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Saturday, April 22, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books - One Last Wish by Ella Harper - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Emmie has a brain tumor and after many unsuccessful rounds of chemo and surgery it becomes clear that it doesn't shrink and can't be removed, Emmie's cancer is incurable. Her parents, Nate and Rosie, used to have the most special relationship, but because they aren't able to deal with their daughter's illness too well they keep pushing each other away and become estranged. While they still love each other they can't seem to get along and they're in a downward spiral that doesn't seem to end. Emmie can't bear to see her parents this way. She doesn't have much time left and she wants her parents to fall back in love with each other before she goes. Will she be able to do this one last thing for them?

One Last Wish is a beautiful emotional story. Emmie is a sweetheart. She's an intelligent and observant girl and she's incredibly wise. She wants her parents to be happy together again and because of this she starts a secret mission. I loved this touching idea and was impressed by the way she pulls it off. She's brave and determined and she's honest with the people around her and with herself. She's such an admirable character and my heart ached for her when I read about everything she had to go through. Ella Harper has perfectly captured what it feels like to be a child with a serious illness. She writes about it with empathy and compassion, but also with a certain rawness that makes the story very realistic.

Nate has built a big wall around his heart because he doesn't want his wife and daughter to see how much he's suffering. It pained me to see how this wonderful man pushes his loved ones away and works too hard to make sure he can keep his job, just so nobody has to worry about him. He's gentle and kind, but he doesn't know how to reach out to his wife any longer. Rosie misses his support and she's strong for Emmie, she fights with everything she's got to keep her daughter as safe and comfortable as possible. It's obvious Nate and Rosie love Emmie very much, but they don't know how to deal with all of the emotions that come with having such an ill child. It broke my heart to read about their struggles. Their story isn't hopeless though, Emmie is their light and she's trying to give her parents an invaluable gift, which is such an amazing gesture. I loved the idea behind it and could feel every emotion they were feeling.

Ella Harper has written a story about a difficult topic, terminal cancer. Having a terminally ill daughter who has to go through aggressive and painful treatments while it doesn't help her to feel better is the most awful thing a parent can go through. I could easily imagine Nate and Rosie's powerlessness. They have so much to deal with that they don't know what to do with themselves. Ella Harper describes this in a terrific, meaningful and thought-provoking way that greatly affected me.

When Emmie meets her new counselor, she knows she has found someone who completely understands her. He makes it possible for her to talk about all the feelings she has. While he subtly guides her he's also her friend. I immediately loved their connection. It's made of positivity and brightness, rather than darkness and despair and that's such a fantastic way to balance the grief Emmie's parents are dealing with on a daily basis. I think Emma Harper has succeeded well in describing everyone's thoughts, wishes and emotions, she does this in a stunning heartbreaking way. I highly recommend One Last Wish, it's a brilliant multilayered story with a really strong ending. I shed quite a few tears while reading this book. It's a marvelous must-read.


 If you love beautiful emotional stories with plenty of depth you should definitely read One Last Wish.

About Ella Harper

So. I’m Ella Harper. I write novels and here on my website, you’ll be able to find information about all of my books, news about any upcoming events and lots of other exciting stuff.

I was an avid reader and my fascination with words and language led me to a degree in French and Russian. I then rather randomly, went off at a tangent and worked in banking for eight years, a job I loved and which at its peak earned me the title of Assistant Vice President. After using my commute to start writing my first novel, I realised I had to leave to pursue a career as a writer and I published four successful novels under the name of Sasha Wagstaff.

‘Pieces of You’ is my first novel under the name of Ella Harper and it was inspired by a personal loss and also fertility issues suffered by friends.

Author links


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I am a person with many different sides to my personality. I’ve been lucky enough to change career a few times in my life and each time, I have been able to tap into a different part of myself. With my Sasha Wagstaff books, I was able to really escape into glamour and fun and use my imagination to its fullest. With my Ella Harper novels, I am tapping into the more mature, emotional side of myself that finds human behaviour and situations fascinating. I have worked in banking, I am still a writer and I am now also a Pilates instructor, which I find gives me the perfect balance in life…using my body and being social – and then I run off to be on my own and immerse myself in writing. Bliss!

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

Love. Being in love, writing about love, loving my children, feeling loved back. At the core of each of my novels is a love story. I begin with my central couple and I work my way out in terms of their challenges and their flaws. Nothing gets me more excited in life than this very subject, because let’s face it; when it comes down to it, that’s what it’s all about.

3. If you could create the perfect romantic day what would it look like?

The most perfect, romantic day for me would be…anything with the man I love. I could create any number of beautiful situations, such as spa days, hotels, lazy days on the beach, eating wonderful meals together, sitting in front of log fires. And all of those would be incredible. But what I have learnt as I have grown older is that romance is just about being with someone who makes you smile and laugh and feel alive. Whether you’re in front of the TV, in the supermarket – or on holiday together drinking wine and eating prawns in the sunshine.

4. Who are your favorite romantic couple?

Probably Cathy and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights because they are so intense and passionate about one another. And because their love transcends the current day and goes beyond the grave.

5. Could you describe what romance means to you?

I’m a girl who loves flowers. And a grand gesture. I’m not ashamed to say that either! But at the same time, I find romance in the smallest of gestures also. The foot massage, the kiss on the forehead, the indignation over an issue that is troubling you and the phone call, just when you need it the most. That kind of stuff makes my day.

6. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?

Not in the least! Even at the most challenging time in my life when my marriage broke down…I was still able to tap into that part of me that believes in happy endings and true love and meeting a soul mate. And I absolutely love writing about it. It’s lovely.

7. Can you tell us about your most romantic experience?

When someone paid for a cab from an airport to dash to my side to see me for one hour because we hadn’t seen each other for ten days and missed one another like crazy. 

8. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're in a romantic mood?

I have playlists for this very purpose! Various artists…all kinds of music. Mostly intense and lovely.

9. Which country personifies romance for you and why?

I used to think France as I have a real affinity for the place and spent much of my youth there, travelling, holidaying and studying. I had such a thing for French men! But now I see Italy as the most romantic place on earth. Gorgeous good, fabulous architecture and sights and it just has a very sexy, romantic air.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

More novels with a beautiful romance at their heart. That have a bittersweet ending and that will most likely have my readers grabbing for some tissues at some point! Something that will challenge readers and make them wonder how they might feel if they were experiencing what my characters are facing…troublesome issues, but also the most wonderful love affair with deep feelings and rushes of emotion. It’s what makes my heart skip a beat, so I hope my readers feel the same!


One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a digital copy of One Last Wish by Ella Harper.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. What a very touching book! Sometimes children seem to handle a serious illness much better than adults. I have known two children who have died from a brain tumor and they were an inspiration to us all.

  2. this looks like an interesting and un-put-down-able read xx

  3. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the awesome review!

  4. The book review sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover and interview too.

  5. Great interview! I love books that make me feel that rush of emotion too :)

  6. This sounds like it might be a tough book for me to read.