Review: Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle

Hope at Christmas
Nancy Naigle
October 10th
St. Martin's Griffin 
Pages: 342
Format Read: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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.

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. 

If you've read Hope at Christmas or any other book by Nancy Naigle I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! ♡


  1. I've read her and agree she is more women's fiction, which she does well.

    1. I totally agree. Good for woman's fiction, okay for romance.


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