9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I hadn't read any novels by Fiona harper before so I was really looking forward to seeing what Fiona had in store for me with Make My Wish Come True.
Juliet is a single mother to her children and wants a Christmas that is a joyful family celebration. Her sister Gemma however, is free and single and has dreams of a Christmas is the beautiful Caribbean sun. But soon there are new plans involving a Christmas swap - Gemma will spend a snowy Christmas with her nieces and nephews and Juliet will be going on a tropical holiday, living Gemma's adventures and life.
I really enjoyed this. I loved the idea of the Christmas swap, and I looked forward to reading about how each sister would cope when living the life of the other sister at Christmas. And it was fascinating to read as they both threw themselves into their new roles, Gemma having to look after the children and Juliet spending time in the sunshine.
The characters were really well-written, the children were personal favourites of mine, and I loved that they played a valuable part in Gemma's Christmas. I really enjoyed Gemma and Juliet's personal journeys and reading about their development as they gained a deeper understanding of what life was like for each other. At times it really touched my heart and I don't want to spoil it so I won't say anymore but it is a beautifully written story.
Make My Wish Come True is a novel of family, romance and Christmas spirit all rolled into one, making this a wonderful story to curl up with and enjoy!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed this story about two sisters, Gemma and Juliet, who "swap" Christmases. Juliet goes on an all inclusive two week villa holiday in St Lucia whilst Gemma looks after Juliet's four children and gives them, and other members of their family, the "perfect Christmas" that Juliet always strives to produce.
The sisters are total opposites, Gemma is a career girl working in the film industry whilst Juliet is a stay at home single mum and during the book they each learn about some home truths about themselves and each other. Both characters are extremely likeable but I suspect most readers, depending on their circumstances, will identify more with one sister than the other. As a mum myself. I really rooted for Juliet.
The story moves at a good pace and there is always something going on. I loved the descriptions of St Lucia, the author makes it sound like paradise on earth and now I would dearly love to go there. There are a few twists and turns in the storyline and it is not as predictable as you might think as the author has a couple of surprises in store for the reader.
To sum up, this is a really enjoyable read, at times moving and thought provoking and then making me giggle on the next page and one which has put me right in the mood for Christmas.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2014
A poignant, thought-provoking and highly compelling tale which I couldn't bear to put down, Fiona Harper's mainstream debut novel, Make My Wish Come True, is simply outstanding!
Juliet and Gemma might be sisters, but they are as different as chalk and cheese. Juliet has always been the sensible, responsible and uptight sibling, whereas Gemma is the laid-back free spirit who lives out of a suitcase. With the festive season fast approaching, Juliet's organisational skills are out in force, as she has been planning Christmas day with military precision for months. With gifts to buy, Christmas lunch to prepare and her kids' packed social schedule to juggle, every single minute of the big day is accounted for. Gemma, on the other hand, is trying to muster up the courage to tell her big sister that she will be spending the holiday season sunning herself in an exclusive resort in St. Lucia...
When she hears of her younger sister's plan to spend Christmas on a sandy beach in the Caribbean, Juliet is absolutely livid. All her carefully and meticulously laid plans have been thrown into disarray by her selfish sister yet again. Nobody seems to appreciate the sacrifices and compromises which she makes to ensure that everyone has the perfect Christmas, so when a sisterly squabble compels Gemma to tell her sister to go to St. Lucia in her place, a stressed- out Juliet decides to take her up on her offer. With Gemma promising to look after her kids, Juliet packs her bags and leaves Tunbridge Wells behind for the warm Caribbean sun. For the first time in ages, Juliet can look forward to a relaxing Christmas where the only thing she's got to worry about is topping up her suntan lotion. Things soon begin to look up for the single mum when she meets good-looking Italian travel writer Marco. After her husband had left her, Juliet's self-confidence had taken quite a battering. Will sensible Juliet shake off the shackles of responsibility and indulge in a no-strings affair with a gorgeous Italian hunk under the sizzling Caribbean sun?
Assistant director Gemma spends her entire working life looking after highly strung actors and dealing with the many temper tantrums thrown by diva directors, so organizing Christmas for her four nieces and nephews should be a walk in the park. However, the more time Gemma spends walking in her sister's shoes, the more she realizes how little she appreciates all that Juliet does for their family. Determined not to let her sister down, Gemma sets out to give her nephews and nieces a Christmas they will never forget. Luckily for her, Juliet's gorgeous neighbor Will is always available to give her a helping hand...
