Title: “Restoring Hope”
Author: C. P. Smith
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 22nd July, 2014.
Life throws you curve balls, but no parent should ever bury a child. Determined not to make the same mistakes with his son as he made with his daughter, Nic Beuve is single-minded until Hope walks into his life.
Hope Delaney, a woman with a past that almost broke her, tries to keep people at bay for their own protection. Fortunately for her, no one listens when she says she wants to be alone.
Burning desire, a deep need to protect, and a woman who looks like an angel breaks down Nic’s defenses until he can’t ignore them. He wants Hope and what Nic wants…
Hope thinks she can walk away at any time she just wasn’t counting on a man like Nic to get in the way, or a nosy but loving Cajun Boss. All’s fair in love and war and what Maman Rose wants is Nic and Hope together.
Will their relationship survive an ex-wife with an agenda or will her past come between them… or kill them?
Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review.
You should all know by now that even if I did not fall for a certain book by an author in the past, it does not deter me from picking up a book by the same author again. I am, first and foremost, the kind of reader and reviewer who decides what to read based solely on the synopsis of a book – true, I have my favorite authors, as you know, BUT that is not really the point I want to make here. The point is that even if an author’s work has disappointed you in the past, it does not mean that you should overlook it in the future. For me, reading is an adventure, a chance to explore and challenge myself…Thus, taking chances. And I am thrilled to say that C. P. Smith has left me with quite a book hangover with her latest novel, “Restoring Hope”.
Now, as the synopsis gives you an idea of what the book is about, I will not expand on it that much, and, as always, I will attempt to write a review that is completely spoiler free.
The story is about two lost and tormented people who, by chance, meet and form a very strong connection. Hope Delaney is on the run. Little by little, we learn why and what makes her fear for her life, and the fact that Hope does not allow herself to form attachments – getting close to people, forming friendships, and the like – because of said fear makes for a lonely existence. Hope finds herself in New Orleans, and because of her limited funds, she needs to find a temporary job – she has no intentions of staying long, naturally, but she does not count on the determination and stubbornness from her new boss, Maman Rose.
Nic Beauve is not exactly fighting his own demons, more like drowning in them. He is tormented, guilt-ridden with the loss of his daughter, Chelsea, but he is trying to remain strong because of his other child, his son, Nicky, Nic is introduced to Hope by the meddling, but loveable, Maman Rose, but even though he is taken in by her looks and demeanor, he keeps telling himself to stay away.
Hope is equally intrigued by Nic – not to mention, attracted to him physically – but she is more than ever determined to stay keep her distance.
“Nic Beauve, plain and simple, is the sexiest man she’d ever encountered, and she needed to be in his presence like she needed at hole in the head.” (Hope)
The question remains, though: can these two lost souls really stay apart when they are so obviously in sync with each other? Well, dear reader: buy the book and find out! *wink*
I have to say that what makes this a great book to me is because of how Hope evolves throughout the story. She comes such a long way, emotionally, and I like how she truly becomes her own woman – but it does not happen with a simple snap of her fingers. It takes time, work and determination from not only Nic but her new friends as well. This, to me, makes Hope a truly realistic character. I also have to mention that I admire her strength – her sassy attitude has not been completely snuffed out despite her past, and as she gains more confidence and learns to trust Nic, that sass and spirit really shine through.
As for Nic…I might as well be honest right now and say that I completely fell in love with him! He is so broken in the beginning, but Hope helps him become stronger, little by little, by simply being who she is. I also have to admit that I love his alpha ways – yes, he can be rather dominating, but he does it in such a caring, funny way that you cannot help but swoon.
“Learn quickly, sugar…I will love you, fight with you, die for you, but I will also put your sweet ass over my knee if you run from me.” (Nic)
You see what I mean? Rather annoying, but very hot at the same time. And I love that in my book boyfriends! Furthermore, in my opinion, Nic needs saving as well, and Hope is just the woman for the job.
Together, Hope and Nic learn to let go of their pasts, but they do not forget them: both of them learn from their experiences, realizing that they must open their hearts in order to trust and love again so that they can move forward in their lives. These are lessons hard-learned, of course, thus making the rewards that much sweeter, and their connection is truly beautiful. I feel that I also have to add that their banter is hilarious, the sex scenes are very steamy, and you cannot help but smile, or even laugh sometimes, because of some of the situations they find themselves in.
“He forced her to stay, made her believe that she could have a life, something beautiful, to dream again. And for that, she would do her best to help him heal, give him the love he needed to move forward while she watched over their shoulders.” (Hope)
On every page, it is apparent that Miss Smith cares deeply for both Hope and Nic. You can just feel it. Even more so, the author has also managed to create some incredibly multi-faceted and colorful secondary characters. I have already mentioned Maman Rose, but the cook, Big Daddy, absolutely also deserves a small note here: he provides Hope with some sweet, old-fashioned advice when she needs it. I have highlighted so many scenes on my Kindle because the writing is so heartfelt, yet with a no-nonsense air about it as well – so yes, that is also a major plus in my world, and part of the reason why this book gets such a high rating.
This is a very emotional romance novel: I found myself giggling, swooning, and even crying on more than one occasion, and an author who can bring me to tears? It takes a lot, but when that happens? Well, that author gets an extra star from me. I found myself thinking, “Just one more chapter, then I’ll spend time with my family…” so you can gather that it was very difficult for me to let the book go.
Hope & Nic’s journey, separately and together, moved me to no end, which is why I have no other choice but to give you my highest recommendation – 5 stars – and I hope that you will enjoy their love story as much as I did.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ms.Smith resides in Oklahoma with her kids, husband and 4 dogs.