"Her Wish is fun, charming, and OMG, why haven't I been reading Genie romances before now? Sophie H. Morgan's wit and imagination made me an instant fan. I want a Genie of my own!" - New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
This playboy has finally met his match...
Charlie’s sick of Genies. Too beautiful, too sure of themselves, too "celebrity". And way too eager to grant wishes in the worldwide Lottery that entices mortals into buying tickets in the hope of winning their desires. Charlie would rather walk naked through Times Square than buy a ticket. Unfortunately, her friend springs for one in Charlie’s name – and it gets picked. She refuses to get sucked in and has no qualms about saying so to the famously arrogant, devilishly handsome Genie at her door. Sexy Blue Eyes will just have to take no for an answer.
Jax Michaels would love to take no for an answer. As the most famous Genie on the East Coast, known for his sex appeal, his cheeky interviews, and his roguish style of granting wishes, he only has to turn to the next in line to find a willing partner. After all, every woman wants him – except, apparently, Charlie Donahue, who throws back his charming words, sneers at his calculated grins, and refuses to even consider wishing. Jax isn't a fool. He’s prepared to wash his hands of this infuriating, appealing female…until his Handler informs him that quitting is not an option. And if he can’t talk her into wishing, Jax will have to try playing a little dirty.
"Morgan’s debut takes a romance trope (plain Jane heroine/gorgeous rich hero), adds a dash of fantasy and a sprinkling of humor, and pulls the reader into the entertaining start of a new series (although it stands solidly on its own)" - Library Journal
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
By Sophie H. Morgan
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Sophie H. Morgan
All rights reserved.
Saturday evenings should be banned. Same as men who thought calling you sweet little thing was a compliment and women who could walk in five-inch stilts without falling flat on their faces.
Stopping in front of her apartment, Charlie fished her keys from her bag and stared at the door. Already the unmistakable notes of Lisette's Hour, the lottery's chat show that rivaled Oprah's for ratings, pierced the wood and jabbed her with forced cheer.
Be happy, be excited. Genies are on the air!
Charlie pulled a face as she unlocked the three heavy-duty locks and pushed the door open. Lisette's cultured voice rang out from the TV in the living room down the hall and circled her.
"We've got a special treat tonight," she said as Charlie shrugged out of her coat and unwound her chunky scarf. "We'll be talking to last week's winners about their wishes and Jax Michaels himself will be —"
The rest of her sentence was drowned out by a ferocious cacophony of female screams.
Charlie's chest inflated as she dragged in a huge breath. What she wanted to do was sidle past the living room, ignore the TV set with its corrupt Genie your wish is our pleasure message, and disappear into the darkness of her bedroom. It'd been a killer day at the store, having seen only about two hundred dollars' worth of sales, and the last thing she wanted was company.
But Kate would kill her.
Well, Charlie mused as she passed time by examining a fascinating spot on the biscuit-colored carpet, maybe not kill her. Kate wasn't like that. What she would do was give Charlie a look of such miserable disappointment it'd put a basset hound to shame. Her roommate was always harping on about how Charlie should be more sociable.
Her lips moved in a silent curse before she squared her shoulders. Only for Kate. She headed toward the sound with all the grim determination of a soldier going into battle.
The neutral colors of the hallway led into the equally neutral living room. Her gaze landed on Kate as she offered a bowl of popcorn to Ian, Kate's boyfriend who was only good as an experiment into modern day Neanderthals. Kate's two bimbo friends occupied the other seats.
The four were arranged around the room, spread over the plush almond-colored couches, their feet on the walnut-and-glass coffee table, their coats flung over the wingback chair that Charlie had rescued from a garage sale for a song and then reupholstered in the same color as the couch.
Ian brayed a laugh, tipped his head back, and poured in his favorite snack, chocolate-covered peanuts, by the handful. As he chewed, he smacked Kate on the butt. He grinned and showed off half-chewed peanut slop.
Charlie wrinkled her nose. Call her crazy, but if that was what having a man meant, she was happier with her book boyfriends. At least she could always put them down if they didn't behave.
Kate spotted her and lit up like a solar lamp, sunny smile stretching ear to ear. "Charlie! Good, you haven't missed it."
