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What You Wish For by Katherine Center
Romance

What You Wish For

by Katherine Center

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Quick take

Need a pick-me-up? Here’s your dose of optimism, served up as a school-staff romance with sugar sprinkled on top.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Happy

    Happy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Quirky

    Quirky

Synopsis

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of What You Wish For.
What You Wish For

One

I was the one dancing with Max when it happened.

No one ever remembers who it was now, but it was me.

Actually, pretty much everything that night was me. Max and Babette had gone on a last-­minute, two-­week, second-honeymoon cruise around the boot of Italy that they’d found for a steal—and the return date just happened to be two days before Max’s sixtieth birthday party—smack in the middle of summer.

Babette had worried that she couldn’t book a trip with an end date so close to the party, but I stopped her. “I’ve got this. I’ll get everything ready.”

“I’m not sure you realize what a big undertaking a party like this is,” Babette said. “We’ve got the whole school coming. Three hundred people—maybe more. It’s a huge job.”

“I think I can handle it.”

“But it’s your summer,” Babette said. “I want you to be carefree.”

“And I want you,” I said, pointing at her, “to take a dirt-­cheap second honeymoon to Italy.”

I didn’t have to twist their arms. They went.

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Member ratings (6,627)

  • Isabelle H.

    Olney, MD

    She did it again. I finished in just a few days, laughing, smiling, and nearly crying. It was a beautiful, funny, sweet ode to joy and the power of family and happiness. I loved every second. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Jennifer L.

    Grant Township, MI

    I couldn’t put it down! Katherine Center hits it out of the ball park again!!! Maybe I’m biased being that I’m a teacher and so it felt very close to home. I read it in one day and just fell in love!

  • Alyce R.

    Roswell, NM

    I adore Katherine Center. This was probably my favorite out of her books. I connected to this book more because I’m a teacher I think. Great story and I adored the characters. She’s always a favorite.

  • Michelle M.

    Whittier, CA

    I recieved an ARC copy from Netgalley. I absolutely loved the book so much that I wanted to buy a copy. So happy that BotM has it!! I laughed, cried and cheered on all (well most) of the characters ♥️

  • Kristen R.

    Wake Forest, NC

    I loved this story of a school librarian who clashes with her school’s principal after the death of the school’s beloved founder. The setting is lovely and the characters are endearing and complicated

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