Abby has always dreamed about being a journalist. She entered the profession later than she planned and is now trying to get her ‘big break’. She works for a popular magazine doing admin, but at least she has her foot in the door.
Erica’s sole focus is her daughter. She works two jobs to ensure they have everything they need, even though they don’t always have everything they want. Dating is the last thing on her mind.
An opportunity arises that could benefit both Abby and Erica. When Ki, the magazine Abby works for, needs a new lifestyle series about dating it could be just the break Abby needs to get her career off the ground. All she has to do is find someone to ‘fake date’ and write about it. Simple.
Although Erica isn’t sure at first, she agrees to Abby’s proposition. What could go wrong? Erica gets out of the house once a week and she and Abby have been clear that it’s all just pretend. If only Abby wasn’t so beautiful, and if only they didn’t get on so well.
With both women’s feelings deepening, can they keep their distance, or will the pull be too strong to resist? But then they are at completely different stages of their lives so surely even love isn’t enough to keep them together?
Rachel: How I adore how this author writes. I always know when I pick up a Brooks Book that I’m in for an emotional ride and this one is no different. The way she describes different emotions from happiness to angst, longing to want always takes my breath away. I feel the words deeply and re-read several passages and conversations. Brooks also excels at writing consent and communication during intimate scenes, and it is oh so sexy.
Jenna: Holiday romances always tug on my heartstrings and when you have one with an adorable kid asking Santa for a second mom, well cue the swoony holiday tunes! A.L. Brooks does a lovely job with the descriptive details, dialogue, and pacing. Abby and Erica go on a variety of dates and I felt like I was right there with them. The emotions that run through this story are plentiful and palpable. And the sexy scenes are just so sexy and sweet at the same time!
Pros And My Favourite Parts
Rachel: So, this is the part where I say what I liked most! ALL OF IT, everything, the whole nine yards.
The story is beautiful. It’s one of those fake relationships that from the start you just know how much heat and love is going to spark. Both main characters have a lot going on in their lives and on paper, they really shouldn’t be falling in love, but when’s that ever stopped anyone *insert emoji heart eyes*
Jenna: This story’s fake relationship has a twist that snagged my attention. Abby’s mild deception in the beginning was almost off putting, but before I could jump on my moral high horse, circumstances were clarified and a mutual agreement was formed and I was so down for it!
Rachel: The characters are well developed, relatable and I adored them both although Erica just about won a tiny bit more of my heart.
Jenna: Happy sigh! You’re absolutely right! Although, my heart leaned a bit more towards Abby.
Rachel: Abby is strong, she has had a lot to deal with early in life and has some resentment and guilt that she needs to work through. She has a huge heart but has closed it off in order to protect herself, or so she thinks. It takes Erica and her daughter Kayla no time at all to worm their way in. However, it takes Abby a while to understand what is happening to her. Watching her discover that what she thought she wanted from life is actually the polar opposite of what she really wants is heartwarming and also sometimes frustrating (okay I admit to shouting at her but, I also then wanted to hug her so I’m letting myself off).
Jenna: I agree, Rachel. Abby’s fluctuating feelings about whether she could handle (really) dating a woman with a child was frustrating at times, for me, an observer. But I could actually feel how frustrating it was for her as well. Her feelings for Erica were so powerful and being a part of her journey to her ultimate truth was really special. I enjoyed seeing her relationship with her sister, Madison, whom she raised after their mother’s passing. The connection and love between them is so deep and they’re so lucky to have one another.
Rachel: Erica is simply gorgeous inside and out (according to Abby). She is selfless, kind, sweet, and hard working. She is a brilliant mother who can’t do enough for her child. I admire her so much. The thing is though that Erica needs and deserves a life outside of motherhood. Being a single mom cannot be easy and I totally understand why she made the decision to not date and concentrate on Kayla. However, I think meeting Abby and agreeing to the ‘fake dating’ came at the right time. Watching her struggle with what she wants versus what she thinks is best for her family is tough but wonderful. She is brave and surprises me at times.
Jenna: The fake dating agreement definitely came at the right time for Erica. Her love for Kayla is so apparent in all of her actions. I can only imagine how hard the years have been for her and I was rooting for her to learn into vulnerability so that she could have the family she had always secretly dreamed of. I love her honesty, level headedness, compassion, and motivation.
