Left to die in a sealed tomb, David, an educated and good-natured New York arts dealer and part-time forger, stumbles over a old oil lamp. But instead of producing a little light for David’s last hours, it conjures forth a veritable djinni. An ancient, tempting, puckish djinni, who in David’s company prefers to show himself as an irresistibly handsome, fit and barely legal teenager. Quite literally an incarnation of trouble waiting to happen. So what’s a modern man to do with his three wishes, when he can literally wish for anything except the one thing the truly desires - to mend his broken heart?
Tags: Romance - Gay - HEA - Paranormal Romance - Humor - Fluff - Explicit Erotica - Dubious Consent - New York - Magic Spirit - Nerd
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:
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.
First half: Clever, funny, smart & charming. I was delighted, thinking I'd hit the New Author Jackpot. 4 stars for sure!
Second half: Somewhere along the line this transforms into Amateur Hour. There are 2 authors -- did they each write half the story, switching off at the halfway point? At 52%, the end of Chapter 3, where there's that weird formatting glitch -- is that where Author 1 stopped writing and handed it off to Author 2? Because the further along I read, the more the writing sucked. Typos are rife. Random commas garble the meaning of sentences, necessitating frequent backtracking. Characters speak without using contractions! (E.g., not "You're welcome," but "You are welcome." So stilted.) And they behave in ways that simply aren't credible. Sappy, flowery, awkward, clunky prose clogs the pages, and I had to start skimming at 80%, skipping right over the sex scenes. I honestly had the impression I was reading an author whose first language is not English. 1.5 stars at best.
WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT.
Here I thought I'd found a delightful new writing duo. My instincts are telling me I'm half right: Whoever wrote the first half of this story is a keeper. But whoever wrote the second half... Well, don't quit your day job. An alternative interpretation is that the authors edited the hell out of the first part of the story, but lost interest the further along they went.
I wasn't sure whether this would be for me. The title and the cover didn't really jump at me and I'm not madly into fantasy, although I do love a little bit of magic. I can easily say that this is one of the best light romances I have come across. I thoroughly enjoyed the witty, sarcastic tone of Beryll Brackaus's writing and the way she draws her characters. But there's also a good portion of wonderfully described feelings and some really hot sex. After chapter 1 you can't help but rooting for David (how could you not pity him for getting stuck the way he does). He suffers from a serious case of low self esteem and lack of confidence. Watching him shake off the hold his past boyfriend has on him and becoming more self assertive was fun to watch, and also very touching at times. David is THE genuinely nice guy. Which is exactly what totally throws Sharu who is used to masters who are downright selfish and self-absorbed. David's compassion and kindness rattle his hatred of mortals who so far have just used and abused him and his powers. I loved Sharu's mischievous wickedness in the first part, the way he plots and plans against David to only find himself stunned by David's big heart. Yes, there could have been more detail about djinni and what they can/can't do and how Sharu's curse was working. I halfway expected Stanley getting a hold of Sharu's lamp and causing trouble for the lovers, but it was plain sailing to the end. In this case I didn't mind. This is a fun book to read, which put a smile on my face throughout. It is perfect if you are in the mood for light romance with a bit of tongue-and cheek humour.
That really was very fun! Good work everyone for recommending this to me 😁. I love a little bit of magic in my stories and I haven't read one about a djinn so that was pretty cool! Definitely enjoyed the build up and friendship part of this story more than the last part, the love declarations came a little to unexpectedly and quickly. So fun though, seriously!
I started this little story about David, a New York arts dealer who is trapped in an Egyptian tomb and saved by Sharu, a ghost in a magic lamp as an "in between" read while deciding which "serious" book to read next. As happens sometimes, when you don't expect much you get such nice surprises. That definitely happened here. The story about a grumpy Djinni, who tries to fool his masters by granting their wishes without giving them what they really asked for, to make them suffer, as he is suffering from the curse binding him to his tiny lamp was surprisingly funny, bittersweet and really romantic. It made me laugh and cry and really wishing for a happy end. Fortunately that wish was granted, which I probably expected, but I always like, if you are unsure how the HEA could work out. If you don't mind the stupid setting - well I mean we read about dragon shifters and vampires, so obviously we don't need our stories to be realistic all the time, right? As long as they are good it's fine, and this one definitely is! Certainly 4 stars, maybe even a little above and absolutely recommended!
This is a sweet if-what lacking in substance story about a human and a djinni. Don’t expect fireworks. Do expect sugar, cotton candy and a feeling of fluffy-ness that you can’t really get rid of. When I was reading the book I genuinely thought of David and Sharu as adorable. They were. And silly. And the whole thing was sweet.
Both Sharu and David started out as characters who'd undergone emotional events. David having been dumped by Stanley, his ex, but still longing for him even though he deserved much better. Sharu, having been stuck in a lamp for a few thousand years and finally coming out into the real world again, only to find it completely changed. Even the values humans conduct themselves by and the stance they have on various matters- such as slavery (at least most humans).
It was enjoyable reading about these two moving past that. But. It was very predictable. Stanley was an obvious hurdle, but the speed at which David had an 180° turn on this matter felt off.
So what, though, right? I was still enjoying reading the story so I wasn’t complaining.
Then I actually started thinking about what I was reading.
At first I couldn't quite pinpoint why I felt a bit off-kilter. But I was. I realised that the part I had the most problems with is the pacing. It was off. Really off.
While engagingly written, you go through the motions and you understand how they go from Hate to Love.
It’s difficult to swallow though.
This story takes place over the course of a few days – four if I’m correct, but I might be a day over or a day short. Regardless, within these few days:
A Djinni who’s been locked in a lamp for centuries, since his last owner – a Djinni captured by a human, and then forced into enslavement for said humans for millennia. Over the course of a few days in which he is 1) treated decently, 2) isn’t forced to make a wish happen and 3) gets to see a human be all goofy with his modern ideals – he’s in love.
The thing is, if anyone else with half a moral compass had picked him and his lamp up, does it mean the same thing would have happened?
Ok, I know. It's really obvious that that's what this story was going to be about the minute you read the blurb - but still... Four days?
Other than that there were quite a few nice touches to Sharu's character. A djinni that takes the form that most appeals to his master’s tastes. A djinni who’s on the prowl for making wishes happen, and so thoroughly malforming them that the master ends up regretting it greatly.
The glimpses into Sharu’s life as a Djinni, forced to serve ancient leaders of history were interesting. I would have liked knowing more about them though.
I was also kind of ticked off by the ending - or rather the build up towards it. The third wish was so blindingly obvious, the moment David started exhibiting feelings – I was expecting it. I just kept asking myself the ever-present Why the fuck doesn’t David just wish him free? I couldn’t for the life of me comprehend the angst (which was so preventable) attached to it.
Yes, it’s only been 4 DAYS but you're in love... right?
This disparity, this insta-love-y feel as well as the stupidity was OTT.
Though they were adorable together. Though I enjoyed it. There simply wasn’t that much more to it.
The I love yous came out too soon, and by the time the misunderstanding about wishing for something he could have gotten either way was over, I was bored. Then the whole “sex-thing” happened, and it was hot – but even there I got annoyed when David started self-congratulating himself in the elevator mirror for being such a stud.
I can sum up the story as follows (I'm going to spoiler tag it just in case):
The shifting dual POV felt too convenient. Don’t get me wrong, during the sex-scenes, it was kind of hot. But, also quite frankly too much. There were too many shifts at that point.
I would like to say that despite my obvious dislike for the pacing, I did enjoy reading it. I would recommend this book to people who are 1. Having an off day and just need something easy. Something that won’t mentally challenge them. 2. Want a break from other intense reads. 3. Are just looking for the next chicklit rom-com. Except MM. I liked it well enough to want to know what is next in David and Sharu’s journey. What form does Sharu take? How will he continue acclimatising to the human world? (Or would he take David to his?)
