Or in Loving Djinni's case, the djinn.
Genie, djinn, whatever you'd like to refer to these magical entities, I've been a fan for a LONG time. I've put out the call for authors in the past to think genie. I think it's an untapped magical treasure chest of fun just begging to be written. In the paranormal sector of Romancelandia where werewolves and vampires reign supreme, genies are practically nonexistent.
You could just imagine my excite when I saw this title. Once I read the blurb, I quelted. Thieves? A twink? Dub Con? NY? Nerd? Humor? Not only did the entire thing read like it was written for me, it was like manna was delivered directly into my hot hands.
Nerdy doormat New York arts dealer David is trapped in a sealed tomb in Cairo at the beginning of Loving Djinni, written by the Brackhaus husband and wife team. He's been dumped by his over confident sleaze of an ex-boyfriend, lawyer Stanley. And David thought maybe going on a grand adventure with questionable thieves in Egypt might catch his wayward ex's eye. All he gets is impending death for his trouble in a nearly empty tomb...save for an oil lamp containing a cursed djinni who shall be called Sharu.
The mischievous spirit was enslaved be an evil sorcerer (who is actually a historical figure - cool tidbit) and forced to grant whoever rubs his lamp three wishes and serve them as magical servant to their Master. And his form changes to whatever is most pleasing to his new Master. It's demeaning and Sharu hates humans with an unholy passion. Imagine his surprise that he's been locked up in his lamp for over thousand years.
Imagine the culture shock...
Imagine the hijinks...
I happened to read over one important tag in the beginning: fluff .
Oh cracky fluff how you make me happy.
The story spans a couple of days. But it didn't read like it. Or maybe it was the fluff haze *shrug* Where the story really shined is getting deeper into David and Sharu's characters. We get to learn of their insecurities and feelings. Both have baggage: Sharu was once mighty and powerful, brought down by a human. David is a nerd, average looking and just wanted to find someone to call his own...and did some questionable things for a guy's attention. His self esteem is lacking. And both of their hang ups endeared them to me.
And the fact that the sex didn't start automatically. Consent and feelings were a key factor in the development of David and Sharu's relationship that started in the beginning with a healthy animosity in Sharu's part and nerdtastic wonder on David's. The asshole ex made for a good enough villain. A little OTT, a little predictable, but within the fluff category, he worked.
It all worked.
And the sex...seriously, it really was like it was written for me. *coughs* public shenanigans *coughs* More than once!
Is the story perfect? Nope. I don't think it's trying to be. (Thank goodness)
Overall, the pacing is good. It could have been better in a few areas. The main characters would hit a decent stride, then either of them would say something slightly out of character or a little odd, making it a little disconcerting. I had to reread passages or sentences maybe 3-4 times at most to see of a character switched POV, or if there was a jump, the authors would weave the story back around the oddity. And there were about once or twice where the story got to be indulgent for the writers, more than the characters (ex. that elevator scene: hot, but what did it really add to the story?)
And the ending was so abrupt. I literally was stunned at the end of the story. I kept hitting the corner page of my Kindle as if it'd give me the last pages of the epilogue, Loving Djinni, could have benefited from. So many it could have been a touch longer?
Does the story need a sequel? No.
But the history intertwined with the fantasy of djinn made for interesting would building. It would be cool to read more about Sharu's world, how the beings came to be, what other magical beings there are, or at least learn of his actual name.
It's trope-y. The fluff tag is definitely put to good use, so please keep it mind when reading for maximum enjoyment.
The is a quick, fluffy read with endearing characters, a cool little historical sprinkling with magic dosed all around
Because genies djinn.
This story proves genies romances needs to continue being a thing.
Recommended for readers who don't mind the blurb's tags, enjoy light, low angst, trope-y bonbons with magic and historical strokes.
A copy provided for an honest review.