hope at Christmas4.5 Stars

Published October 10th 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin

After her divorce Sydney Ragsdale decided to move back to the tiny town of Hopewell, NC where she spent many happy summers at her grandparents’ farm. Her hope was to get away from her husband who was trying to run her life and constantly tempting his daughter with things and trips in the hopes she would want to live with him and his new girlfriend. Sydney is also hoping to bring the relationship she has with her daughter to a new level and get her to love the little town as much as she did as a child. When her grandparents died, they left her the house, so off they go. Shortly after settling in, Sydney finds herself wandering into The Book Bea, a beautiful, friendly bookstore run by Bea whom Sydney remembers from her own childhood. It turns out she is in the right place at the right time and is hired by Bea to assist her over the holidays. Before long though Sydney finds herself falling in love with the small town shop and it’s charm. As Ray Anne begins making friends, she is more and more comfortable in Hopewell as well. Kevin MacAlea, Mac is a single father to a 12 year old son, Seth, a high school history teacher and baseball coach and the best Santa Claus the town has. When Sydney meets Mac the last thing on her mind is starting a new relationship but between working at The Book Bea and her daughter becoming friends with Mac’s son the two find themselves spending more and more time together. Will Mac help Sydney deal with the new life she has found? Will Ray Anne be happy in Hopewell and want to stay or move back to Atlanta?

Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle is a beautiful holiday romance that is full of small town charm and emotions. The Book Bea sounded like a magical place for book lovers, and families. It was a central part of the town, similar to those country stores and coffee shops in other books. Bea, the owner, knows everyone in town and has wisdom and advice that is simple and honest. I enjoyed every time we visited the store. I couldn’t help but root for Sydney to overcome the things her ex had done to her emotionally and was continuing to do to her through her daughter. There is some angst and action in the story that added to the emotional investment of this reader, that made it hard to put down. Between the small town setting, the wonderful bookstore, the great characters and the holiday setting, I was won over by this story. I have recently found out that this book has been made into a Hallmark movie and I am not surprised. This is a story that I’d definitely recommend checking out for those fans of romance stories, especially with a Christmas setting.

About the Book (From Goodreads): 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.

Sydney Ragsdale is divorced, but her husband is still calling the shots. In an attempt to shake free from his hold, she and her daughter, Ray Anne, head for tiny Hopewell, NC to the only asset her ex has no control over – a decaying farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. She finds solace at The Book Bea, the bookstore she’d loved as a child during her summer stays.

Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. Father of a twelve-year-old son, he’s Hopewell, North Carolina’s most sought after bachelor. His young bride abandoned him and his son just before Christmas and has never come back. It has left his son bitter about Christmas which is hard for Mac who loves the magic of the season. He’s been the Santa here in Hopewell since the year Seth was born. But when a catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that sends Ray Anne running away. As Sydney tries to figure out what her next steps are she discovers all of the answers are right here in Hopewell.

Nancy NaigleAbout the Author: USA TODAY Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle, writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense.

With a career spent on the cutting edge of technology in the banking industry, she never let go of her dream to write. Now she works full-time writing stories that are a calming blend of community, family, and the simple things in life. She writes the kind of stories she hopes will provide an escape from the hectic day-to-day in the make believe worlds she creates.

Aside from writing she enjoys hunting for treasures in junk and antique shoppes, and getting crafty no matter what the medium from painting and digitizing embroidery designs, to weaving pine needle baskets. She also enjoys horseback riding on her palomino, Tooter.

A Virginia native, and spending most of her life in the Tidewater area, she now calls North Carolina home.

Twitter: NancyNaigle