After reading this book I will definitely be more on the look out for the Brackhaus writers because I like their writing, and their ideas - if only the next time it won't be so predictable in every sense of the manner.
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True rating ... 4.25 stars <333!! More thoughts to come VERY soon!!!
// “However, learning that there was a strong spirit called ‘djinn’ offered at the bar, and that it apparently was fashionable these days, warranted some in-depth research. There were several different brands of the stuff, and all of them had to be tasted on ice and with ‘tonic’, some kind of bitter, bubbly water. They were all nice, but really, Sharu had expected something a little grander from something bearing the name of his race.”
This was a light, easy, somewhat predictable, very insta-lovey story. If you have some time and aren't in the mood for a dark, angsty, deep, or serious book, you should read this one. If you don't take it too seriously, you will find a sweet romance with one nerdy and one mischievous MC who are quite adorable together.
David is not the kind of man who gets clobbered over the head and left to die in old Egyptian tombs. Well, he wasn’t…right up until he was. And looking back, maybe he should have just stayed in New York and let less-than-savory business partners handle the slightly-less-than-legal acquisition of some new-found Egyptian artifacts. But he wanted to prove to his ex that he was the kind of man that went off and had adventures. And subsequently got clobbered over the head and left to die in old Egyptian tombs.
Luckily the tomb robbers didn’t take quite everything when they left David to die. David was only looking for something to light his way (hopefully out of certain death) but when he rubbed the old dirty lamp he got something he was never looking for. Mostly because no one ever expects a genie in a lamp (excuse me, that’d be djinni). Now David has three wishes, a way back home, and djinni that is more than a little happy to be out of the lamp. Too bad Sharu is also a little pissed about being in the lamp in the first place!
I found this to be a very charming story. I loved the way David and Sharu play off each other, and even though Sharu (understandably) has a few issues to work out in regards to his feelings for David, I liked how they interacted even when being antagonistic.
This is probably a pretty predictable story line. Guy finds lamp, guy rubs lamp, djinni appears to grant three wishes (but never love)…guy eventually falls head over heals with djinni and seeks to find a way they can have their HEA. Nothing over the top, but I found that even guessing the ending did not really spoil my enjoyment of the story. These were two very well written characters and they were just so much fun to have around.
I liked that Sharu had issues with his slavery that were not brushed off. And I liked that (for all his denials) David is not exactly on the up and up with his job. Maybe I shouldn’t like that he is pretty much robbing graves in order to sell the art, but there is something about his less-than-perfectness that made the story more believable.
There were two problems though that I ran across near the end of the book. The big one is the first time David and Sharu have sex. See, David wishes to spend the night with Sharu, and it made it impossible for Sharu to say no. With, yeah, a big no-no. I don’t get how David could not see (beforehand) just how bad a fucking idea that was. The first time they have sex it is basically non-consensual since Sharu can’t say no, and I was more than a little put off by this. I like that it was addressed, after the fact, but I had a hard time understanding why David, who isn’t a dumb guy, couldn’t see the big fat warning signs before he went and made that wish.
The second issue is kinda related. See, I liked this story and it had some really good tension and banter going on between the two guys. It was fun, it was exiting, it was what made it so hard to put this book down. But the second they started having sex, the moment they gave into all that tension, this story turned into generic djinni porn. It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t even very titillating, despite its efforts to the contrary. It was, to be honest, boring. It was like all the spark in the story was in what they couldn’t have, and the moment they took that leap it just became a constant sex marathon and little more. There was hardly anything but copious amounts of sex from the second they started fucking and it got a bit repetitive. There was a little of that spark gotten back by the time that the last scene came around, but by then I was just looking forward to the last wish.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just the fact that I have been in a very low-sex mode lately. Maybe someone else will read it and find a lot more enjoyment in the sex than I did, but it just was a bit a disappointment.
I did like the story though. For the most part it did a great job of holding my attention and I liked how even knowing how this was going to end didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. Also, seeing David’s ex getting his what-for handed to to by Sharu was damn fun.
