Wish Upon A Star
by Kelsey Roberts, Judy Christenberry & Margaret St.George
(Harlequin, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-83373-3
***
The linking thread of this pleasant anthology is the role of the stars in bringing romance and happiness to three very different couples. So if you are into astrology or if you are looking for short reads to fit into this busy season, then Wish Upon A Star might well be a good choice.

Kelsey Roberts' story, "Sky's the Limit" sets the stage for the other two novellas. Skyler McMasters is beginning a new gig. Having lost her job as a political reporter in Washington for an on air gaff and having been out of work for almost a year, Sky has reluctantly taken a job as a radio astrological consultant on the graveyard shift at a small Maryland radio station. She doesn't know much about astrology and when a man calls and asks for business advice, she goes with her gut and tells him to make an immediate decision about selling his company.

A year later, Sky's program is a success, partly because said advice made that fellow lots of money. She has also learned quite a bit about astrology and feels much more comfortable in her job. But her boss, always trying to promote the program, dreams up a "date" contest with Sky as the prize. And when tall, handsome Derek Conner shows up as a candidate, well Sky is charmed.

But Derek is not what he seems. That advice had cost him his job and he is out for revenge. He is looking to expose Sky for the fraud he believes her to be. But he doesn't count on his attraction to his proposed victim.

The second story, Judy Christenberry's "The Perfect Match" is a nice "second chance at love" story, though its tie-in to the theme is somewhat loose. Allison Carter would seem to have it all. At twenty-eight, she is already a vice-president at a New York import/export firm. But her lovelife is a bust. None of the men she has dated can hold a candle to her college love, Mac McCall.

Ten years earlier, Mac had asked her to give up her dreams of success and come home with him to his ranch in Wyoming. Allison had refused, but now that she has the career she dreamed of, she finds herself strangely unhappy. A call to Sky McMasters sends her off to Mac's dude ranch in hopes of rediscovering the love they once shared.

Mac has never forgotten Allison, but felt betrayed by her rejection. When she turns up, Mac at first seems resentful but the spark is still there. However he believes he cannot ask her to abandon her career and he cannot imagine leaving Wyoming. Can these two find a way to happiness?

My favorite story was Margaret St. George's entry. "The Arrangement" is a modern marriage of convenience story. Michael Court and C.J. Wald had been best friends since college but they had never been romantically involved. Then, C.J. discovers that Michael will lose his inheritance if he is not married by his 30th birthday, only three weeks away. She suggests a marriage of convenience. He'll get his money and she'll get her mother off her back. Michael is hesitant, but finally agrees that it just might work.

Their plans for a quickie wedding in Las Vegas are thwarted by C.J.'s mom, and, before they know it, they are having a church wedding with all the trimmings and are on their way to a honeymoon suite in Hawaii. And that first kiss wow!

The astrology element comes from the fact that he is a practical Capricorn and she is a spontaneous Gemini. And yet, despite their differences, they find themselves strangely compatible. But what about their agreement not to let that "man-woman" thing intrude on their friendship?

As I said at the outset, this is a pleasant anthology. The Roberts and Christenberry stories are quite acceptable. The St. George entry is quite good. Anthology readers and astrology fans may well find Wish Upon A Star a fun read.

--Jean Mason


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