Fall, present day
Big changes have been happening to former corporate lawyer Ravine Patton in the past year. After birthing her son Brady (a product of a one night stand), Ravine took evaluation of her life and decided the best place to raise her baby would be in her home town of Noxen, Pa. Moving in to her grandfather’s old house gives her the support of her widowed mother and other family members. (In Noxen, everyone is related in some way or another.) Practicality has always been part of Ravine’s routine, but there isn’t much in the way for a high stakes attorney to make a living amongst the farmers and cows of the back hills of Pennsylvania! Still, Ravine is determined her son grow up simply the way she did. When her mom brings over a discarded baby shower gift one of her cousins didn’t need called a Diaper Genie, Ravine gets the surprise of a lifetime when out rolls a strange bottle. Even more astonishing is when Ravine pulls the stopper out and after the tinkling bells and smoke disappears stands a six foot blond Aussie claiming to be her genie!
In 1942, World War II RAF pilot Captain Eugene O’Neill had been shot down over the desert. Finding refuge at an oasis, the suave Australian insinuates himself the wrong way with a desert caliph when he takes off with one of his wives. Enchanted by the enraged caliph’s magus, Gene the pilot became Gene the genie. He must grant three wishes to a master, (or in this case mistress), to free himself from the spell. What a shocker for both Gene and Ravine, they will both have to be careful what they wish for as Gene’s magic isn’t what is powering the enchantment of these two!
Careful What You Wish For by Lucy Finn (who also writes as Savannah Russe) is supposed to be a whimsical tale but gets too complicated from its original premise. The “light-hearted” comedy aspect becomes mixed up with a lot of background stories. Ravine and Gene have good interactive chemistry but this gets lost amongst the chaos of the other episodic stories. Perhaps without all the side trips they take along the way the story would have focused more on the hilarity of a 40's era man trying to cope with a 21st century single mom, that alone would have made great reading! Careful What You Wish For is not bad for a beach read if you don’t expect too much.