She chose the wrong man once. Can she trust her instincts now? 

Phoebe Crain, an accomplished pianist, lives in near poverty to protect her five-year-old daughter from scandal. When Phoebe receives a handcrafted cigar box by mistake, her desperation to give the child something special for Christmas drives her to suggest a trade with Spence Newland, a man she views as no more principled than her daughter’s late father. But the more time she spends with the department store heir, the more Phoebe struggles to keep up her guard against him.

Spence believes the cigar box will help him gain a reclusive investor’s financial support for his proposed five-and-ten-cent stores, demonstrating his ability to manage the family fortunes. Yet he hesitates to bargain with a widow who mistrusts him for no apparent reason…until he meets a charming little girl at the train station who awaits the arrival of a prince.

Will a betrayal in Phoebe’s past and Spence’s unraveling plans derail their hope for happiness and keep a child’s fairy tale from coming true?

My Thoughts

Unwrapping Hope by Sandra Ardoin is a touching novella that asks the question: When our own judgment betrays us, how can we learn to trust again? I think this is a theme all of us can relate to. It certainly gripped my heart and attention. I felt deeply for Phoebe’s plight as I watched her struggle not only with the ramifications of her first misjudgment, but also with the fear of repeating her mistake. Her love for her daughter and her servant’s heart make her a very likable heroine. Add to that an ambitious hero whose heart is to honor God, even if he doesn’t always make the right decisions, and you have a very compelling read. The vivid setting descriptions and relatable secondary characters are just icing on the cake. In fact, this novella is like the perfect serving of your favorite dessert. You’ll gobble it down in one sitting and feel completely satisfied. I know I did.

Unwrapping Hope is the prequel novella to Sandra Ardoin’s upcoming Widow’s Might novel series.


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Note: Although I did receive a free ARC of the digital version of this book, I was under no obligation to write a positive review. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.

Let’s chat!

Can you relate to the question this novella asks? Have you read any of Sandra’s other books? What do you think of the cover?

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