One Wish in Manhattan

one wish in manhattanPublished: 2015
Author: Mandy Baggott

Fun escapism – but slightly overlong


I’m continuing my brief focus on Christmas books this week with Mandy Baggot’s One Wish in Manhattan, a New York set romance between a British girl and an American billionaire – thankfully one without a red room.

Single mum Hayley Walker is spending Christmas with her brother Dean in New York and her smart nine-year old daughter Angel. Hayley and Angel are enchanted by the weather, the glamour and the excitement of the big city but Hayley has a specific reason for being in New York – she wants to make he daughter’s Christmas wish come true and find Angel’s father. When she bumps into troubled billionaire Oliver Drummond, Hayley finds herself making her own Christmas wish.

It took me a while to get into One Wish in Manhattan, I must have been about a third of the way through if not more before I was hooked and just under 500 pages that was a lot of reading. I didn’t immediately take to Hayley as lead character and Angel just annoyed me – even when I had finally bought into Hayley and her story, Angel remained a pain in the backside. I don’t like cheeky, precocious children in real life let alone on the pages of a book.

But I started to thaw after a while, Hayley grew on me and I liked Oliver from the very beginning, despite him being the archetypal spoiled rich boy who treated women like dirt. The cast of supporting characters were – with the exception of the pantomime baddie trying to destroy Oliver’s business – all nice people. I think sometimes writers underestimate how much readers want to engage with pleasant characters but Mandy Baggot has this spot on. In a romance story we want to read about nice people, we want to be on the side of the protagonists, we don’t want misery.

The depiction of New York was wonderful, it became a magical fantasy land on the page and the book did take me away to a dream world, far away from murky old Somerset.

One Wish in Manhattan is fun Christmas wish fulfilment – it has an exotic setting, a handsome billionaire hero and a feisty heroine. It’s slightly over-long for my liking and it did take me a while to suspend disbelief but I was finally won over by the characters and the endearing love story.

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