First read: April 28-30, 2012
Re-read April 11, 2013
I've been thinking about Lily and Nathaniel for awhile now, and I've FINALLY given in and re-read their story.
Once again, I was hooked right from the start.
The year is 1943, and this is a beautiful tale of Sarah, a school teacher living in Indiana and her little three year old daughter Rebecca. Sarah is waiting for husband Jim to return home from war.
Months go by, and she receives a package from her husband that he sent to her from England. She opens the package, and inside is a beautiful bottle. A couple of weeks later she is informed that her husband is dead. Sarah realizes that this bottle is the last thing her husband ever touched (for her), and the last present she'll ever get from him...ever.
She begins to vigorously rub the bottle, until it almost turns obsessive compulsive. Until finally, a genie pops out of the bottle and tells her he can grant her three wishes. Sarah thinks she's gone mad, and packs up Rebecca and leaves to stay with her mom for a couple of days. After a couple of days, she returns to find Fazire (the genie) waiting for her.
What seems like for-ev-er, Sarah finally believes that Fazire is a genie, and the only thing she wants back is her husband... one of the few wishes Fazire CANNOT grant. Sarah then says she'll pass her wishes onto her daughter, and Fazire says, "that could take forever". To which Sarah say, "I know'.
Rebecca grows up, marries a man named Will. They are truly in love, and desperately trying to have a baby. Unfortunately, after many years of trying, and many miscarriages Becky asks to be able to have a healthy baby, it didn't matter if it was a boy or a girl. It doesn't have to be perfect, just someone to love.
This is the first wish to be used by the family.
But Fazire didn't do exactly what Becky wanted. "He did make her perfect. He made her bright and funny and very, very talented. He made her sweet and thoughtful and very, very caring. He made her generous and kind and very, very loving.
He decided not to make her beautiful, at least not at first, because she should know humility and not grow up with conceit. Though, she would become a beauty, a splendid beauty beyond compare. Just...Later."
Many years later....
Lily is 14 years old, and lately she's been really sad. The reason being Fazire realizes that he should have made her beautiful a lot quicker. He didn't realize how cruel children were at human schools. Though Lily was not ugly, she was plain. And being so smart, she made the other children think she was strange, and they made fun of her.
Today in particular was the worst. A boy she really liked called her fat. And today she was going to use the second wish.
Lily's wish is as follows: "One day, I wish to find a man like in my books. He has to be just like in one of my books. And he has to love me, love me more than anything in the world. Most important of all, he has to think I'm beautiful.
He has to be tall, very tall and dark and broad-shouldered and narrow-hipped. And he has to be handsome, unbelievably handsome, IMPOSSIBLY handsome with a strong, square jaw and powerful cheekbones and tanned skin and beautiful eyes with lush, thick lashes. He has to be clever and very wealthy but hard-working. He has to be virile, fierce, ruthless and rugged. And he has to be hard and cold and maybe a little bit forbidding, a little bit bad with a broken heart I have to mend or one encased in ice I have to melt or better yet... both!
We have to go through some trials and tribulations. Something to test our love, make it strong and worthy. And.. and... he has to be daring and very masculine. Powerful. People must respect him, maybe even fear him. Graceful too and lithe, like a... like a cat! Or a lion. Or something like that.
And he has to be a good lover. The best, so good, he could almost make love to me just by using his eyes.
...Don't forget the part about him loving me more that anything on earth... and the part about him thinking I'm beautiful!"
And Fazire granted lovely Lily her wish.
Eight years later, London England. Lily meets Nathaniel
Lily's went to university in England (Oxford) on a scholarship, and has decided to stay.
One day Lily is walking down the street when a boy snatches her purse.
Nathanial McAllister is also walking down the street with his father, when he witnesses Lily's purse being snatched. When his eyes move to Lily, he freezes. While he's drinking in the vision of Lily, nobody moves into help her (not even him) to get her purse back.
Lily finally gives up screaming and asking for help (because no one's helping her) and charges right after the boy. Then Nate watched in stunned surprise as Lily jumps onto the boy's back. The boy staggers back, and then slams Lily up against the side of a building. Her head snaps back so hard, you can here it crack.
That is when Nate moves.
He grabs the boy, and slams him into the building, then moves his hand to around the boys throat, lifting him until he's wheezing.
"Drop the bag," Nate orders. The boy drops Lily's purse.
Lily says, "I'll call the police."
When their eyes meet, Nate is drawn into her eyes, and Lily looks at him as if she recognizes him.
This is when Lily realizes she's met 'her wish".
This is the beginning of Lily and Nathanial's heartbreaking, volatile, inspiring, courageous, loving journey.
I laughed, I cried (the last chapter in the book.. again had me a blithering idiot).
I was frustrated to no end with Nathanial at times, and yet I understood his pain.
I loved reading about Lily's strength, sacrifice, courage, and love for Nathanial and Tash. (Read the book and you'll find out who Tash is)
... and I fell in love with Lily and Nathanial all over again!
This is my favorite Kristen Ashley of them all (so far). I don't know why, but something in the story just 'digs deep' because it's also a story about second-chances and redemption....BEAUTIFUL!!
READ THIS STORY!!