Signet Eclipse, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-451-22459-0
Contemporary Paranormal Romance, 2008
If Wishing Made It So is a pleasant read, but the characters are so meek and accepting of their lot in life that I’m not surprised that it takes a genie to get things happening between them. Needless to say, I don’t have high hopes of the couple remaining happy for long, not unless they undergo a drastic personality change some time into the honeymoon.
Back in high school, Hildy Caldwell was the bookish girl who could somehow snag the popular jock Mike Amante without even having to put out. Now this is what we call fiction, folks. Alas, when Mike was caught rubbing up to a naked floozy, Hildy realized that perhaps not all hot-blooded young men were attracted to girlfriends who refused to let them cop even a feel. Mike protested that he was set up and he really didn’t go through the whole high school cliché scenario with that floozy, but Hildy wasn’t hearing any of that.
Ten years later, Hildy is now a dumpy teacher who taught at her former high school and she only has cats for company. As you can imagine, she still hasn’t gotten over Mike. Meanwhile, Mike hasn’t gotten over Hildy too, despite the fact that he’s now the boyfriend to the same floozy who separated him from Hildy. He wants a new job, a new scenery, and yes, a new girlfriend (Hildy), but he isn’t really going to do anything about it until someone gives him a big push. How lucky that Hildy has found a genie, a Roman centurion Antonius Eugenius who was imprisoned inside a glass bottle by an ancient spell until Hildy releases him, and just in time for the ten year high school reunion too. Some mobster goons show up wanting the bottle and Tony G, as our genie likes to be called, back, thus providing some drama in this story.
I don’t know what Hildy sees in Mike, to be honest, because that man is such a passive wimp that I think it’s a miracle of sorts how he managed to move out of his parents’ house. He’s more of a trophy to be won by Miss Pretty in Pink here as she clashes with Tiki the Mean Girl one more time for closure. Hildy has the right attitude when it comes to wanting to change her life for the better, but despite her wish not to settle for second best when it comes to love, she is settling for worse than that when it comes to a man like Mike. Hildy tends to mope or weep when she’s backed against the corner, while Mike tends to be content to remain in a rut instead of trying to change his circumstances. I really can’t see them dealing well with each other once the honeymoon is over, the whole high school closure thing is done with, and they realize that they probably do not know each other at all.
If Wishing Made It So may be good if you are looking for a vicarious outlet to settle some old high school score, but as a romance, it has a pairing that doesn’t feel too credible to me. It takes magic to get them together, and sadly, in this story, I can see why.