Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle

Hope at Christmas

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 ha...

Title:Hope at Christmas
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Edition Language:English

Hope at Christmas Reviews

  • Nancy Naigle

    I had so much fun writing this book. Once I landed in the fictional town of Hopewell, it really came to life for me. The Book Bea and colorful merchants of the small town are as warm as the folks that pull together and welcome the new residents with open arms.

    I hope you find this story a heartwarming treat this holiday season.

    Hugs and happy reading~

    Nancy

  • Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews

    True Rating 3.5 stars!

    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

    True Rating 3.5 stars!

    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.

    Love this review and want more? Check out my blog for a holiday Q&A with the Author as well as a link to an excerpt

  • Sophia

    #HoHoHoRAT

    Small town Christmas, a heroine needing a change, a hero needing a chance, a young girl's Christmas wish for Santa, an enchanting book store and voila, it was the perfect recipe for a Christmas goodie.

    Hope at Christmas really was a sugary sweet snow globe-type of Christmas story in some respects, but it also dealt with some realism in a woman getting over a cheating husband and divorce, a child who is in the middle, struggling with not becoming jaded to other chances out there, a home

    #HoHoHoRAT

    Small town Christmas, a heroine needing a change, a hero needing a chance, a young girl's Christmas wish for Santa, an enchanting book store and voila, it was the perfect recipe for a Christmas goodie.

    Hope at Christmas really was a sugary sweet snow globe-type of Christmas story in some respects, but it also dealt with some realism in a woman getting over a cheating husband and divorce, a child who is in the middle, struggling with not becoming jaded to other chances out there, a homemaker learning to make her own way, and that is all just Sydney's side of matters. Then there is Mac who is further along in the process because yep, his wife left him and his son behind during the holidays, too. He's always played Santa for the town and secretly wished his son would give Christmas a chance, but now he sets eyes on Sydney and wants to be the one to bring her some Christmas magic.

    It's all the ooey-gooey goodness for sure and much of the book gently introduces the special bookshop, The Book Bea, and its owner , Miss Bea, who sagely helps Sidney on the road to healing. There is also a great deal of Mac and Sydney separately doing the single parenting thing. But yes, the sweet slow-burn romance happens. It's a low-angst story until Sydney starts to panic about feeling something again for another man and doesn't want to take a chance. She is newly divorced so the panic makes sense for the story and keeps things on the cautious side which totally worked for me with all the other elements that come together in the book.

    In the end, I felt it was a bite of Christmas sugary goodness come early and perfect for immersing in the holiday feelings and setting with a nice sweet romance to cuddle up with. Might need Sydney's hot chocolate recipe and Mac's lasagna recipe, too...

    I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review..

  • Carrie

    After her divorce Sydney Ragsdale decided to move to the tiny town of Hopewell, NC hoping for a new start with her daughter and to get out from under the thumb of her ex-husband. Sydney's ex is rich and always tempting their daughter with gifts and trips that she just can't compete with so she is hoping the move will bring them close together before she loses her to her ex. The only asset that Sydney had in her name was an old house of her grandmother's so she is determined to make it work for t

    After her divorce Sydney Ragsdale decided to move to the tiny town of Hopewell, NC hoping for a new start with her daughter and to get out from under the thumb of her ex-husband. Sydney's ex is rich and always tempting their daughter with gifts and trips that she just can't compete with so she is hoping the move will bring them close together before she loses her to her ex. The only asset that Sydney had in her name was an old house of her grandmother's so she is determined to make it work for the two of them and make the fresh start they so desperately need.

    After settling in Hopewell Sydney finds herself wandering into The Book Bea, a beautiful book store ran by Bea whom Sydney has fond memories of from her own childhood. Talking with Bea Sydney finds she could use some help in the shop through the holidays which is perfect to hold Sydney over until she begins her new job in the new year. Before long though Sydney finds herself falling in love with the small town shop and it's charm.

    Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local eligible bachelor in town, a high school history teacher and baseball coach and father of a twelve year old himself he's quite the catch. However when Sydney meets Mac the last thing on her mind is starting a new relationship having not broken completely free from the old one 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.

    Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle was a beautiful holiday romance read that was full of small town charm and real emotions from the characters. The setting of The Book Bea in the story sounded so much like such a magical place to a fan of books and reading such as myself with the owner having this lovely place for years with all kinds of small town charisma and events you'd only find in such a store. Bea and her shop certainly steal a big portion of the story and I just loved every minute there.

    Sydney and Mac were also a nice couple to get to know as they got to know one another and come together with their common bond of being single parents. I couldn't help but root for Sydney to overcome the things her ex had done and was continuing to do and hope that she tightened the bond with her daughter along the way too. With some action going on in the story, the small town holiday setting and lovely characters this was one that I'd definitely recommend checking out for those fans of romance stories.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Stacey is Sassy

    Oh NO!! Hope at Christmas was...

    (shudders)

    I was not the right reader/reviewer for

    . It was too sweet and drawn out for me. The characters were cheesy, the town too perfect and the hero, a cardboard cut-out. I don't want my hero to be a douchewaffle, but I certainly expect him to show a little confidence and strength. The heroine seemed unbelievably blind, ignorant and weak. Her "strength" that she was so admired for, only showed when it was forc

    Oh NO!! Hope at Christmas was...

    (shudders)

    I was not the right reader/reviewer for

    . It was too sweet and drawn out for me. The characters were cheesy, the town too perfect and the hero, a cardboard cut-out. I don't want my hero to be a douchewaffle, but I certainly expect him to show a little confidence and strength. The heroine seemed unbelievably blind, ignorant and weak. Her "strength" that she was so admired for, only showed when it was forced upon her. A "strength" that only arrived when everything was handed to her on a platter.

    I need that giddy, heart-fluttering feeling when a couple connects. I wanted to see the attraction, passion and lust between the hero and heroine. Kisses on the forehead and a couple of lip kisses are not going to cut it for me. How am I supposed to believe that they're meant for each other, need each other, are desperate for each other? I didn't feel passion, connection or lust, at all. I was disappointed that there were no sigh-worthy moments.

    There was a lack of emotion in this story. I should have been angrier at her ex for the way she was treated. Where were her screams and demands of respect? It was like she didn't even care that her husband had been disrespecting their marriage vows for the last two years they were together. She loves her daughter, then why did she let him get away with treating their daughter as a forgotten piece of luggage? The heroine standing up for herself was a wee bit too late for me.

    Small town romances are very hit or miss with me. Don't judge by my review alone. Check out other reviews and you may find that

    is perfect for you.

  • Pamela

    A heartwarming little Christmas story with two divorced parents, Sydney and her daughter and Mac and his son. While I enjoyed the story overall, there were a couple of incidents that felt a little forced for drama.

    **Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**

  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    Hope At Christmas is a sweet holiday romance in a small town. The heroine, Sydney Ragsdale, is soon to be divorced and has moved from Atlanta to escape the hold her somewhat controlling soon to be ex-husband has on her and because her grandparents left their farmhouse and she has nowhere else for her and her daughter to live. The hero, Kevin “Mac” MacAlee, is the high school baseball coach and history teacher at the high school whose wife abandoned him and their child, Seth, years ago. They both

    Hope At Christmas is a sweet holiday romance in a small town. The heroine, Sydney Ragsdale, is soon to be divorced and has moved from Atlanta to escape the hold her somewhat controlling soon to be ex-husband has on her and because her grandparents left their farmhouse and she has nowhere else for her and her daughter to live. The hero, Kevin “Mac” MacAlee, is the high school baseball coach and history teacher at the high school whose wife abandoned him and their child, Seth, years ago. They both have 10 year old children.

    Sydney had a lot of self doubt after her husband cheated on her for two years prior to asking to be out of the relationship. Her daughter was against the move and wanted to stay with her dad, but her dad’s new girlfriend wasn’t totally on board with that so Sydney and RayAnne have moved to the small town where Sydney used to spend summers with her grandparents.

