Helen Wood seems to have it all. She owns an exquisite home, beautiful clothing, and tasteful furniture. In reality, Helen lives the life of horror, a long time victim of spousal abuse. Her injuries have been so numerous, Helen wonders when he will kill her. Helen's sole companion and friend is her Yorkshire Terrier Lucie. This time her husband Daniel goes too far, hurting Lucie. Helen fights back by knocking him out with a poker. Grabbing Lucie, she flees to a vet to obtain care for her injured canine's leg.
The vet calls wealthy Isabel Tyger who runs shelters and an underground railroad for battered women. Taking one look at Helen and Lucie, Isabel knows. She places the Californian and her dog in New Jersey where they meet Sam. Sam and Helen fall in love, but she knows the dangerous Daniel still searches to find her to enact a most brutal punishment for what he regards as her betrayal.
Spousal abuse is rarely the centerpiece of a romance novel as it is considered to harsh of a topic. However, the adept Fern Michaels succeeds in showcasing the horrors of abuse without preaching pat solutions to a complex problem. Helen is not only ashamed... but so humiliated that she struggles with the concept of happiness. That is part of Ms. Michaels' message: abuse is more than physical, it is mental and emotional hitting the entire community. WHAT YOU WISH FOR is a deep and complex contemporary tale that combines an in-depth look at a troubling social issue with a bit of romance to takes some of the edge off it. Only the incomparable Ms. Michaels could make that combo work.