Rachel: This book is literally all about romance fake and real, and I’m here for that all day every day. The friendship that grows between Abby and Erica is delightful and the heat that is constantly simmering beneath the surface is scorching. There is a salsa scene that will make you flustered, I suggest cooling off before you continue because it is by no means the hottest scene in the book.
Jenna: I found the relationship development between Abby and Erica to be a highlight for me. The time they took to learn about one another really helped to fan the flames of attraction and strengthen their connection. I applaud them for not shying away from talking about the hard stuff, even from the start. And their chemistry was smoking! I adored the little looks, the stolen glances, and the longing. It was all so delicious! Plus, that salsa scene most definitely had me fanning myself.
Rachel: All the side characters are charming from Erica’s mum Virginia who is so supportive to Abby’s sister Madison who calls it as it is. But the star of the show is Kayla. This child made me want to immediately get pregnant. She’s sweet, funny, and has a heart as big as the ocean. I adore her and love the role she plays in getting Abby and Erica together.
Jenna: I agree as Virginia, Madison, and Kayla are all essential to the storyline and I absolutely fell in love with Kayla!
Rachel: A partner who left and didn’t want to be involved in their child’s life. Mentions of parents that have passed away.
Rachel: I know for certain that I will be reading this book again. Make Her Wish Come True is sweet, cute, and low on anguish. It’s exactly the type of book I love to revisit time after time. It has beautiful relatable characters, a lovely storyline, a first kiss that will make your toes curl, and enough spice to require a cooling off.
Jenna: Make Her Wish Come True is a delightful read that captivated me from the first page. Abby and Erica are two wonderfully relatable main characters whose journey to happiness is filled with so many deep emotions that truly resonated with me. The supporting characters are well developed and add a beautiful layer to the overall story, especially Erica’s daughter Kayla, who is both adorable and charming. The romance, while complex, is filled with sweet and tender moments as well as steam and spice. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful fake relationship holiday tale!
Rachel: If you enjoy delicious fake relationship romance with heat, then this one is for you. This book left me feeling all warm and fuzzy. I swooned, my chest ached, and I couldn’t put it down. I’ve been left with a huge book hangover, and I want more. So, before you start reading make sure you won’t be interrupted because this book grabs you and refuses to let go.
Excerpt from Make Her Wish Come True by A. L. Brooks
Erica had finished wiping down the last three tables when the front door flew open violently behind her. It crashed against the wall, and she whipped around, heart thudding.
“Sorry!” A young white woman, probably about Erica’s own age of twenty-eight, stood in the doorway with her hands held up in apology. Her face was scrunched into a deep frown, marring her otherwise cute features. Long, thick brown hair cascaded over the shoulders of her silky, burgundy-colored shirt. “Are you closing?”
Erica glanced at the big clock behind the counter, which showed the time as two fifteen; they closed at two thirty, which was when she could get out of here and home to Kayla for their precious forty-five minutes together.
She tucked the cloth into the pocket of her apron. “Soon, yes, but I can get you something to go?”
“Great!” The woman rushed over. “I need a piece of the spinach quiche with a side of quinoa salad and an All Aglow juice, and I need it like five minutes ago because I’m so late and she’s so gonna kill me.” The words were fired so fast they practically ran into each other in their haste to leave the woman’s mouth.
Erica blinked, processing what she’d said. “Ah, sorry, we’re all out of the quiche. We’ve got some of the gluten-free veggie pizza left, or—”
“Noooo!” The woman tilted her head back and stared at the ceiling for a moment.
Her dramatic response turned the heads of the few customers left in the café.
The woman shifted the heavy-looking bag on her shoulder. When she looked back at Erica, her lips were set in a grim line. “It has to be the quiche. Don’t you have some in the back you can just, you know, heat up or something?”
Erica bristled at the demanding tone and walked over to the counter before answering, if only to give herself time to avoid a snippy response. It had been a long day, what with Kayla waking her up three times in the night with imaginary ills. Never mind the fabulous moment earlier in the morning when Erica had somehow not attached the lid of the blender properly and had spray-painted half the kitchen—and herself—with carrot juice.
“Come on, please,” the woman begged. “I’m having a really bad day, and I really, really need to get this food and get out of here. And, like, fast. So could you please just hurry it up?”
