A Wish. . .and a Kiss
If you’re in the mood for an amusing read with more than a touch of whimsy, do something good for yourself and track down this little gem of a book at your favorite used book shop.
Chelsey Mallon, an archeologist with a tarnished reputation, has been given the daunting, and mind numbing, task of cataloging forty years worth of forgotten artifacts. The college has allowed her one assistant, but she is finding it difficult to find a sucker who will work the long hours necessary for the pittance the college is willing to pay. Busy shining an ancient little lamp, Chelsey doesn’t notice Alex’s sudden arrival until he announces his presence with “I have come to do your bidding, mistress.” Startled by his darkly handsome good looks and his sudden appearance, Chelsey doesn’t comprehend his odd words at first. As she begins to outline his duties as her assistant, he continues to insist that he is a genie, with wishes to grant. Chelsey quickly becomes annoyed until he demonstrates his magic.
Alex assumes Chelsey is just another worthless, greedy human and initially treats her with the cool contempt he reserves for mankind. He’s been granting wishes to selfish humans for centuries and is sick and tired of his lot in life. When Chelsea begins to ask him about himself rather than greedily demanding her wishes, he is taken aback. Chelsea, never considering the consequences, decides to take a few days to think about her wishes before actually making them – and then the fun begins.
You see, “genie” rules state that Alex must stay within the sound of his mistress’ voice in case she decides, on a whim, to make a wish. This causes all kinds of delicious and funny complications in staid Chelsey’s life. This getting-to-know-you portion of the book is its strongest section. Alex and Chelsey share a powerful sexual attraction and develop a believable friendship. They also complement each other perfectly.
The characters are more complex than they seem at first glance. Chelsey has a weak, withered leg from a childhood bout with polio and, although she doesn’t let it get her down, she is extremely insecure about it. As a result, she doesn’t feel worthy of the love of a gorgeous man like Alex. Alex’s tragic past dates back to the Crusades when he was betrayed by a young woman he trusted and loved. He is initially wary of trusting again, but slowly, as each gets to know the other, both sets of barriers come crashing down and the obstacles are overcome.
The story speeds along as they begin to fall in love and I thought for sure that I had a Desert Isle Keeper on my hands. The book does, however, begin to lose steam in its last third as the story focuses less on the relationship and more on their attempts to resolve Chelsea’s career-ruining episode. And, it’s here (at the worst possible time, mind you) that Chelsey crazily decides to do things the hard way and no longer allows Alex to use his magical powers. This was extremely frustrating!
While A Wish . . . and a Kiss may not be a perfect book, its likable characters and its many tender and funny moments make it definitely worth searching for.