Juliet and Gemma have spent their entire life at loggerheads, but will this Christmas be the time where they will re-evaluate their relationship and let bygones be bygones? Or will they continue to let past resentments and old wounds come between them?
Make My Wish Come True is an enjoyable, moving and witty tale about families, the ties that bind, unexpected blessings and the magic of Christmas that will tug at your heartstrings, make you smile and make you ponder your relationship with the people who matter to you most! Fiona Harper has penned a believable and realistic novel about the everyday struggle for perfection, the constant pressures of suburban life and the fear of failing that will strike a chord with women everywhere.
Juliet and Gemma were richly drawn and exquisitely rendered characters that were easy to relate to. In Make My Wish Come True, Fiona Harper takes these two very different characters on a journey of healing and self-discovery that is emotional, heartrending, funny and credible.
Fiona Harper has outdone herself with Make My Wish Come True, a first-class read that's got winner written all over it!
This review was originally published on Single Titles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2015
MAKE MY WISH COME TRUE BY FIONA HARPER
The perfect Christmas swap?
All Juliet, frazzled single mum and domestic goddess, wants for her winter holidays is a joyful family celebration. All her single sister Gemma, an assistant director, wants is a getaway to the sizzling Caribbean sun, far from diva actors and Hollywood tantrums. Until a sisterly squabble prompts new plans: a holiday swap. Gemma will spend a cosy, snowy week with her nieces and nephews - not to mention Juliet's gorgeous neighbour Will - whilst Juliet takes Gemma's tropical holiday and unplanned adventures.
Juliet and Gemma may not get the holiday they expected, but it could be about to make all their wishes come true
WHAT I SAY
I enjoyed this book i like the idea of a christmas swap
I wanted to see how the sisters would cope with each other life's
Gemma got to look after the kids and Juliet now got time to relax in the sun do they cope ?
The book very much about family, romance and the christmas spirit i like how they did it
It a very through provoking read both sister were so different to each other
Juliet very responsible and sensible were Gemma more laid back she lives for now most of the time they are at loggerheads i liked that they were so opposite
Gemma the career girl working in the film industry
Juliet the single mum that stays at home to look after her kids
You just like them both i like the swap it was fun to read it got a few very good twists it full of surprises some will make you smile
The description of st. Lucia were spot on i been there my brother got married there i like that Juliet got the holiday of a life time did her sister cope with her life could she let her sister take on the burden she felt so much of the time
Both of them learn a few things about them selfs they seem to grow in the story too i like that they talked more a lot of truth came out it a very heartwarming read
I liked that the chapters alternate between the too of them you could see both their points of views it helps you to get to know them more
The description were fantastic the humour was very good i like all the characters they become your friends
The scenario with the kids were very real just kids
It so easy to read very true to life a nice story
A lovely read
Thank you net galley for letting me read and review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2014
Sisters Juliet and Gemma are believable, well written, modern women whose difficult relationship is full of unspoken angst and lifelong misunderstanding. When a confrontation leads to one sister offering to 'do' Christmas for the other (who finds herself trading places on an unexpected and unplanned Caribbean holiday) it looks like disaster is not far away. However, Fiona Harper manages to avoid most of the cliches and predictable crises that her characters might have been expected to fall into. There are a few little details that didn't ring true, like the school run still taking place only a few days before Xmas and empty supermarket shelves on Xmas eve (not in 2013!) However, I totally identified with Juliet's need to micromanage every situation in her life to make it perfect and her expectation that everyone else in her life should try to do the same. Gemma's character was also familiar to me, along with her ability to duck out of family gatherings, Christmas and any obligations that might look like hard work. The two slow-burning romances that also form the basis of the novel were skillfully handled so they didn't become too cliched and predictable. I kept thinking this novel would make a great film as I was reading it - there are parallels with 'The Holiday', although Fiona Harper cleverly references the film in her story. The book by no means guarantees a happy ending but in the end the resolution is both satisfying and believable. This book would be a perfect holiday read but as it was it helped make my daily commute much more pleasurable. I will definitely be reading more of Ms Harper's books in the future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2014
The story resolves around two sisters, Juliet and Gemma, who couldn't lead more different lives if they tried and definitely have different ideas as to how to spend Christmas. Juliet is a single mum of four who's still trying to come to terms with her divorce so want's to ensure that her family has the perfect Christmas. Whereas younger sister Gemma is single and lives a busy life in the film industry and wants nothing more to relax on a sunny beach in the Caribbean.