As the two females swiveled to see who Kate was talking to, Charlie pressed her lips together in a silent groan. Tweedlecute and Tweedlecuter — Anna and Corinne to those who weren't as sarcasm-worshipping as Charlie — were a lot to take on the best of days, and, again, a good day it hadn't been. Along with the store's takings being pathetic, she'd spilled coffee on her pants, and her temples pounded with a headache. Now she'd have to deal with two women who talked in italics and thought having beautiful faces entitled them to look down on what Charlie's mom had always referred to as a Plain Jane.
Charlie raised a hand in awkward greeting. "What haven't I missed?" Had Ian produced an original thought?
For that matter, had Tweedlecute (Anna) or Tweedlecuter (Corinne)?
Kate tutted at her as she passed the bowl of popcorn to the blondest of her friends. She perched on Ian's lap, an arm around his neck as the disheveled, stubbled man continued to eat chocolate peanuts with his mouth open.
"Silly," she scolded. She indicated the TV. "The drawing. It's tonight."
"Whoopee." Charlie gathered the coats covering her chair. "I'll put these in the hall clos —"
Kate let out a shriek, stopping Charlie midflow. She jabbed at the TV. "Omigosh. Jax Michaels."
As Lisette from Lisette's Hour applauded onstage, a Greek god of a man strode onto set. He flashed a bone-melting grin that made all the females in the studio squeal. His laugh was as smoky as the oven when Charlie attempted to cook (not that that happened often). A flurry of women jumped out of their chairs to wave notepads at him.
"Calm down, ladies," the Genie said to them with a Stilton-cheesy wink. The camera zoomed in on that perfectly made face, on the sparkle in his steamy blue eyes. "There's more than enough to go around."
"Good grief." Charlie turned on her heel to deposit the coats in the hall closet. "Give me strength."
"He's so gorgeous," Charlie heard one of the blondes breathe. "I was outside Wishes for You's headquarters once and he turned up in a limousine. He's even better in real life."
"I'd say yes in a second if he looked at me. I think I'd melt," giggled the other.
Charlie's eyes rolled back so far she should've been able to look at the inside of her skull. When she returned to the living room, she leaned her shoulder against the archway and folded her arms. "His nose is too long."
As the three females all spluttered in protest, Ian turned condescending eyes on her. "And what do you know about good looks?"
Charlie's gaze narrowed. "Nothing," she said, staring him down. "About as much as you know of decency."
He snorted and turned his attention back to the TV.
Kate hopped off his knee and hurried to Charlie. When she took Charlie's hands, she squeezed. "I'm so sorry, Charlie," she whispered. Guilt that wasn't her own was reflected in her eyes. "He's had a hard day. I'm sure he'll apologize in the morning."
Like hell. Charlie forced a smile. "It's all right, Kate. Don't worry about it."
Kate beamed. Tugged. "Come, sit with us. The lottery will start soon."
"No, I'm okay. I think I'm just going to go read in my room."
Ian snorted again.
One good kick to the balls. Charlie savored that image for a second. Maybe if she applied enough force, he'd choke on the puny things.
"I hope I win," Tweedlecute said to Tweedlecuter, shimmying her shoulders in her barely there vest top. Puffy gold curls floated over her chest. "I bought fifty tickets. That should put me over the edge in New York."
Charlie goggled. "You spent one hundred bucks on this thing?"
Tweedlecute sniffed while Tweedlecuter stared as if Charlie was the insane one. "It's the lottery." She spaced out the words as though speaking to a child. Though even a child would know what winning the weekly lottery meant: a wish of your choice granted by a Genie. The stuff dreams are made of. Or nightmares.
"Well, I only bought twenty tickets," Kate admitted from Charlie's side. "I meant to get more, but then I had to stop by the residential home on my way back from work and forgot. I hope I get picked." Her eyes, a cinnamon brown framed by delicately black lashes, glowed with excitement.
"How many did you buy?" Tweedlecuter asked Charlie, with a look down her nose as though to say surely you want to win. Although not as golden as her friend's, her platinum hair was teased out to rival a Texan beauty queen's.
Charlie shrugged. "None."
