Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: December 9th, 2014
Review:Living side-by-side, a fledgling chef and a big-hearted contractor find a delicious attraction.Trouble is, their chemistry could spoil their dreams.
Spirited PJ McKinley has the touch when it comes to food. Her dream of opening her own restaurant is just one building short of reality. So when a Chapel Springs resident offers her beloved ancestral home to the applicant with the best plan for the house, PJ believes it’s a contest she was meant to win.
Contractor Cole Evans is confident, professional, and swoon-worthy—but this former foster kid knows his life could have turned out very differently. When Cole discovers the contest, he believes his home for foster kids in transition has found its saving grace. All he has to do is convince the owner that an out-of-towner with a not-for-profit enterprise is good for the community.
But when the eccentric philanthropist sees PJ and Cole’s proposals, she makes an unexpected decision: the pair will share the house for a year to show what their ideas are made of. Now, with Cole and the foster kids upstairs and PJ and the restaurant below, day-to-day life has turned into out-and-out competition—with some seriously flirtatious hallway encounters on the side. Turns out in this competition, it’s not just the house on the line, it’s their hearts.
I think this is the year of the youngest child in books. This is the second book this year I've read that has focused on the youngest and I can relate so well to how they feel and understand the struggles they deal with.
PJ has been known to be a bit flighty growing up, but that has changed. She's gone to culinary school and has flourished. A historic home has been calling to her. She is desperate for the contract to turn this gorgeous place into a restaurant with a Bed and Breakfast attached. She's all set to go, everything is ready, her presentation has been spit-polished basically. However, she has competition. A very hard headed one, literally and figuratively.
Cole has a past that haunts him. He doesn't want to let anyone close, except for the kids he cares for. He desperately wants kids in the foster system to have the best chance possible and he knows if they are kicked out at 18, that isn't going to happen. He's desperate for this historic house and turn it into a home for transition.
Cole and PJ are both strong willed and they know what they want. It's interesting to see how they work things out as this story progresses and the battles they fight, not with each other, but with themselves. They both have pasts that seem to follow behind. Some are mental, while others are very real and can touch and out running them proves harder then expected, and it's from these trials, PJ and Cole learn so much about each other.
I have really come to enjoy these family based series. We are able to stick with these families as they grown and learn. In the Wishing Season, we were able to get caught up on the other family members as well and I love seeing how these siblings interact.
Denise Hunter not only has a wonderful talent for writing, but she is able to weave such realistic and at times heart wrenching truths into her story.
I can't wait for the next book in this series, I still need to go back and read the first...thankfully though, even though they are a series, the books can work as a standalone.
4 out of 5