    I liked both the main characters and honestly, the fact this was a clean romance didn’t bother me at all, it worked for this couple and their relationship. What I did have issues with, and I do realize this was an Advance Review Copy, was there were so many issues with the timeline in this story which distracted greatly from the story.

    I did feel like there was a bit of manufactured drama that wasn’t necessary and the ending was a bit too fairytale easy, but it mostly worked for a light holiday read.

    For me, the real star of this book was the town, the community, and the holiday traditions they’ve carried on for many years.

    Hope At Christmas is a pleasant holiday romance that was easy to read and enjoyable.

  • Arlena

    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 At

    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.

    Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.

  • Jen Ryland

    This book is like a G-rated, small-town set Hallmark Christmas special on a page. If that's your thing (it's not entirely mine tbh) then you'll love this one!

    About-to-be-divorced mom Sydney moves her daughter to the small town where her grandparents lived, and into the old farmhouse they left to her after they died. Her ten year-old daughter is angry about her parents' split and Sydney's about to start a new job in a few weeks. After she impulsively stops into the small local bookstore she used

    This book is like a G-rated, small-town set Hallmark Christmas special on a page. If that's your thing (it's not entirely mine tbh) then you'll love this one!

    About-to-be-divorced mom Sydney moves her daughter to the small town where her grandparents lived, and into the old farmhouse they left to her after they died. Her ten year-old daughter is angry about her parents' split and Sydney's about to start a new job in a few weeks. After she impulsively stops into the small local bookstore she used to love as a child, Sydney ends up with a new part-time job assisting the elderly store owner.

    Mac is a single dad to a son, a high school teacher, and secretly dresses up as the town Santa.

    Of course these two are made for each other. It was interesting to me that, while the story is told in alternating third person from Sydney and Seth's POVs, the two characters don't even really meet each other until about a third of the way through the book. That wasn't ideal for the romance, but it did work well for a subplot about Sydney's painful divorce and her daughter's anger and sadness over the breakup of her family. As the story begins, she hasn't even signed her divorce papers, so it wasn't a bad thing that she doesn't jump into a new relationship right away. I'm fine with romances without love scenes, but this story was so squeaky clean that it almost felt a little antiseptic. if you're not okay with slow, slow, slow burn romance in which the characters just exchange a chaste peck or two, this might not be the book for you.

    What this book does have in large supply - a lot of small town charm and a fun plot about Sydney's plans to bring the bookstore into the 21st century.

    Read more of my reviews on

    or check out my

    I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.

  • Ann Lorz

    Reviewed for Romancing the Readers Blog:

    I have never read Nancy Naigle before, of course as I write this I'm really not sure about that. For this review I'm going to go off that I haven't. I've often seen her books and her covers always look so good and I've wanted to read them but...again, not sure if I have.

    So when I was given a chance to try one of her books and on top of that it was a holiday story how could I say no? If you know me then you know I'm

    Reviewed for Romancing the Readers Blog:

    I have never read Nancy Naigle before, of course as I write this I'm really not sure about that. For this review I'm going to go off that I haven't. I've often seen her books and her covers always look so good and I've wanted to read them but...again, not sure if I have.

    So when I was given a chance to try one of her books and on top of that it was a holiday story how could I say no? If you know me then you know I'm a huge fan of holiday romance stories. I just love them!

    Very shortly into the story I figured out that for me this was more woman's fiction then romance. I don't really read women's fiction but since I accepted the ARC I figured I'd keep going.

    The story as a whole wasn't bad, it was just overly...sweet. I know, I said that like it was a dirty word. I didn't mean it to sound like that. I'm just not sure how else to describe it. The main characters relationship didn't have much heat between them. Sure, there are problems along the way, just nothing much.

    I did like the small town feel of the story but even that wasn't enough to make me really love this story. Like I said, it's not a bad story just not one I was thrill with. I'm sure if the romance aspect isn't what you want front and center and you don't like a more gritty story this would be perfect for you.

    Follow me on:

    ARC received for a honest review

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