Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
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.
This was an enchanting part of the series by Denise Hunter and perfect for a Christmas book read, if you are looking for one. You will find characters that you learned to know in previous books throughout this one, and so will get to catch up on their lives, but if you have not read the others, you can read this as a stand alone.
There were a couple of loose ends throughout the book, which I wished were tied up, but I may have missed it somehow. For example, as a side issue it is mentioned that P.J is missing $5000 worth of cookware, but even though we find out who took it, we never find out if it is returned, or she gets insurance money for it.
The serious moments in the this book as life in foster homes, stalking, adultery, suicide and other topics such as that are just a few that are covered lightly in this book. However, there is a thread of romance and lightness as well throughout the whole book, so don’t think that it is just heavy topics. I just mention those as I figured some mothers would want to know if their teenage daughters wanted to read it.