cover image The Wishing Season

The Wishing Season

Denise Hunter. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4016-8704-5

Hunter (The Trouble with Cowboys) adds another Chapel Springs Romance with this formulaic but still sparkling contemporary tale of competing ambitions, wounded personalities, and powerful attraction. PJ McKinley is an aspiring restaurateur, and Cole Evans is a contractor and former foster kid who wants to operate a group home for teen-age foster kids. Trouble is they're both competing for the same space, a Chapel Springs, Ind., home that a philanthropic resident will give to whoever will come up with the best use for it. PJ and Cole are both given a year to prove themselves, and sharing the space produces both competitive tension and unbidden attraction. PJ and Cole both have family issues that threaten to torpedo their growing relationship. The psychology that makes the two tick is a little simplistic, but it makes the plot move forward. Less forced is the powerful effervescence of their chemistry, and the pacing of their romantic pas-de-deux is also persuasive. Agent: Karen Solem, Spencerhill Associates. (Dec.)