Monday, November 9, 2009

Wishful Thinking by Evangeline Anderson

TITLE: Wishful Thinking
AUTHOR: Evangeline Anderson
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 105k)
GENRE: Paranormal romance
COST: $6.50

Philomena Swann is dreading her approaching twenty-fifth birthday. Not out of fear of getting older or that her fiancĂ© will forget it again. Her anxiety stems from the birthday wish she gets granted by her fairy godmother every year, a wish that always gets interpreted in the worst possible way. So when she inadvertently blurts out that she wishes she could just speak her mind, her fairy godmother grants it. Literally. All of a sudden, every thought she’d kept to herself – from her admiration for her best friend Josh to her frustrations with her job – is out there for anyone to hear. Unfortunately, that’s just the start of her wish tribulations…

Evangeline Anderson seems to get more attention for her heavily sexed up work and her m/m than her tamer het romances. Wishful Thinking, while still sexy and appropriately hot for its genre, is an example of her storytelling ability more than anything else. It’s the tale of Phil Swann, a young woman who is 1/8th fairy, as she approaches her birthday. She’s been engaged for five years, and has made a deal with her fiancĂ© that she would put him through law school, then when he was established, he would do the same for her. She works in a law firm for a man whose behavior makes him the poster child for sexual harassment, and her life is plagued by the effects of wishes made over the years, things like not being able to speak up for herself, eyes that always match the color of the sky, and so on. The one bright spot in her life is her best friend Josh, who works in IT at the law firm. Her frustration with everything escalates until she inadvertently makes a wish saying she wants to be able to speak her mind. Then, everything explodes.

Reading this was like watching a train wreck. Knowing everything Phil was thinking was going to come out of her mouth lent an, “Ohmigod, I can’t watch” vibe to the whole thing, especially when the wish gets morphed into something else. That sense of disaster loomed over every chapter, and elements that I’m sure were meant to be funny instead had me cringing as I waited for the worst to happen. Even more, there’s no relief from it. Things get bad, then they get worse, then they get truly awful. The only thing that saved me from banging this against the proverbial wall was how likable both leads were and Anderson’s charming prose. Even though the book is over 100k, it reads fast, much faster than a lot of shorter works. I credit her voice and her leads’ appeal.

Josh is a little too perfect, but his warmth and humor are enough to make me not care. It’s obvious from his very introduction that he has deeper feelings for Phil than just friendship, and sometimes, Phil’s blindness to her friend is frustrating. Then again, Phil can be frustrating, so maybe it’s just symptomatic of that. I could have done without her constant reminders of various expositional facts, but the pace of the story whipped along fast enough for these weaknesses to be ignored.

Phil has two sisters that are clearly meant to have their own stories, though as far as I can tell, this is the only book in the series so far. They provide interesting contrasts to Phil, as do most of the extremely colorful characters in this. It’s hard not to have strong feelings about all of them, whether positive or negative. Though it would be nice not to read another “boyfriend” calling the heroine “babe.” I hear that, and I automatically think, “He’s a schmuck.” Which he invariably turns out to be. Still, a colorful cast, a warm hero, and enough action to keep the reader interested are enough reasons for me to like this story as much as I do.


8/10 – Charming and swift, though not as funny as it thinks it is


8/10 – Warm and funny, though the truth of his feelings are obvious from the start


7/10 – The excuse of her fairy godmother to explain her doormat tendencies wears thin

Entertainment value

8/10 – Charming in a train wreck kind of way

World building

7/10 – Some of it felt very convenient, other aspects I needed more of



No comments: