Jack and Djinn by Jasinda Wilder
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Sultry Scale: 3 of 5 Flames
Miriam's life is a hot mess. Ben won’t let her go and she knows she can’t take anymore. She simply will not and cannot withstand another insult, another drunken rage, another blow. But she has nowhere to go, no one to help her.
One night, Ben’s alcohol-fueled abuse explodes hotter than it ever has before, and Miriam isn’t sure she’ll survive it this time.
Then Miriam meets Jack. Sweet, handsome, brave, and totally unafraid of the strange and often scary things that have begun happening whenever Miriam’s emotions run high.
As things between Miriam and Jack heat up, so does Ben’s jealous rage, as well as the mysterious fire that seems to burn hotter and hotter inside Miriam. She quickly discovers two things: one, that she has a lot more power and strength hidden within herself than she’d ever imagined, and two, that Jack's gentle, unwavering love can heal a lifetime of wounds and scars.
Will they survive to explore all that could be between them?
This was a great little read. Contemporary romance with a touch of the paranormal. It was also different from other paranormal series I have read.
Let's start with Miriam, who is a djinni. I have read stories about djinn before, but the djinn were always men. The Oracle by Thea Harrison and The Sylph series by LJ McDonald come to mind. Miriam is an American of Islamic descent, her parents being Iraqi immigrants. Miriam is westernized - she doesn't wear a Habib and she consorts with men. This is quite scandalous to others in the Islamic culture. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to connect with Miri's character as I am a reader that envisions myself in the lead role. And I, being so white-bread American, sometimes have a difficult time connecting with other cultures in the lead role. But that wasn't the case here, I liked Miri and she got my empathy going. I think her being westernized helped with that somewhat. I did find myself being a tad annoyed with her at times, and you will see why. But Jasinda has a great author's note at the end to explain things. My heart goes out to her and I'm really glad she has her Jack.
Now... let's talk about Jack. I loved Jack and his whole family. He has a huge Irish family and I could just picture their antics as I was reading. There were some scenrs that reminded me of Snatch, so i was picturing Jack as Brad Pitt for the rest of the book. I hope we get to see more of grandpa Sean in future books. And if Sean is based on a real person - I want to steal him! Otherwise, you may find me lurking around the Irish Channel and pubs in the area looking for my own Irishman. I have freckles out the wazoo (literally, the wazoo) so I tend go for the ones they call "Black Irish" - the swarthy Pict-like complexion, dark hair, mesmerizing eyes, and great accent. If you see one of the's hanging around, I CALL DIBS!
The book was told in first person, alternating between Miriam and the delectable Detective Carson, who I connected with right from the first page because of this:
Carson stood up and wiped the pen on his pant leg, wishing he hadn’t just poked a dead body with it—he had a tendency to chew on his pens.I totally was chewing in a pen when I read that, so of course I started freaking out about where it had been. Ew, I want to bleach my mouth out. I think the next book in the series is going to me Carson's story... so we'll be seeing a lot more of him. There was some foreshadowing in this book of what I think we will be seeing later in the series. It sounds interesting so you will definitely want to keep reading. Plus, if you've read Alpha and Beta, you know that Jasinda is really good at writing smexytime!
In sum, this one is getting 4 Stars and 3 Flames from Bambi Unbridled. I lIke that the paranormal was mixed in with the contemporary so that it didn't follow the standard paranormal romance trope. I also really liked the explanatory note at the beginning of what the Quran says about the djinn. It's always a bonus to learn something with your smutty romance.
Side note: I met Jasinda and Jack recently at the Nola Author Event... and they are cute as a button together. Jasinda was giving out this great red wine chapstick. It apparently smelled really good because one of my dogs smelled it and dug in my bag and ate it. He lost 2 teeth chewing it open! (He's really old and his name is Dopey for a reason.) Well, let me just say, you don't want to know what happens when a dog eats chapstick. It was messy. Ick. So if you have the opportunity to meet Jasinda, look around for a red wine flavored chapstick!
Note 2: I received a free copy of this book for review. However, once I got it, I realized I had already bought the book on Amazon and it was in my growing TBR list. Oops.
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