"A tale of magic and second chances"

If Wishing made it so is a tale of magic and second chances. I found the heroine, Hildy Caldwell, highly sympathetic from the get go. She is a female version of George Bailey in her own small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She'd once been a cheerleader, prom queen, and voted most likely to succeed and she'd had the handsomest, sweetest football player boyfriend. They'd been the perfect couple until he'd blown it in the spring of their senior year. Still she'd gone off to Penn State with high hopes. But life had dealt her another wicked blow when her mother had become terminally ill, and she had put her life on hold to care for her. Unfortunately this meant that ten years later she was still in the same small town, teaching High School English at the same school she'd graduated from and with no one to love but her two cats Shelley and Keats. But she hadn't realized what a rut her life was in until the announcement of her tenth High School reunion had arrived.

The invite had made her melancholy about her love life as well as her career. Though she'd had subsequent relationships with seemingly perfect men, she'd found something wrong with each before things got too serious. Who'd have ever though she'd be a 28 year old virgin? But no man had measured up to her first love, Michael Amante. What did she have to tell her classmates who'd had such high expectations for her? It was time to reevaluate her life.

Michael had gone on to live the perfect life. He'd made a mint in real estate and had been engaged for the last five years to a glamorous photographer named Kiki who looked like a fashion model. Would she see Mike at the reunion? Hildy had a strong wish to see him one more time. Be careful what you wish for!

Hildy decided to take the summer to think about the changes she needed to make in her life. To do so she rented a cottage on the Jersey shore. She did not enjoy gambling however her sister did and since Corrine had come all the way there to check out her digs as well as spend a little time in Atlantic City, Hildy soon found herself sitting in front of a quarter game machine at Caesar's. Looking for someplace to put her coffee she sees what she thinks is a beer bottle. Nope, it's a bottle alright but a very fancy one, obviously someone's precious souvenir. Naturally being honest she plans to take it to the Lost and Found on her way out. While playing she thinks about how much she misses Mike and gives herself a little pep talk about being lucky. Wonder of wonders she hits the jackpot! Deciding to leave well enough alone, she hits the beach while her sister continues to play, completely forgetting about the bottle she's put in her bag. Miracle of Miracles she nearly drowns in the surf and is saved by none other than the former man of her dreams! Are you getting the picture yet?

Mike is unhappy in his life as well both with his career and his love life, but isn't exactly sure what he's been missing. The two are thrilled to see each other but the happy reunion is interrupted by Mike's horrible fiancée.

Hildy returns home and soon discovers the bottle's secret. Of course she believes that he's an employee from Caesar's sent to retrieve the bottle but the genie quickly convinces her of the truth. To complicate matters he reveals to Hildy that the bottle's last owner was a Mafiosa who wanted to be the boss of all bosses and needed his help to realize his dreams. Jimmy the Bug will do whatever he has to get it back. Now she has a number or ethical dilemmas. She can't give the genie back to a criminal, and she's not sure she deserves her winnings or to have another chance with Mike.

But Hildy's totally certain that he's her soulmate and that's where the genie, a former Roman Centurian, comes in. The genie assures her that wishful thinking doesn't really count and she makes him promise not to influence Mike directly to make him fall in love with her again. Of course that doesn't mean he can't influence him indirectly after all he's been around a long time and knows how men's minds work! I loved the genie, "Tony G," and really felt he was the best part of the story.

Mike's fiancée Kiki is easy to dislike, she's an opportunist and it's clear that she's just using him. No love lost there but when it becomes clear that he's become interesting in someone else she isn't above playing dirty. Mike takes a little while to warm up to. It's clear that he's not in love with Kiki, and that he's more than interested in seeing if the spark can be relit with Hildy, but he becomes wishy washy about following through and allows Kiki to manipulate him time and again. Knowing the reason that Hildy originally dumped him isn't likely to improve anyone's opinion of him. But when things get really ugly he proves himself to be a true hero turning him into the man Hildy had always believed him to be.

Neither rain, nor gangsters, nor spiteful fiancées will keep this pair from their happily ever after. As Hildy would quote, "All's well that ends well." Although the romance wasn't always convincing, the humor and the genie definitely made this story worth reading.

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted October 12, 2008


Sometimes love needs a touch of magic...

Once voted the girl most-likely-to-succeed, Hildy Caldwell is now the one in the biggest rut. She has let her world get very small: a tiny cottage in rural Pennsylvania, two cats, and a ho-hum job. As for love? Nobody has ever measured up to her football hero high school sweetheart. If only she could meet him again . . .

Knowing that's wishful thinking, Hildy splurges on a summer rental on Long Beach Island, one of the Jersey shore's prettiest spots. There, she hopes the wind might blow a handsome man her way. Instead, she finds an abandoned bottle-with a two-thousand-year-old, meddlesome genie inside! Magic and mayhem follow, along with what Hildy's been wishing for: a meeting with the man she has never stopped loving.

With the genie's help, Hildy's dreams might come true. But spells and enchantment have a dark and dangerous side. And Hildy could lose everything-unless she finds out that true love is the best kind of magic.

Read an Excerpt


If Wishing Made It So
by Lucy Finn

July 1, 2008
Available: July 1, 2008
ISBN #0451224590
EAN #9780451224590
304 pages
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Other Books by
Lucy Finn

Best Wishes Always
Careful What You Wish For

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