Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
What You Wish For by Katherine Center
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 14, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Life Fiction
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.
When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.
I think of this author as one who writes life fiction, rather than contemporary romance. There is a romance too, in the books I have read, but it isn’t the main story or the only story. Life fiction develops characters deeply and progresses them through various events in their lives including romance. They are more realistic because there is a more balanced perspective of their life including more than a romance, sharing more detail on career, friends, family and other aspects of their life.
What You Wish For is told in the viewpoint of a school librarian, Sam (short for Samantha). She has some issues with abandonment and feeling unlovable. She left her old school because she had a crush on a teacher, Duncan and couldn’t see him everyday with someone else. It works out because her new school is amazing. The small town has a community with some great people and she blossoms and makes some true friends.
Then Duncan shows up as the new school principal. She loves and hates the idea. She knows he will be amazing but she worries she will still be in love with him and have to leave a place she also loves. Well, it isn’t the problem she expected because he’s changed and he’s not a great principal.
Through her efforts to get him to change his mind, then to get him fired and then to understanding what has changed him, Sam has an emotional journey. She finally undertakes a new effort to save him with her teacher friends’ help which gives them both life, courage and love.
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