Book Review: All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll

all she ever wished for

Title: All She Ever Wished For
Author: Claudia Carroll
Publisher: HarperCollins UK, Avon
Date: October 6th, 2016
Pages: 496
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): A gorgeous story of chance meetings and unexpected friendships. Because sometimes what you’ve always wished for isn’t necessarily what life has in store . . .

Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it?

One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…

All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…

Claudia Carroll brings you a Christmas gift filled with second chances, fateful encounters and a lesson in what true love means.



I will start my review with a warning: Don’t let the cover full you! This is not a festive read. I repeat: THIS IS NOT A FESTIVE READ.
Judging by it’s releasing day and the cover, you probably think this is a beautiful Christmas story, but, unfortunately, it’s not.
Whoever designed this cover did an amazing job when it comes to appearance, but it’s so misleading. I mean, they even put snowflakes on the cover!
Why would you do that, when there’s no winter, no Christmas in the story whatsoever?

This year I read Carroll’s short story In A New York Minute and complitely fell in love with her writing style. That short story was the best read I had in July and I knew I wanted to read more of her work.
When I saw All She Ever Wished For on Netgally and my reading request was approved, I was beyond happy.

I would lie if I told you my expectations for this novel weren’t high.
However, I don’t think that my expectations have much to do with my impressions.
The story was just not interesting enough for me to like it more.
I was bored many times while reading and characters didn’t help the case either.

All She Ever Wished For follows stories of two women who’s lives intertwine.
Kate had some hard time. She had an ugly divorce and now she’s proving her right ownershinp of the painting her ex husband bought her as a birthday present while they were still together.
She’s being called gold-digger by media but we get to see her side of the story.

Tess is getting married, but she also has to attend the court as a juror. While she has so much things to do to make sure everything goes right on her big day, with their families not on good therms, time spent on court at first comes as burden, but after some time, being in court jury makes her forget about all the obligations for a while and she starts to rethink her decision…

Kate’s story was so much more interesting then Tess’.
After all, Kate was the one who was fighting for her rights.

This is the story that describes many happenings at court.
And in whole honesty, those parts were simply boring.

There is also one side character who has a big role in the story: Will. I just couldn’t like him, no matter how hard I tried. I thought he was too nosy, asking questions and saying things that weren’t his business and it was all okay because he’s a writer. I get that writers are curious, and I get that there are people like him all over the world, but telling someone you only just met (wait, not even met properly, but only just saw because you are in the same room together) that the song she chose to have for her first dance on her own wedding is stupid, and suggesting her to go with another one is just plain rude. Oh and mind you, he knew what song she chose because he was listening to her phone call, which is also rude.
This is just one of the situations that made me came to conclusion that Will is simply rude.

The writing style was really good, it was the best part of the book.
Nevertheless, not even a good writing style can help the boring story make more interesting.
As I already said, it was pretty boring at times and in my opinion, too long.
I couldn’t connect with characters, especially with Tess. With Kate I couldn’t help but emphatize and feel for her as a woman.

The ending was good and satisfying.

Overall, I think this book just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m looking forward to read more books by Claudia Carroll because I really like her writing style.
I already bought Meet Me In Manhattan and I plan to read it soon.


12 thoughts on “Book Review: All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll”

  1. I wonder what the marketing department was thinking when they designed the cover. Maybe it’ll change? Sorry this book wasn’t your favorite, it sounds kind of interesting, but also not really my thing either. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It actually already has another cover, but as I understood, it was released only in Ireland. I think that marketing trick was to make you think it’s appropriate Christmas gift or something, but you are probably right, I wouldn’t be surprised if they change the cover.
      It is a beautiful cover though, but not appropriate…


  2. I’m glad the ending left you satisfied, it can be really hard to find good conclusions in books sometimes. The cover looks super christmassy, maybe it was just so that it fit in or something. Most books have multiple covers anyway! It’s terrible when there are some really good characters in books, but at the same time, there are characters that you hate. Or, that’s not even the right words. Characters that bore you, one’s that you just don’t care about. It leaves you wondering whether you should continue reading, or pick up another book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. I think boring and uniteresting characters are worse then ones you hate bc those you hate at least wake some kind of emotion in you, and you can root against them or for them to realize they’re wrong or change in any other way, but when they are boring, they tend to make the whole story dull.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Waaaait, how is the cover nothing like the book then!? THAT’S SO WEIRD! I’m glad you liked the writing and it was mostly a good read for you. 🙂 😀 But gah to it being boring and too long. I always lose attention when books are too long.☹️ I hope your next read is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What we they thinking when they designed the cover? Sometimes, marketing department’s decisions are beyond understanding! Too bad the story did not live up to your expectations. At least the writing was good, but you usually need more to truly appreciate a story, and without a good plot and nice characters, there’s not much you can do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right! I usually go for characters, I love seeing their development and reading about their inner thoughts, but when the story’s laking that at least I expect for it to be somewhat interesting.
      This book wasn’t boring all the time, but it could have been more interesting tbh.


  5. Well, that’s not very nice of the people from PR! I would definitely expect a festive read from that cover!! Not even winter?! With almost 500 pages, I can imagine it being too long, especially if you’re not blown off your socks by it already. Still sounds interesting though! But BAD, BAD cover choice!

    Liked by 1 person

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