". . . the magic of human love . . . ‘Tis the mightiest force in all of creation." says King Wisdom, ruler of the fairy kingdom of Pillywiggin. Who can dispute this statement?
Rebecca Paisley weaves a magical tale of human love forged between a man and a woman in A Basket of Wishes. Staid and stuffy Jourdian Amberville, the twelvth Duke of Heathcourte and a powerful peer of the realm, is enchanted by gentle and innocent Splendor, royal princess of Pillywiggin. Jourdian and Splendor's enchanting relationship will surely touch your heart, tickle your facies (and funny bone as well), and thoroughly captivate you.
Each page is a delightful surprise because of the chemistry among the cast of characters, including Splendor and her fairy magic, Jourdian and his inner struggles with love, Harmony, Splendor's spitfire fairy sister and Emil, Jourdian's loyal and loveable cousin. This is one of those rare books that will have you laughing, crying, and feeling a bit of lust, often at the same time.
Jourdian struggles with the concept of love. Unaffectionate parents and a lonely childhood built walls around his heart, causing him to remain aloof and distant from society as an adult, afraid to love anything for fear of rejection. Despite being rich beyond imagination, Jourdian is neither content nor happy. His only friend is his cousin, Emil, whose personality stands in stark contrast to Jourdian's dour and dignified existence. Emil shines some brightness and brings excitement to his cousin with h is out-going outlook and love and adventure. To Emil, Splendor's appearance is the best thing that could have ever happened to Jourdian.
Splendor grew up watching Jourdian amble around his estate by himself, keeping close watch over the sorrowful boy who fascinated her and evoked her sympathy over his lonely existence. When she discovers she is destined to be the savior of Pillywiggin by conceiving a child with Jourdian (however that might happen), she is excited. Splendor's magical antics force Jourdian to pay more attention to the lovely girl than he would like, and her compassionate and caring naivety induce in Jourdian an instinct to protect. However, always angry Harmony, Splendor's sister, attempts to cause as much mischief as she can while exploring the very human attraction between herself and Emil.
Splendor cannot maintain her human size unless she receives affection. She regularly shrinks down to miniscule form until Jordan's hugs and kisses revive her. These instances create some of the most memorable scenes in the book, both frightening and funny, scary and sexy. For his part, Jourdian's struggle to accept what Splendor offers in the way of experiences and love is both funny and poignant. If you are a fan of Jill Barnett's Bewitching, you should love this book as well.
A Basket of Wishes is the perfect fairy tale, an enchanting escape from reality to the 19th century English countryside, where fairies ride the backs of dragonflies and cry diamond tears. Splendor wants to bring happiness and joy to Jourdian's life and discover the secret to human love, the "mightiest force in all of creation." Along the way, you will fall in love with Jourdian and marvel at the deep love he unknowingly shares with Splendor. Most importantly, you will smile at Splendor's escapades and laugh at her magical attempts to grant Jourdian's wishes. Paisley's sweetly pure love story, captivating characters, lovely love scenes, and very creative humor make this book utterly enjoyable.
Alina Laurie wrote this review before her short stint as an AAR reviewer
-- Alina Laurie
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