This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
What a lovely story! ‘Loving Djinni” enchanted and delighted me in equal measure, starting with the laugh-out-loud humor of the first half of the novel all the way to the deeply emotional part of the second half, which is when David and Sharu realize they are falling in love.
David may want everyone to believe that he is a serious art dealer, but underneath the civilized veneer he is a bit of a scoundrel. He trades in antiquities, but not all of them as real as the paperwork he forges makes them out to be. David is a nerd who loves art and respects history, but he wants to make money too - lots of money if at all possible. His ex has dumped him for being boring, and David decides to accept a contact’s invitation for a trip to Egypt – just to prove he is adventurous after all. What he gets as a result is the adventure of a lifetime, a djinni who grants him three wishes, and a moral dilemma about what to do with them.
Sharu is an ancient djinni, immortal and immensely powerful, and a bit of a prankster. As a result, he was bound by someone who turns out to be a historical celebrity and has been a prisoner of the lamp he resides in for millennia. The curse has curtailed his powers so he can only use them to fulfill three wishes for each master who finds the lamp, and he hates it. Sharu’s purpose in life has become to do as much damage to each master as possible by goading them into making stupid wishes, or by misinterpreting what they say as much as possible.
David and Sharu’s relationship is not an easy one. David, as a modern man, has difficulty dealing with the magic aspect, but hates whoever did this to Sharu for locking up a sentient being. Sharu is more than mistrustful, believing all humans are stupid and cruel. He only slowly begins to see that David is different, and that is when their relationship changes from hostile to carefully trusting and eventually loving. There are a few bumps along the way, misunderstandings to deal with, and the matter of Sharu vanishing as soon as David uses his third wish becomes a real problem.
The tone of the story changes as the relationship develops, and I found that fascinating. Initially, the humor is snarky and sarcastic, and while both characters’ sense of humor still comes through even when they are battling the threat of never being able to share their lives, it is a softer sort of humor. The depth of their despair was very touching, and the relief I felt when the solution came along was immense. I felt close to both of them, and really wanted them to be happy despite the odds.
If you like fantasy stories with lots of magic and a touch of humor, if two men who are separated by a curse sound exciting, and if you’re looking for a read that is funny, sweet, romantic, and has an energy all its own, then you will probably like this novel as much as I did. It’s adorable and goes straight to the “read when cheering up is required” stack.
3.5 A nice easy read for a sunny afternoon or two. Don't expect anything else than a fluffy escapade of an angst-free slow burner. Sharu, the bantering, mischievous djinni, who falls in love with his Davie makes it also a nice, funny read. So if that's what you're looking for it's nearly perfect as everyone gets what he deserves, the HEA is never in danger and as soon as Dave and Sharu declared their love they also start their sexmarathon like bunnies.
Just some tiny, little niggleing at the end which kept me from giving a proper 4 star: even for such fluffy sunshine stories I like characters a bit less stereotypic and I couldn't believe even one minute that Dave didn't know about the necessary third wish.
This was a delightful, romantic, and enjoyable story that was quick and easy to read. I really liked both characters and the authors got their interaction very believable. I also like how the wishes were used and absolutely loved the ending. As I don't do spoilers I suggest you run and get this book as it will make you smile and give you warm glowy feelings.
Sometimes you need to take a break from reality and hav a pick me up. I was just browsing and clicked on a different novel by these writers. Then found this story about an ancient djinn and a nerdy guy. The plot was good, the snark was awesome. Everything my mind needed to distract me from my worries and escape into different world with words. I look forward to reading more as the sun rises I have no guilt for staying up so late to read this. :)
A fun story at the beginning, and I really liked Sharu's observations about the humans of this time compared to millennia ago. A very sweet story showing David and Sharu falling in love. A bit too much sex for me near the end, but the final resolution was wonderful and very satisfying.