Erica spun on her heels to face the woman, her tolerance heading for the exit at lightning speed. “You’re having a bad day? I bet half the damn city is, including me! So how about you ditch the attitude if you actually want to get some service here?”
As soon as the words were spoken, she slammed her mouth shut, wishing she could take them back. She was not supposed to talk to customers like that. Earth Soul, the vegan café she’d worked at for the last three years, was supposed to be a place of peace and calm, offering nurturing food and drinks to ease their customers’ days and lives. God, what had she done? She needed this job and the good money she earned from tips. She opened her mouth to apologize but the other woman spoke first.
“Fine.” The word came from between gritted teeth. “Please, could you possibly check in the back to see if you have any more of the spinach quiche that you would be able to prepare for me?” Her tone was all forced sweetness.
Erica blew out a breath, the puff of air swirling the stray strands of hair that had escaped her loose bun. Okay, apparently not going to lose her job immediately, as the woman’s desperation seemed to take precedent over any offense she may have taken. Clearly the quiche, that particular quiche, was important.
“I’ll see what we’ve got.”
She headed for the kitchen, where Marika was busy cleaning the last of the pans and utensils that didn’t fit in the dishwasher.
“Hey,” Marika said, bobbing her head to the music she constantly listened to in her in-ear pods whenever she was in the kitchen.
“Do you know if we have another spinach quiche in here?” Erica pointed at the refrigerator. “Got a rude customer pleading for a slice.”
Marika rolled her eyes. “Lucky you. And yeah, I think Candace cooked up two or three for tomorrow. You know she won’t mind if you take a slice now.”
Relief washed over her—the last thing she wanted was to have to go back and tell the woman they were all out. She could only imagine the response—and the potential fallout for herself. Within two minutes, she had a slice of the quiche prepped on a microwave plate and was headed back to her impatient customer.
When she walked back into the room, the woman was pacing the floor, her cell pressed against her ear. The burgundy of her shirt was such a great color for her creamy complexion. Heck, if Erica was honest, despite the attitude, the woman was very nice to look at all over. Gorgeous big brown eyes, dark and beautifully sculpted eyebrows, a nose that some might say bordered on a little too big for her face, but framed by high cheekbones that diminished its impact. And full, plump lips that shone with a hint of lipstick and looked like they’d be as soft as—
Erica swallowed hard and tore her gaze away from her overindulgent perusal. It had been a while since she’d allowed herself the time to look at a woman—or man, for that matter. And now was the worst timing ever. “Do you want it heated up?” she called.
The woman said a couple of words into her phone then rammed it into her pocket. She hurried over to the counter, her eyes wide. “You found some?” Her voice was a squeak. “Oh my God, you are a lifesaver! Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
All this for a piece of quiche? Erica threw her an uncertain smile. “You’re welcome. So, heated or not?”
“Please. Yes. Thank you.” The woman smiled then, and Erica’s breath caught at the transformation. Her face practically glowed, her eyes radiant.
“You’re welcome.” Her voice came out a little croaky; she cleared her throat. “Remind me again, which juice was it?”
“Small or large?”
The woman bit her bottom lip as she pondered the question. “Large.”
Erica tore her gaze away from her mouth. “Okay. Give me a minute and I’ll have that all done for you.” She turned her back to finish prepping the food and juice—and to force herself not to stare at that beautiful face any longer.
When she’d bagged everything up, she placed the paper sack on the counter, then rang up the total. “That’s twenty-five dollars, please.”
The woman nodded and pulled a battered wallet from her bag. She counted out four tens and handed them over. “Keep the change.”
Erica’s fingers froze on the bills. “That’s too much.”
The woman sighed and smiled ruefully. “You earned it.” She paused. “I’m sorry for being an asshole. The person I’m ordering for… Well, let’s just say she’s demanding, and it seems that’s rubbed off on me, even though I know that’s like the lamest excuse in the book, but, well, it’s true. And so, you know, you deserve the extra-large tip to make up for the fact that I was channeling my inner Tiffany. And hey, it’s her money I’m giving you, and she won’t even notice how much is gone and—” She took a step back, the paper sack in her hand. “You know what, you don’t really need to hear all that. I’m gonna go before my mouth digs me into an even deeper pit. Bye. And thanks.”
And with that, she turned and jog-walked her way out of the café, leaving Erica still trying to unpick everything that had been said by the whirlwind in burgundy.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-3963248061
Publisher: Ylva Publishing
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