Three women share the same birthday, and all three make their birthday wishes. One hopes for true love, one to be a mother, and one to get her family back. In Barbara Freethy’s A Secret Wish, some dreams come true in ways you don’t expect.
Liz is 30, recently dumped, and watches her birthday cupcake sail over the edge of the roof where she has gone to celebrate quietly by herself. She loses the cupcake when she is startled by the appearance of a man named John, who proceeds to take her on a night on the town. Over their hours together, Liz finds herself confiding in him, telling him things she won’t – or can’t – tell anyone else. But when the night ends, what will happen next?
Thirty-five-year-old Angie is horrified that her family throws her a surprise birthday party. When her husband presents her with an envelope, she hopes it contains an appointment for a round of fertility treatments that will end their childless state. But it’s for a cruise, and, in a fit of pique, Angie runs off. She encounters two young sisters, and as she tries to help them out, she finds herself caring about them.
And then there is Carole, turning 40 at a big hotel bash thrown by her politician husband, whom she later spots in a compromising position with a hot young blonde. Like Angie, Carole deals with the news by leaving her party. But whereas Angie wanted to escape her family, Carole runs to hers: she sees her mother for the first time in two years.
Each woman has her wish, and each is desperate for it to come true. As Liz explains to John, “I want what everyone else has. Excitement, passion, all that crazy mad-about-you stuff. I want to fall in love.” They each fight for their wish to come true, and that’s why you will enjoy this brisk read. Liz, Angie and Carole are well sketched characters, and Barbara Freethy lets us see their good and bad points.
A Secret Wish is a nice, simple story that will take you an hour or two to read. There are no sex scenes, although at least two of the women engage in some romance. It’s a nice little novella.