She can’t afford to lose this…or him
There’s no way that struggling single mom Janie Young is going to lose Family Secrets. Not even to Dr. Burke Carter. The prize money and media exposure from the cooking-competition show will secure the future for her and her son, who has special needs. Sure, Burke is a talented chef with his own reasons to win, but he already has so much: wealth, a beautiful daughter, great looks…and definitely her attention. As their families become closer, Janie is beginning to care too much about him. But she can’t afford to get involved. Not when everything is riding on beating him.
Harlie here…I know, I’m at Pink’s blog. Let me explain why. Sometimes when I pick a book to review from Harlequin, I need to put it over here on the “sweet” blog. I know, I have the Harlequin/category spotlight on Harlie’s Books but sometimes either the author/publisher/tour company would rather it be featured over here. No biggie to me or my readers. Pink is doing…I honestly don’t know so that’s why I’m here. The review will be a bit shorter but no worries. No spoilers…
I really liked this story. It had all the feels that a typical Heartwarming story has. Emotions, family dynamics, a slow build romance and a tightly paced story that anyone could read.
Janie and Burke are trying to win a cooking contest. Each has a different reason to win it and I liked that aspect of the book. Janie needed the money and Burke didn’t want to disappoint his daughter Kelsey. I won’t spoil how it turns out but in a way, I was kinda surprised.
Janie and her son Dawson will forever hold a special place in my heart. Dawson has Down Syndrome and Janie needs to prize money for his therapies and school. Naturally, she has an ex-husband that hasn’t even met his son. Of course, once she is on television he comes sniffing around. I hate fathers that do that. I have a cousin that has cerebral palsy and my uncle is the best father. Janie never gives up and with the help of her friends Cor and Joe, she has a great support system.
Burke and Kelsey have some big secrets that they have kept from each other. I really felt for Kelsey. Growing up without a mother and having to go to therapy AND being 13! No wonder at times, Burke was at his wit’s end.
I really enjoyed how the contest and romance built up until the end of the book. Unfortunately, I did have some issues that weren’t addressed. Burke never really totally interacted with Dawson; at least not like Kelsey. Kelsey has a dream with Dawson. They bonded instantly and they helped each other in ways that no adult could ever do. Also, I felt like the thread with Janie’s ex was left hanging. There is some resolution but I felt like it was undone. Also, the ending felt a bit rushed. I would have liked an epilogue but then I had to remember that this is the first book in the series and it centers around the contest and some of the contestants. I’m patient…I can wait.
Overall, I loved the book and the characters. Ms. Taylor Quinn is one of my all time favorite Harlequin authors and she never misses with me.
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The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. A 2015 RITA finalist Tara appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists, and multiple showings on the Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning.
Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.
August 7th: Launch
Lady Amber’s Reviews
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
deal sharing aunt
underneath the covers
Becky on Books
To Read or Not to Read
Books & Spoons
Beck Valley Books
Thoughts of a Blonde
Getting Your Read On
Love, Laughter, Friendship
Book Reviews & More by Kathy
August 12th: Grand Finale
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Heart Stopping Tara Taylor Quinn Giveaways
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To Enter: Submit your receipt online for your pre-order or purchase the soon-to-be-released Heartwarming compilation: A Heartwarming Holiday: 15 Connected Sweet Holiday Romances and/or of any of Tara Taylor Quinn’s six releases being promoted on her Heart Stopping Tour (Love By Association, His First Choice, The Promise He Made Her, Strangers in Paradise: Sheltered In His Arms, Sheltered In His Arms Audiobook, and For Love Or Money). Enter as many times as you purchase. One book purchase equals one entry (one receipt or invoice/order number per entry and must be entered at time of entry).
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