HarperCollins £6.99

'Be Careful What You Wish For' tells the story of two thirty something women, long-time friends, who couldn't be more different. Molly, a journalist, is brash and extroverted. Having lost the love of her life to another woman four years ago, she is surprised when contacted by him out of the blue, just as she is contemplating the disadvantages of being single. But just like the Number 10 bus, two arrive together and Molly finds herself having to choose between the man who broke her heart and Hercules, the Greek god who works in the off-licence.

Her best friend Helen is faced with a very different problem. She has fallen madly in love but with a man who can never be hers, her brother Patrick. The bond which developed between them as children in a troubled, violent home has matured into a different kind of love to that which usually exists between siblings but Helen cannot even bear to tell Molly of her secret pain.

Martina Devlin deserves credit for tackling a subject that is rarely, if ever, found on the pages of traditional chick-lit fare. However, the seriousness and intensity of that subject does not lie easily beside the more trivial concerns of best friend Molly. In having two main protagonists, the reader never really develops a connection with either character.

Helen's story is ultimately the more fascinating of the two and seems far removed from the more traditional love story that plays out in Molly's life. Although Helen and Molly are connected through their friendship, 'Be Careful What You Wish For' is a book of two tales that battle each other for the reader's attention and compassion but, ultimately, neither character earns the reader's sympathy.

Amanda Fennelly