Meredith's Wish by Karen Lee
(Love Spell, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-505-52405-8
****
I really liked this book. Great comedy, excellent amore, an independent, feisty heroine, and a hunky djinn hero with something to prove. Meredith's Wish provides great escapist entertainment.

Meredith Montgomery is a businesswoman with a problem: she needs a pretend husband and she needs one quick. In a heated competition for a key promotion, the vice-presidency of the company will go to whichever of the two rivals acquires a previously specified client first. The trouble for Meredith is that the potential client she was given to lure into the company fold is none other than Duchess Hertzenstein, a woman that has a reputation for doing business with only women who are married.

So what's an unmarried woman to do? Meredith decides she needs to find a man to pass off as her "husband" to the duchess, but has zero luck in the effort once she sets out to do so.

Enter into the picture "Jim", a sexy comedian of a genie who is determined to grant Meredith's wishes for her. At first "Jim" the djinn tries to pair Meredith off with men that might foot the bill, but eventually he begins to develop feelings for the mortal in his life. Unfortunately, falling in love with a mortal isn't allowed and the protagonists will be faced with some tough decisions to make. Will they be able to tempt fate and stay together?

Okay, okay...that question was a no-brainer. If the answer was no, the rating listed above would be a 1 instead of a 4. But whether or not the main angst of the novel is a given, the fact remains that this is a very cute book. Karen Lee has a knack for creating humorous character dialogue that brings quite a few smiles to the face. I even giggled a time or two...to me there is no greater compliment than that.

If you're looking for a heavy, intense book filled with major emotional dilemmas and gut-churning suspense, you should probably skip over this one. But if it's a lighthearted, escapist read that's on the agenda, then pick up a copy of Meredith's Wish. Even without the romance, the lead characters' repertoire is engaging enough to keep your attention. I'll definitely be looking for Lee's next book.

--Tina Engler


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