I really enjoyed reading “For Love or Money,” a new one from author Tara Taylor Quinn in the Harlequin “Heartwarming” series. Set in Palm Desert, California, struggling single mom Janie Young is all set to compete in the cooking competition show, Family Secrets. She can’t afford to lose, not even to a great cook and handsome doctor like Burke Carter. The prize money and packaging deal for the winner’s recipes will provide a secure future for Janie and her son, Dawson, who has special needs. Burke has his own reasons to win, of course, and Janie understands those reasons, but Burke already has so much…a beautiful daughter, a gorgeous home, and a thriving practice as an orthopedic surgeon. He also definitely has Janie’s attention.
As the competition continues over a period of weeks, the two families become close. Janie and Burke begin to care about each other and each other’s children. They also both have secrets that have nothing to do with their recipes. But they can’t get involved when both of them need to win so badly, can they? And, of course, only one can win. Will the budding relationship be over when the studio lights dim and the show ends?
I’m glad to give this sweet romance a 4-star rating. The moments of sexual tension are brief but steady, and the physicality is limited to a few kisses and thoughts of possible future intimacy. My only hesitancy is that this is a slightly longer book that was prone to repeat Janie’s and Burke’s thoughts, memories and fears multiple times, which seemed to only delay them in finding their happy ending. Still, “For Love or Money” is a good read with a nice pace and a lot of heart. I’d recommend it for readers looking for wholesome, yet realistic, contemporary romance with a guaranteed HEA.