"None?" Kate echoed. "Oh, Charlie."
"Why on earth would you not?" Tweedlecute passed a second bag of chocolate peanuts to Ian. He ripped into them without looking at her.
"I don't like it."
"You don't like it?"
The italics were already getting on Charlie's nerves. "No."
Kate let out a sigh, an oral rubbing of the temples. "Charlie's got this silly idea that we shouldn't trust the lottery."
"It's not silly."
"Are you crazy? The lottery's, like, the best thing that's happened since ... well, ever. It's charitable." Tweedlecuter smoothed her hands over her platinum waves. "And if I win, I know what I'm wishing for."
"A brain?" Charlie muttered.
"Bigger boobs." Tweedlecuter nodded, pleased with herself. She glanced across at Charlie and swept her eyes down her body. "What would you wish for?"
"Nothing." Heat infused Charlie's cheeks, but she refused to back down before this snobby twit. "I don't trust Genies."
"Genies are amazing. Not only do they grant wishes, they give money to good causes and help, like, everyone. And they're gorgeous." A disdainful sniff. "I bet you do really buy lottery tickets. Everyone I know does — who'd pass up a chance to have a wish granted?"
"Ah, me." Charlie raised a hand, wagged it. "You ever heard the phrase 'If something looks too good to be true, it probably is'? What happens to these winners after they wish? Not many stories about that, huh?"
"That's not true, Charlie." An apologetic smile graced Kate's face. "There are human-interest stories on them all the time. There was that story in the Star last week, the woman who wished for a billion dollars. Apparently, she's donated a huge amount to charity." She put up a hand as Charlie's mouth opened. "And she's very happy."
Charlie huffed. "Well, what about other wishes? What about that scandal years back where a Genie in California granted a wish for a man's dream car and it crashed not two days later?" She emphasized the last three words. "The only reason it came out was because a reporter witnessed it and recognized the man."
"I'm serious. Genies don't seem to care about the consequences. How can you trust someone like that?"
"Uh, duh." Tweedlecute waded in, waving a hand at the screen. Jax Michaels flashed his world-famous grin at the audience, saying something about last year's wishes. "Look at that face."
Charlie waited, but, no, that was the extent of her argument.
Kate nudged Charlie with her shoulder. "C'mon, Charlie. You gotta admit that the Partners and their Genies do a lot for the world. They donate all but ten percent of the funds to charity; they grant wishes for the people who donate money to buy a ticket. It's like recycling karma. And WFY went above and beyond to help that poor man's family after that. It was just a tragic mistake."
Charlie couldn't say anything to that. Kate was the first person to assign excuses for people and the last to judge them for any poor decisions. She'd give her last dollar to a stranger — in fact, Charlie had seen her take the sweater off her back and give it to a homeless person once. You couldn't explain to somebody that good that not everybody cared about other people the same way.
Unfortunately, Charlie was a harder pea to shell.
Equally unfortunate was the fact that nobody in the entire world agreed with her.
Inwardly, she waved the white flag, as she'd always known she would. Trying to convince this crowd of Genies' uncaring attitudes and the wishes they wielded like weapons was like trying to convince churchgoers that Jesus was a myth.
She spread her hands. "That's just what I think. But you go ahead and have your party. I think I'm going to go lie down."
"But it's Saturday night," Kate insisted. Her nut-brown curls quivered. "I invited the girls over for a get-to-know-you thing. You have to stay."
"Would you all shut up?" Ian's jaw worked as he crunched the last of his peanuts. "The draw's starting in five minutes."
There was a bustle of excitement as Kate squeezed between the blondes on the couch. A sigh drifted from Charlie's lips as she thought with longing of the quiet sanctuary of her room. In the end, she perched on the wingback chair's arm.
Kate so owed her.
"Popcorn?" Kate offered the bowl.
"No. I'm good, thanks." Charlie twiddled her thumbs as she stared at the image of Jax Michaels as he delivered another heart-stopping grin. His face — the face of WFY East Coast — was the one plastered on every mug sold to a tourist, the face you sipped morning coffee to. His was the voice you drove to work with; he was the man telling every person We need YOU! on those ridiculous posters slapped all over town to recruit the next generation of Genies.