But when Gemma sees how stressed out that Juliet is she suggests that they swap Christmasses, she'll stay in the UK and spend Christmas with Juliet's kids whilst Juliet takes the holiday of a lifetime abroad. Will Juliet be able to let go and take her up on the offer?
This was the perfect read to round up my festive reading this Christmas, I loved how the two sisters took the time out during the swaps to take a look at their lives and assess what was really important. Gemma had to step up and take responsibility for someone other than herself and Juliet had to let someone else take on some of the burden.
This was actually the first book by Fiona Harper that I've read despite having bought a couple of her previous Christmas books last year, Kiss me Under the Mistletoe and Snowkissed with Sarah Morgan, but I'll definitely look to read these and some of her other books in the future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2014
I just finished this book and feel so uplifted and happy. That was just what I wanted and needed. I loved the characters, especially Gemma and could relate to some of her perfectionist sisters traits.
A good length, chapters felt well structured and the plots and subplots flowed really well.
I loved it. If you want a well composed, light, uplifting read then I recommend this highly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2014
Nice easy enjoyable book, would definitely read one of her books again. Good for the beach didn't need too much concentration
on 23 December 2014
I have never read Fiona Harper before and as its close to xmas picked up this book. What a pleasant surprise this book was. It was fantastic.
The story is about two sisters - one is Juliet a divorced mother of four who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and tries to make everything perfect for everyone to the detriment of her own well-being. Then there is Gemma the single carefree younger sister who has always been protected from difficult family crisis's to the point that she feels lacking in some way. Both sisters are not close and neither understand what the other is feeling or thinking. After a fierce argument where Juliet is is practically on the point of a dangerous breakdown, the sisters swap roles for Xmas. Gemma offers to take care of the kids and do Christmas with them whilst Juliet takes off on a Caribbean holiday during the period.
During this swap the girls learn things about themselves and each other which helps to heal the rift that has been there over the years. In the process they grow as individuals and when they finally do have that talk once Juliet is back from her holiday you can only see things getting better for each of them and for everyone else around them.
I absolutely loved this book. It was really well written with a marvelous plot. The respective love interests for the two girls was interesting too even if one of them wasn't quite what we expected. I will definitely be reading more of Fiona Harper and have downloaded one of her other books which is in the Kindle Charts. Excellent Work!
This is my first book by Fiona Harper. I love to try new authors and what a perfect book to start with, a Christmas themed book.
The storyline follows two sisters, Juliet and Gemma. They both live very different lives, Juliet is a mother of four who has split from her husband and is struggling with day to day life and trying to plan another perfect Christmas for everyone, everything about Juliet's life needs to be organised an perfect.
Gemma is foot loose and fancy free. She works on film sets and is not looking forward to the prospect of Christmas with her perfect sister so she books a 5* holiday instead. In a twist of events Juliet is soon jetting off on the 5* holiday whilst her sister is taking over the Christmas preparations and looking after the children.
This is a lovely light read and yet it is really thought provoking. The sisters have a very strained relationship because of the way the perceive each other. Because the chapters alternate between each of the characters points of view not only do we get to know each of the characters really well but we also get to see what they think and feel of each other which lets us form an unbiased opinion and this made me want to knock the girls heads together and say "talk it out" !
I loved both of the sisters and I think each reader will find they will relate to either one or the other sisters, for me I related more to Gemma. One thing that I couldn't get past in this book is that although I know this is a fiction book and I get that Juliet needed some time out for herself but I can't believe that any mother would leave her kids and go on holiday especially over Christmas that is meant to be a family time.
My favourite character was neither one of the sisters but the delightful neighbour Will! If he was wrapped up in a bow he sounds like he would be every woman's perfect gift! I loved the twist with Will it really kept me guessing. Often with Christmas books they don't seem very festive but with this book thanks to Gemma's preparations in the lead up to Christmas and also Christmas day itself we had a lovely festive feel to the storyline. The resort where Juliet stays sounded out of this world thanks to the authors fabulous descriptive writing.
I enjoyed this book it was fun and festive and made you think that how you view others may not be quite as things seem. I look forward to reading more books by this author.