Review: Three Wishes by Kristen Ashley

My Thoughts

A gripping, emotionally charged second chance romance.
One of my favorite novels, ever.

6stars

Synopsis

three wishes coverWhen Lily Jacobs was born, she inherited Fazire – a genie. Her family had three wishes and they’d only ever used one so Fazire was stuck in the human world. This worked since he’d become a member of the family anyway.

Even with a genie, Lily’s young life wasn’t perfect. To escape the kids making her miserable at school, Lily buried herself in romance novels. One day, when the teasing was just too much, she used one of her wishes. She told Fazire she wanted to find a man like in her books and she made the most complicated wish Fazire had ever heard. Her wished-for man had to be impossibly handsome, virile, fierce, rugged and ruthless (amongst a dozen other things).

He also had to think she was beautiful and he had to love her more than anything in the world.

Nathaniel McAllister wasn’t born to a life where there were such things as genies granting wishes. His life was filled with drugs, crime and neglect. He was running errands for a gangster before he was in his teens and, even though life and hard work led him to wealth and respectability, he always knew, deep down, he was dirty. When Nate met Lily he knew he was no good for her but as virile, fierce, rugged and ruthless as he was, Nate was no match for the pull of sweet, innocent Lily.

Unfortunately, Lily’s wish included that she and her hero go through trials and tribulations to test their love. And Fazire wasn’t only a good genie, he loved Lily – so he gave her exactly what she wanted.

My Review

If you want to know about the kind of book that is so me. The kind of book that will grip me wholly and bring me to tears. The kind of book I know I’ll remember always because the love story is that epic. Then read THIS book. Finding a gem like this one is the reason I read.

Three Wishes blew me away. I want to shout about it from the rooftops and make everyone I know read this beautiful story. It encapsulated all my favorite elements: a brooding hero who is super smart and impossibly handsome, a heroine with relatable vulnerabilities but who is also incredibly resilient and strong, wonderfully complicated family dynamics, and a bit of a supernatural twist, all wrapped up in a story that is my personal weakness… a second chance romance.

I didn’t know what to expect with this novel. I decided to cheat on my reading schedule and read a KA book, and this wasn’t at the top of my “KA TBR ” list. However, the girls in my reading group pushed me to try it out and it was the best kind of surprise. Others in my group were not drawn to the genie element, but let me tell you that this story is all romance and the genie element simply adds a richness and humor that makes it more memorable in the end. This story is about dreams and wishes, hope and sorrow, love and loss, heartbreak and second chances. It’s a story about the past tainting the present and a future rife with tribulations.

“One day, I wish to find a man like in my books. He has to be just like in one of my books. And he has to love me, love me more than anything in the world. Most important of all, he has to think I’m beautiful.”

“We have to go through some trials and tribulations. Something to test our love, make it strong and worthy.”

At fourteen years old, Lily Jacobs’ heart was broken. She had been on the receiving end of insults and name calling from the kids at school. She was pudgy and kept her nose stuck in romance novels, dreaming of the day she’d find a hero of her own who would love her more than anything on earth. Luckily, her family had an unusual house guest that had been there for generations—a genie. Fazire had grown attached to this family and loved Lily as his own. Her wish would prove all too real… as hurtful as it was wonderful.

“… at fourteen years old, she didn’t understand that all those terrible troubles the heroines in her books went through in real life hurt. That the words were just words on a page, but in real life, the pain was immense. Trials and tribulations to prove your love were exactly that, trials and tribulations.”

While studying at Oxford on a scholarship, Lily met Nathaniel McAllister, as fate and wishes collided unexpectedly one night.

Nathaniel’s life had not been shaped by wishes, his had been shaped by hunger, neglect and necessity. He had grown up on the wrong side of the law with his day-to-day life marred by drugs and alcohol and a mother who couldn’t take care of herself, much less him. A twist of fate had him pulled off the streets, but he always felt indebted to his saviors, and dirty and unworthy deep inside.

“Nate never expected a woman like that, like Lily, to so much as look at him. At least, not the way she looked at him. As if he was conqueror of nations, creator of worlds.”

Lily and Nate’s love story was stormy from the very beginning, but it was real and it was like nothing either had ever known. The two of them were opposites… Lily was soft and kind-hearted, while Nate was rough and toughened by life. Lily was open and energetic, Nate was brooding and enigmatic. Her exuberance was a sharp contrast to his dark intensity, but they were exactly what the other needed.

I don’t want to divulge a single thing of what happens next, but I’ll tell you that fate indeed unleashed tribulations more painful than anticipated, and for years, these two people carried a hurt that would not ebb… until again they met and nothing was the same.

“You told me you’d never let me go,” she whispered but it was an accusation.  His eyes closed and the pain in them swept over his entire face and settled there like it would never, ever leave. Then he shocked her again. He dropped his forehead to hers and kept his hands on her. Something out of her control made her continue. “You told me,” she said in a shaky voice, “you’d always take care of me.”

My heart clenched and ached and shattered during so many moments in this book. I am not a cryer, but this one brought me to tears multiple times. It felt real and epic, as if the characters burrowed into my heart and soul, gripping me in a way that wouldn’t let go. I say it every time I review a Kristen Ashley book, and I’ll say it again. She is a master storyteller… consistently delivering what we’ve all come to love, but expertly fine tuning the levers to give us an entirely different experience each time. I loved the flawed characters who felt so intensely. I love the family and friends that stood resolutely at their side. There were moments that were so unbelievably charged that I held my breath as the story unfurled. Three Wishes had that perfect amount of push and pull, conflict and happiness, that made the happy ever after all the sweeter. It delivers all the feels you can imagine.  I urge you to read this book. It’s one of my absolute favorites this year, one of my absolute favorite KA books and one of my absolute favorites ever.

“He was meant for her and she was meant for him, they belonged to each other, they belonged together.”

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This is a standalone novel.

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