Charlie rubbed her aching temples as a woman from the audience actually broke down into gasping tears when he left the stage. When it all boiled down, he was a man. Albeit a man with magic, but still. Have some GD pride, woman.
The lottery host appeared onscreen, and the noise in Charlie's living room dimmed to a hush. As Winston Morris grinned at the audience, his famous dimple danced in his suntanned cheek. Twenty thousand dollars' worth of dentistry gleamed in the spotlights.
He spread his hands and glanced from side to side. "Are you ready for your dreams to come true?"
More than. Charlie sneaked a look at her watch. Five more minutes and she could curl up with a good book.
As the audience screamed, Winston huffed a laugh and raised his hands for quiet. The camera cut away from him and panned across the large banquet-sized room, over the tense rows of people dressed in their best, toward the stage of amber marble. Spotlights were trained there, on the large crystal ball containing the slips ticket buyers wrote their names on. A handle of pure silver with an engraved Tiffany mark waited to be rotated.
Winston went through his shtick, going among the audience, asking what they'd wish for if they won. Then the music hushed, the lights dimmed until a lone spotlight focused on the ball. Even Winston went into shadow, his hand on the handle.
"Our first lucky winner is about to have their dream made real." He turned the handle in slow motion, rotating the slips, the rustling noise underlined by the thud of the drumbeat in the background. The camera zoomed in.
Winston stopped, opened the latch on the side of the ball, and plucked out a slip. Charlie glanced around the room, half-amused by the vibrating tension of the four others. Even Ian paused midchew, eyes glued to the hand unfolding the paper.
"And the winner from New York, the lucky, lucky person about to have anything they wish for is ..."
As the drums sped up, Charlie covered a yawn with her hand. She'd had to open the store early in preparation for an audit, and her sleep last night had been spotty at best. What with her worries about keeping The Book Nook open past its first year, sleep had been more of a luxury than a necessity lately.
"... Charlotte Donahue, from Hudson Heights!"
Charlie blinked. The thudding in her head accelerated into the beginnings of a migraine as she stared at the screen where her name blasted out. As though from a great distance, she heard Ian's creative swear words, the plaintive cries and accusatory sounds from the Tweedles.
Kate grabbed Charlie's hands, hauled her up. She bounced in front of her, pretty face wreathed in smiles. "Charlie, you won, you won."
"How?" It was a weak question, forced past the Mount Everest of lumps. Steel arms wrapped around her chest and squeezed. "I didn't buy a ticket."
"I did for you." Kate pressed her hands. "I know you think it's silly, but if anyone deserves to have a wish granted, it's you, Charlie. You've been so good to me."
"You bought me a ticket." She couldn't feel her feet. Why couldn't she feel her feet?
"I knew you'd never buy yourself one. Omigosh, Charlie. What are you going to wish for?"
Charlie put out a hand and grasped the wingback chair with some relief. She curled her fingers into the material. "I need to sit."
Kate released her hand as Charlie sank back down. She tried to think past the pounding in her head.
"It's such a dream come true. You've been so worried about The Book Nook and the rent here, and it's all going to be okay. And, omigosh, you're going to meet Jax Michaels."
"Whoo." Charlie thrust a hand into her hair. She glanced again at the TV. Her name no longer filled the whole screen but was still written on the side, along with the other East Coast winners. Winston was on the last winner, which meant at any minute ...
The phone rang.
Charlie stared as though it were a live grenade. Her life, hard enough moments ago, was suddenly ten times worse. Everything she'd never wanted was now in her lap, and she suspected getting rid of it wasn't going to be as easy as pulling the covers over her head.
"Aren't you gonna answer it?" one of the blondes asked.
She shook her head.
"Answer the f-ing thing." Ian rolled narrowed eyes toward her. His mouth cocked in a snide grin. "Maybe you'll finally get a man."
"I've got enough troubles." Charlie shook her head again when Kate picked up the cordless and offered it. "Uh-uh."
Kate passed a disapproving frown over her, then pressed the green button. "Hello?"
Excerpted from Her Wish by Sophie H. Morgan. Copyright © 2017 Sophie H. Morgan. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.