A Secret Wish (Wish #1) by Barbara Freethy

A Secret Wish (Wish Series #1)


Three women, three birthdays and one unforgettable night that will change their lives forever.

One night in San Francisco, three women make a birthday wish believing it can’t possibly come true. Liz is turning thirty. A successful nurse, she has a good career, but no man to share her life. All her friends are married, and she’s alone, still trying to outrun a tragedy from her past. Then she meets a handsome stranger.

Angela, a member of a large, loving Italian family, is facing thirty-five with no baby in the nursery. Eight years of infertility treatments have put a strain on her marriage. Will she have to choose between her husband and having a child? When she is mugged by an unexpected assailant, her life takes a new turn.

Carole, a corporate wife, is staring down forty candles. Having grown up poor, she worked hard to get ahead, but when her kids bail on her birthday, and she discovers her husband with another woman, she realizes that she may have nothing at all. She goes back to where it all began, the mother she left behind, and the man whose heart she once broke.


A Secret Wish is the story of three different ladies who all have the same birthday. It follows that one day for each of them and was honestly not as good as I would have liked. Everything was too coincidental and easy to fix and wasn't very realistic. Some slight spoilers ahead.

First we have Liz who is turning thirty and just wants to find love like all her friends. As she is sitting on the roof by herself having a little party of one a guy walks out. A guy who then takes her out for the night on a great adventure. He gets Liz to open up some and try new things. Of course they instantly fall in love, but he has some secrets that she doesn't find out until the next morning when he leaves while she is sleeping. Everything works out though, but really I never felt the connection between the two of them. It didn't seem like Liz would be so head over heels for this guy in this short amount of time. I didn't buy it.

Then we have Angela who desperately wants a baby. I don't really know what that is like as I have never wanted a child, but the way she was written just didn't seem believable. I know it can be devastating when you try and try and nothing workings, but she seemed too over the top. She has just turned thirty five and her window for having a baby is closing. They have tried in vitro and it hasn't worked. They spent their life savings on it and when her husband gets a bonus she assumes they will try again. Only he doesn't want to. He can't go through that again. Apparently she won't consider adopting or anything like that - she has to actually carry the baby. Then everything changes when a young girl tries to rob her to get money for medicine for her younger sister. Angela ends up going back to their house and taking them home since their mom is no where to be found. She falls in love and that is it. They will foster some kids and she will be happy. Done and done. That easy to get over having a baby yourself. Too easy. Again not at all believable the way it was written.

And finally we have Carole. She grew up poor and has made it her life's goal to have everything she ever wanted. She married well and had some kids, but the kids always came second to her husband. On her fortieth birthday she realizes she doesn't have a relationship with her kids and her husband may be cheating on her. She runs off to her mom, the mother she has not spoken to for ten years because her husband didn't want her to. Sure the mom did embarrass them once, but it seems a bit harsh to just cut her off like that. Especially when they were so close growing up. So she goes to visit memory lane and discovers that maybe she doesn't have everything, she is not happy, and maybe she needs to change that. Add in a kiss from the guy she has always loved and she is a changed woman. Yep, again way too easy to change and have everything be sunshine and roses.

The last chapter is a year later and all three women are happy. Everything worked out for all of them. And most of them remember the other ladies from brief run ins with them the year prior. It was all just too convenient and simple. The writing didn't make me believe anything that happened. It just was not as good as I had expected from this author. 

Rating: ★ ★

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