Restoring Hope by CP Smith — Jenn’s Review


I LOVED her first novel, A Reason to Breathe and was excited to jump into this one.


4 stars


Life throws you curve balls, but no parent should ever bury a child.

Determined not to make the same mistakes with his son 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 break down Nic’s defenses until he can’t ignore them any longer. 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, Maman Rose gets.

Will their relationship survive an ex with an agenda or will her past come between them . . . or kill them?

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I was thrilled to be granted an advance copy of C.P. Smith’s Restoring Hope. I LOVED her first novel, A Reason to Breathe and was excited to jump into this one. I was not disappointed.

Restoring Hope gives us the story of Nic and Hope, two people battling their inner demons, silently and alone. When Hope’s circumstances bring her to the historic, lively city of New Orleans, she is on the run; running from a past it is unlikely she will be unable to outrun. Therefore, she is reluctant to form ties and forge friendships in each city she finds herself in. Unbeknownst to Hope, the job she procures as a cook in a small restaurant comes with a proprietor who has zero intentions of allowing Hope to shrink into herself. Maman Rose, described as a big, boisterous Cajun woman, immediately gets involved in Hope’s business. She can clearly see the sadness in Hope’s eyes and sets out to change that.

Nic Beuve has ghosts lingering behind his eyes. One year previous, his daughter, Chelsea overdosed and Nic reacts the way any father would. He blames himself.  His divorce from his ex-wife took a toll on Chelsea. Nic attempted to pull her out of her own personal destruction, but was too late. He needs to go on for the sake of his young son, Nicky, but he is a shell of the man he used to be.

Through Rose’s ministrations, Nic and Hope connect, and for Nic, it is as if a light has gone on inside. He can see in Hope’s eyes, her fear and sadness, and a need to protect her overcomes him. Hope is clearly attracted to Nic, but knows that good looks do not necessarily equal nice guy. She is not very trusting and knows that she is unable to give herself over to Nic, knowing that she will have to run again very soon. She is growing to like the people in her new life, and knows that a great danger awaits them if the people looking for her, indeed find her. Hope beings a tentative relationship with Nic, knowing that at any moment, she is going to run.

Nic and Hope found something in each other immediately. Hope found a comfort and strength she had been neglecting. With Nic, Hope could be herself, not hide in the shadows. Nic found himself a reason to believe in love again. He found a woman he would fight and die to protect. He found himself motivation to go on.

The bliss that Hope and Nic find is short lived. She cannot outrun her past and it is coming for her. Hope doesn’t want her past to come in between her relationship with Nic and is willing to leave New Orleans to save him. Nic will accept nothing but Hope in his life forever.

C.P. Smith has the ability to drown you with her story. The two days I spent with this book, were spent entrenched in the city of New Orleans and the lives and backgrounds of Nic and Hope. I felt each one of their emotions as if they were my own. I could feel the spirit of New Orleans with me as a devoured this book. The secondary characters are wonderful additions and help enrich the story.

There are a few twists and plot point shockers that I don’t want to give away, but had me gasping and frantically going backwards in my kindle to see what clues I missed. You are going to love the ride Restoring Hope takes you on.

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