4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Just One Wish by Carly Phillips

Just One Wish Carly Phillips

He was her first love.
She was his.
They broke up to follow their dreams. Axel Forrester became a world famous drummer.
Tara Stillman became a veterinarian.

Years later, he’s scrolling social media and sees they’re both in East Hampton, NY.
Fate? Or Coincidence?

What’s a rockstar to do other than borrow his friend’s dog as an excuse to see the good doctor.
And—show up at her office after all this time.

Axel wants a second chance with the one who got away. He’s not going to let Tara go this time.

Title:Just One Wish
Author:Carly Phillips
Series:The Kingston Family (Book 4.5)
1001 Dark Nights
Trope(s):Second Chance Romance
Celebrity Romance
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoints (H & h)
Location:Hamptons, New York, US
Release Date:29th March, 2022
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Short and sweet but still sexy

4 stars

I’m always happy to delve into the world of Carly PhillipsKingstons – or any world she creates, to be honest. This book is inter-connected to the Kingston Family series, although neither Axel nor Tara is a Kingston, and is a complete standalone. It’s a fairly short book at just 125 pages long to fit into the short format of 1001 Dark Nights stories.

Our hero, Axel, is a drummer in a hugely successful rock band and the heroine is his first love, and local vet, Tara. It was good that our pair had a history with each other prior to the events of the book as it’s always difficult to have a good connection between a couple when a book is short.

Rockstars aren’t really my thing but Axel is a nice guy and fairly down to earth. Throughout the book he moves around the town without any paparazzi or fans mobbing him, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting his superstar status. I adored his relationship with Bella (the dog)… as well as with Tara, of course. I just wished that Axel’s motivation for reconnecting with Tara was because he could never get over her. It seemed, until he saw her online, that he had barely given her a second thought after their agreed break up back in high school.

I also didn’t like that Axel said that he wanted Tara but he wouldn’t give up touring with the band for her. For me, realistic or not, I want the hero to be so in love that he would give up anything and everything for the heroine. And the heroine to be so equally in love that she wouldn’t allow the hero to give up on his dreams. Same outcome but different motivations.

“…[has a] magic blend of romance, banter, relationships and sexiness.”

Tara was an equally nice character and I have to admit that I loved her best when she was drunk at her sister’s bachelor party. Love me a bit of drunken shenanigans! She was very much a small-town, want to settle down and have a family, kind of girl. As I said, I liked her.

Tara was reticent of rekindling her relationship from the first, which did put a little bit of a dampener on the sexual tension between the couple. But when they did get together they definitely had that quintessential Carly Phillips magic.

Again, the shortness of the book made the ending come quickly and the resolution of the barriers to the relationship feeling quite an abrupt u-turn. I would have liked to see how the couple dealt with their different schedules but I reconcile myself to the fact that I will hopefully see more of them as a couple in the forthcoming books in the series.

This was a short, sweet and cute romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s still got Carly Phillips’ magic blend of romance, banter, relationships and sexiness – but ultimately I wanted a wee bit more of, well, something. 4 stars.

4 stars

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at

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The Kingston Family Series:

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Just One Wish Carly Phillips
Book 4.5
Book 5
Book 6
Book 7
Book 7.5
Book 8
Book 9
Book 10

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