Title: Where Wishes Go
Author Name & Publisher: S.A. McAuley (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: October 2, 2015 – 246 pgs
Can you have a second chance at a first love?
Nick Paine is just starting to return to normal after he told his wife he’s gay and asked for a divorce. Despite a daughter he loves dearly and a job he believes in, part of him is stuck in the past. He’s never forgotten the first love he let fade away fourteen years ago.
Adam “Izz” Azzi has settled into a happy rhythm. His daughter is healthy, he’s found a mosque that accepts him, and his work as a modern artist is gaining international attention. While his past is fraught with mistakes and what-ifs, his life now is good, and he doesn’t want to upset any of the balance he’s worked so hard to achieve.
When Nick and Izz are reunited by luck and fate, their attraction is just as undeniable, but what was left unsaid haunts them. They have hope for a future together, but wishing may not be enough.
This book was amazing. The author was able to bring family, heartbreak and sorrow into this book and still gives us a HEA. I loved how the MC’s came to be together again after years of being apart. The author was able to show how the emotion of taking previous heartache and turn it into something lasting.
I absolutely love the ending and most especially how Adam and Nick’s daughters got along together. This author hit it out of the ballpark for me and I absolutely would recommend this book to anyone, especially if you like family type stories.
This isn’t one of my favourite books by this author. I loved the idea of the brooding artist and the reunited teen lovers, but there were too many inconsistencies.
Adam’s Islamic faith never rang true. The lives of even the most liberal Muslims I know are still dominated by religious routines and restrictions. Adam’s extra-marital sex with Nick (the author calls him a nominal-Christian) and his mosque’s comfort with his sexuality don’t match his devout faith and the Arabic that slips into his speech. The Arabic is odd. His mum’s name is Tracey which isn’t exactly an Arabic name. Is Adam a convert? Was his dad Muslim? I was left with far too many questions about Adam’s religion.
Miri is described as having “learning disabilities and some autistic tendencies” at the start of the book, but we see very little evidence of this. She comes across as Katie’s equal and doesn’t demonstrate any of these issues through the rest of the story. I think the story would have been more interesting if Miri wasn’t perfect, if Adam had adapted his life to meet her challenging needs and behaviours. As it is, Miri and Katie are impossibly perfect children and I found it difficult to warm to them.
And of course I have railed repeatedly about hospital visits as plot devices in m/m romance stories. Miri’s illness was a little odd here. At 56% I checked the book, assuming it was nearly finished as the romance had resolved and Adam and Nick were playing happy families. Instead, I was only half-way through and about to read about Miri’s heart failure for the rest of the book. None of this was mentioned in the blurb.
I signed up for a m/m romance, not a family-focused-after-school-special-tear-jerker. I enjoyed both of the male leads and I loved their group of friends. I would have been much happier with a deeper exploration of the central relationship.
For people who love sweet stories, who love cute kids and who can enjoy a book without asking too many questions about the plot or characters – this would be a great story. It just wasn’t for me.
NICK PAINE tried to duck as a gigantic scarlet bird whipped over his head and he began to lose his balance. The first airborne attack was followed a second later by a screech and another swooping red streak that caused him to crouch and fall to his knees. At least he was wearing jeans today instead of a suit.
Katie snorted, let loose a torrent of giggles, and pointed. “He’s not going to hurt you, Daddy.”
“Isn’t it me who’s supposed to be telling you that?” Nick scrunched his eyebrows together and tried to chastise his daughter while also searching the birdhouse for further threats.
Katie rolled her eyes and flipped her long blonde hair off to the side, appearing much older than her eight years. “Come on, Daddy. I’ll protect you.” She offered her hand, and Nick grinned as he stood, taking her tiny hand in his.
It was a Wednesday morning, one in which Nick should have been sitting in a colorless conference room listening to doctors and administrators fight each other over inane operational details, but despite the threat of being pecked to death by tropical birds, Nick didn’t want to be anywhere else.
It was rare he was able to escape from work during the day, and this field trip to the zoo with Katie’s class had been the perfect excuse. The hospital system was always there. It was a twentyfourhour sevendayaweek commitment of utter chaos. Nick still wasn’t quite sure how he’d ended up as a vice president by the age of thirtythree, but had to concede his success had a lot to do with the inordinate number of hours he spent downtown. His generous salary was meant to compensate him for the endless hours on call talking nurses and cardiologists off the ledge while also making sure all their equipment and staffing needs were met. He loved his job and he was good at it, but it took him away from Katie way too much for his liking.
Nick pushed aside thoughts of the hospital. He would be flooded with emails, texts, and voice mail as soon as he switched his cell back on. Instead he listened to Katie patter on about the different kinds of birds that filled the zoo aviary.
“How do you know so much about them?” Nick asked as he forced his complete attention back to her.
Katie shrugged in a gesture that was too much like her carefree Uncle Roban. “I watch the National Geographic channel.”
Katie huffed. “Yeah, Daddy. A lot. Loads and loads.”
Nick restrained a laugh. Where had she come up with that phrase? She was growing up so fast.
Much too fast for his liking. The years just kept slipping by, and as hard as his path had been as of late, Nick was grateful for the luck he did have. Katie was a beautiful girl. Tall and thin, just like her momma, she had blonde hair shades lighter than his that ran down to her waist and snarled easily with how fine it was. He’d given up attempting to brush the mats out a year ago, leaving the task to Katie’s grandmother or her nanny.
“Look at the baby geese!” Katie exclaimed, letting go of his hand and running full tilt down the pathway toward the birds. Then just as suddenly she was veering off again, a delighted squeal emanating from her. “A waterfall!”
Nick dug into his pockets as he walked to catch up, knowing what she was going to ask even before she said anything.
“I want to make a wish,” she pleaded, looking up at him with wide eyes.
Nick placed a quarter in her outstretched hand, earning a satisfied smile from her.
She scrunched her eyes tightly closed and whispered something Nick couldn’t hear, then tossed the coin into the water.
“What did you wish for, baby girl?” Nick asked, as was part of their routine.
“Daddy, you know I can’t tell you,” she protested with a pout. “Or else it won’t come true.”
Of course he knew that. Katie wanted to flip a coin into every fountain they encountered. And she always went about it as if her whole existence was placed into making that one wish come true. But she never told Nick what it was that she silently hoped for.
Nick had to wonder if she would remember this later on. If she would remember what she wished years from now, or at the very least remember enough to tell him later whether or not they came true.
Nick looked into her brown eyes—so much like his but with a fire that was all her own—and his breath caught. Yeah, he was just about the luckiest man in the world. She stood on her tiptoes, cupped her hands around his cheeks, and planted a kiss on his lips that left Nick with an earto-ear grin that he wouldn’t be able to wipe off for hours to come.
I sleep little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s) for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a glittery pink bow, I suppose.
I have a neverendingabysslike secret love for poetry. Especially Rumi, Hafiz, and Neruda.
You can predict (as well as change) my moods and my writing schedule by my playlists.
Insomnia is my greatest ally and my nemesis. I like cheese and bourbon, not necessarily in that order, but I’m flexible.
If you’re in any fandom, then I’m probably already in love with you. I’m not joking.
I like my tv shows marathoned and I have to use internet blocking software to be productive. I have software called Producteev that I loaded onto my laptop and proceeded to fill out in detail and now I haven’t touched it in a year.
I enjoy normalized chaos.
Hit me up! I love to hear from readers. xx