The Wish List
by Gabi Stevens
(Tor, $6.99, R) ISBN 978-0-7653-6503-3
When I read the write-up on the back of The Wish List, Iíll admit that I had my doubts about how the premise of the book would work out. But by chapter two, I knew the book was going to work out just fine. Better than fine. The Wish List was going to be great.

When Kristin Montgomery is informed by her three aunts that she is a fairy godmother, she takes the news as any normal person would: she doesnít believe them. Her aunts, who are fairy godmothers themselves, are passing the job onto her as they are all set to retire. They promptly leave on a world cruise and tell Kristin to follow the list of rules they left her and that she will be fine. The only problem is that they forgot to leave her the list.

Now Kristin must 1. Get over her Ďmagic isnít realí attitude. 2. Figure out how to be a fairy godmother and use magic. 3. Get Tennyson Ritter, her arbiter, off of her back and off of her mind.

Tennyson is not happy to be Kristinís arbiter. Tennyson is a historian who resents being pulled from his studies to babysit a fairy godmother-in-training, especially once he finds out that she wasnít raised within the magical community. She is a Rare One: an Arcani (magical person) born and raised by Groundlings (non-magical people). This basically means that Kristin is very powerful, but she has no idea whatís going on, which can be quite a dangerous combination. On top of all that, heís really attracted to her.

Things get even more complicated when awful things start happening to Kristin and Tennyson. They quickly discover that someone is out to hurt them and that their lives are in danger.

Gabi Stevensí usage of magic-tinted realism makes this story of self-discovery and romance highly entertaining. Her witty sense of humor and excellent grasp on sarcasm makes the story come alive on the page and helps to balance out the more fantasy elements of The Wish List.

Kristin is a hero you can get behind. Sheís loyal, caring, down to earth, sarcastic and stubborn. She meets Tennysonís annoyance with the situation head on and refuses to let him get under her skin. However, it becomes evident soon enough that she is attracted to him and that her actual problem is how to get Tennyson off of her mind. Kristinís mix of naivetť and refusal to give up makes her not only interesting, but endearing. The reader learns about the ins and outs of the Arcani world along with Kristin, which makes Kristin highly relatable.

Tennyson is a slightly bitter, sarcastic, scholarly dreamboat. He makes it known from the get-go that he is not happy with the situation, but at the novel progresses, he softens up a bit and becomes more endearing.†††

The supporting characters are charming as well. Especially Zack, the surfer dude/millionaire genius and Callie, a sprite who quickly becomes Kristinís best friend in the novel.

The romance between Tennyson and Kristin is steamy. Neither one of them wants to admit their attraction to the other, and while both arenít sure if getting involved with each other is a good idea, they canít seem to keep their hands off of each other.† Itís their stubbornness that keeps getting in the way, as well as the situation. Besides the obvious danger that comes with having someone trying to kill you, Tennyson can be jealous and overbearing which annoys Kristin. Kristin, annoyed with Tennyson, does whatever she can to get under his skin, which in turn annoys Tennyson. But, as with any good romance novel, this type of verbal sparring only helps to ramp up the sexual tension, which in turn ramps up anticipation. So when the two lead characters do give in to their desires, itís exciting and very, very satisfying.

I only have a couple small complaints about the novel, one being simply a pet peeve of mine involving condoms. For some reason, male leads in romance novels tend to open the condom wrappers with their teeth, which is a sex ed. 101 no-no. In this novel in particular, considering Tennsyon conjures one out of thin air, in a magical world, could he not have simply have used magic to unwrap it or gone old school and used his hands? Quite the risky form of birth control if you ask me.

Ok, besides my neurotic hate for teeth rippers, my only other complaint would be where the novel ended. The ending (which I will not reveal here), in my opinion, needed a little better wrap-up. My hope is that the lack of a solid conclusion means there is a part two in the works, which would be fantastic.

All in all, I would highly recommend The Wish List. Itís a wickedly funny and delightfully sexy story that kept a smile on my face from beginning to end.† †

--Lindsey Seddon†

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