December 3, 2014 8 Comments


Reading the first book in this series, Barefoot Summer is a kind of magic experience I haven’t had in fiction. It wasn’t *just* the delights of the setting or the character quirks, it’s a deeper, more meaningful chord it strikes in me. That moment ensures this series climbs quickly to the top of my favorites list, which is why despite some minor disappointment in the following novel, I was anxious to have the chance to read any ensuing books in the series. Before the first chapter was gone, I already put this book down as a keeper.

BOOK REVIEW | ‘25 Days ‘Til Christmas’: A Bittersweet but Lovely Seasonal Novel
‘THE WISHING SEASON,’ BY DENISE HUNTER #FWarchives #ContemporaryFiction Click To Tweet

The story is about PJ McKinley and newcomer Cole Evans. Both of them have dreams that involve the Wishing House, which they place separate bids on. However, since the owner of the house cannot decide between PJ’s careful plan to open a restaurant (her dream) or Cole’s plan to use the house as a home for foster kids transitioning between high school and whatever’s next, the pair of them must share the space for a matter of months. As two very different people who must share the house, they come to realize that there is more to the other person than first impressions would suggest.  

The Wishing Season, by Denise Hunter | Book Review

What this novel has is a great hook. Sure the dueling couple is something that’s been done, but the opening, how Denise introduces the characters, is funny and priceless. It sets up a lighter scene before the heavier topics come into play as these two different people open their minds (and hearts) to getting to know each other without blinders on. Cole’s past is an interesting one and I admire him as a hero greatly. True he is a fictional character, but his ability to make something out of a past that would paralyze is inspiring. He’s compassionate and doesn’t use his past as an excuse.

Catching up with the McKinley family feels like our own family gatherings, as if they’re in our crowded kitchens at holidays. PJ is been a sassy spitfire as a side character in prior books, and again she proves to be a fun-loving character. Anyone who hasn’t read the first two books in this series can read The Wishing Season although I would encourage you to read them all; everything has more meaning if read from the beginning. Perfect for any season, this is a sweet winter read that’s great for any season. It’s a dream and a wish come true in one beautiful little package. 

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Publisher ARC via NetGalley
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads | Novel Crossing | WordPress
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Series: Chapel Springs, book 3
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Christian
Rating: 5 out of 5

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary e-ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Kristin December 3, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    This sounds cute! I do own the first book in the series but still haven't read it yet…I meant to read it over the summer but obviously that didn't happen. :) Maybe I'll get to this series next year!

    • Rissi December 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      It's fabulous, Kristin; I think if you like Becky's and Melissa's writing, you'd enjoy these books. So cute and poignant when need be. :) Definitely add them to your 2015 TBR… and maybe that Christmas list. ;)

  • Titi Funtó December 4, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Ahhhh!!!! I absolutely loved Barefoot Summer. For some reason I haven't gotten my hands on Dancing with Fireflies but after reading your review I'm thinking of just skipping that one and going straight to The Wishing Season. Do you think I would still get what was going on?

    Married till Monday also looks pretty awesome. Can't wait to read more about the Mckinleys.

    Tell the World

    • Rissi December 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      Absolutely you could follow The Wishing Season without reading book two, Titi. I will say that most of my reader friends liked Dancing with Fireflies (book 2) as well if not better than Barefoot Summer, so it was probably me not the book. But either way, you'd be fine to skip ahead.

      I'm thrilled that the fourth book is about Ryan reconciling with his wife – that's what I had guessed before the synopsis was released. Cannot wait. :)

  • Anonymous December 12, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    I'm super excited for Married til' Monday! It sounds awesome!

    • Rissi December 12, 2014 at 9:30 PM

      Me too, Laura; I'm just glad my suspicion about Ryan's story proved correct. :)

  • Bekah M. December 16, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    I recently received this book and now that I've read your delightful review I am that much more excited to get started!! :)

    • Rissi December 17, 2014 at 4:45 AM

      Yay! Hope you enjoy it, Bekah – and I'll be eagerly awaiting your lovely review. :)

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