David has recently spit up with his boyfriend, Stanley, who accuses David of being such a nerd, he's so boring and Stanley doesn't know what he ever saw in him. David's confidence is at rock bottom so when an opportunity arises to actually go on a dig on a real Egyptian tomb, David decides to go on the spur of a minute, despite the fact that he's never done anything like this before.
Renowned as an art and antiques dealer, David also has a bit of a criminal streak and has more than once palmed off fakes with fraudulent papers as to their origins. So the fact that the dig isn't strictly legal doesn't faze him at first. But he should pick his adventurers more carefully next time, if there is next time, for they attack him, knocking him out and resealing the tomb afterwards, leaving David to die alone
Until he found a very strange lamp.
Locked in a lamp for thousands of years, Sharu, an immortal djinni is only ever temporarily set free when a mortal finds the lamp, rubs it and gets granted three wishes. As soon as the third wish is made however, it's back into the lamp he goes.
He hates mortals, sees them as nothing more than vermin and he's such a trickster than he can twist the wishes around somewhat, depending on what the mortal asks for.
Their relationship starts out fairly rock at first, each not sure if trusting the other is a good idea, but they do gradually get to know one another, not just as master and slave.
David has no wish for a slave, and despite some of his criminal leanings, he is not cruel or malicious and wants to do the right thing by Sharu. He wonders if there is some way of breaking the curse, of setting Sharu free, but Sharu doesn't think there is. After all, he'd been cursed to be imprisoned for eternity.
There's a bit of humour, a bit of angst and lots of fun banter back and forth between the two heroes.
The relationship is more of a slow burn, but when they do get there, boy does the passion sizzle between them. And there's lots of delicious UST throughout the book before they get there.
In the book, there are quite a few references to Sharu looking young, or barely legal at times, which threw me out a bit somewhat. Sharu seemed to take a form of a young man round about nineteen. I'm in the UK, where the age of consent is sixteen, so reading about someone who looks around nineteen as barely legal was a bit jarring. Just say he looks like a young man, that's all that was needed.
That aside, it was a fun, adorable read. It was refreshing to read a paranormal story which wasn't populated with werewolves and vampires. It's a bit quirky in places and made me smile.
And if you want to know if David and Sharu get their happily ever after, you'll just have to read the story to find out. Suspend disbelief for a few hours and give it a go.
Original review on Molly Lolly Four and a half stars! I really enjoyed this story. From how David reacts to Sharu to how Sharu grows as a person throughout the story, I couldn’t put the book down and had to know what happened next. Both David and Sharu were well developed and had me connecting with them both almost immediately. I love how they both grew the longer they knew each other and the more their relationship developed. You get that true feeling they are better for knowing each other. David was so sweet. He went from a bit of a bumbling nervous man to someone that knew his self worth and believed in Sharu’s desire for him. I loved getting to see that transformation on page. His feelings for Sharu were so evident. I adored how everything he did was for Sharu and making things better for the man, djinni, he loves. Sharu was so much fun. His bouts of mischief made me laugh so hard. I loved the historical references and how it relates to Sharu and his duties. They were great additions to the story. Seeing his feelings for David change and grow was wonderful. He had such a change of heart towards mortals and David in particular as the got to know each other as David proved he was a decent human being. That awe when Sharu realized his feelings was so clear in the story. I felt it right with Sharu. The ending was wonderful. I kind of guessed how it would end based on the lore of the story. However it was so sweetly written I was still enthralled as I read the final scenes. Their happy ending was so good you can tell they’re going to make it. I just want to know the practical sides of how it’s all going to work.
2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Loving Djinni by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus 1) Simply best read of the season. Sparkly and witty, this book brought multiple smiles and unforgettable characters. 2) An easy treat to read. This book was quite entertaining and allow me to call it 'cute'. I'd love to have a djinni like Sharu. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the awe Sharu felt every time he tried/experienced something new. He's been inside the bottle for so long he'd not realized the world had changed in leaps and bounds. This is a well-written story and would definitely read more from these authors. A job well done, Beryl & Osiris!