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Book review: 'Wish Me Love' is a predictable yet charming romance

"WISH ME LOVE," by Michele Ashman Bell, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 270 pages (f)

Charlotte Wells has survived a broken engagement and a betrayal by her roommate, who married her fiance. So she's not quite ready to re-enter the dating arena. But in the novel "Wish Me Love," her best friend and co-worker, Jack, challenges her to go on 50 first dates before she heads to Brazil to attend her cousin's wedding.

Charlotte is hesitant to accept the challenge, until another co-worker introduces her to a Brazilian tradition involving a bracelet and three wishes. When two of the three wishes begin to come true almost immediately, Charlotte decides to accept the challenge.

So begins the dating spree, involving funny quirks, bad situations and awkward personalities. After a series of dates that have gone wrong, Charlotte despairs of finding a "normal" guy, so she cuts her losses and goes to Brazil for her cousin's wedding.

In the paradisiacal atmosphere of Brazil, Charlotte rediscovers her self-worth, regains confidence and attracts the attention of her cousin's brother-in-law, Max. Max is the typical dream guy: tall, dark, handsome and a professional soccer player. Charlotte's happily ever after might finally be in her grasp. Yet love is not always what it seems.

"Wish Me Love" is a cute romance that's funny and predictable. The plot seems to be divided into three parts: before Charlotte's trip to Brazil, the trip itself and what happens afterwards. The different parts seem disconnected and don't necessarily flow.

There is no foul langauage, violence or sexual innuendos in "Wish Me Love."

Author Michele Ashman Bell is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and several of the characters are LDS. She has published many clean romance novels and Christmas books. She grew up in St. George and now lives in Salt Lake City with her family.

Lauren McAfee is a librarian assistant at Cedar City Public Library. She manages the social media platform, writes grants and assist with other outreach efforts in the community. Her email is