Hope for Christmas by Stacy Finz

Sparkling lights, sugar cookies, a fragrant tree—Emily McCreedy is checking off her list for a perfect holiday with a new baby on her hip, two adorable stepsons hunting for presents, and her husband’s love shoring up the life she rebuilt after the unbelievable tragedy of losing her young daughter to abduction seven years ago.  
But the merriment dims when Emily receives a strange note alluding to her daughter’s disappearance. Emily’s sure Christmas miracles are only for TV movies, but with each new communication, she finds herself face to face with the one thing that matters most—hope.  

Titles in the Nugget series include:  Going Home – Finding Hope – Second Chances – Starting Over – Getting Lucky – Borrowing Trouble – Heating Up – Riding High – Falling Hard – Hope For Christmas –

Title:  Hope For Christmas
Series:  Nugget #10
Author:  Stacy Finz
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Christmas Romance
Published:  October 10, 2017
Publisher:  Kensington Books – Lyrical Shine
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Although I’ve read this entire series (though I still need to get all the reviews up) I don’t think you have to know the entire series to enjoy the story of this novella.  I do strongly suggest that you pick up the second book of the series Finding Hope, for that story and this one are closely intertwined.

I’m not going to say much about the actual story but the emotions involved.  To those new to this series, there is a mystery involving Hope and her abduction years previously.  Secrets, tensions, hopes raised and dashed over time have put a strain on marriages, some floundered and ended while new ones began.  Time has moved on… but the need to find Hope and bring her home has never died.  Now one strange note will change everything.  Hoax or reality?  That’s the huge question.

I think if I’m frank with myself I was looking for bows and ribbons, confetti and happy faces all around.  What I got was real life like emotions, events and stumbling blocks along the way.  Emily has never given up on finding her daughter… yet, life goes on.  Now she has to deal with a far different reaction from her daughter than she anticipated… and on some levels that reaction hurts.  I think I can best say it as – there is great joy in this story, there is also sadness for what might have been if life had been different.  At times this story has a raw feel to it.  At others it’s as tender as a kiss.  For this story my emotions were all over the place, and yet I believe it was realistically presented to us.  The ending I thought I wanted wasn’t realistic.  This was real.  One name change would have meant the world, but nonetheless, it was real.

If you have followed the Nugget series, then this is a must read story.  If you haven’t, then it’s a compelling, rich story that you should experience.  I won’t apologize for being vague, for to get the most of this story you need to read it first hand.  I think you’ll cry, I know you’ll feel.  And isn’t that part of the enjoyment of reading?

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle