Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Review - Genie Knows Best
On the eve of her father's funeral, Samantha Blaine is further hurt by her soon-to-be-ex-not-quite-fiance's betrayal when she overhears him promising to pay off a gambling debt by marrying the 'stupid, useless' heiress. More than anything, she wanted the happy-ever-after with true love but it seems that Albert, the slime, wasn't the man she'd thought he was. And that meant she was stupid and useless, only good for the money she inherited. Retreating into her father's office, she opens the safe to find...a lantern. Before she knows it, she's enveloped in a glittery, orange cloud and on her way to Izazz with the hunkiest genie ever.
Kal is delighted that Samantha has released him from his lantern. She's his last master, fulfulling his sentence for illegally removing his genie bracelets 4000 years earlier. As soon as he'd granted Samantha her last wish, he'd be free to get the job he'd always wanted and get on with his life. But he finds himself enjoying the time with Samantha and admiring her generous wishes as she begins to bring Izazz back to its former glory.
When the inhabitants of Izazz praise and thank her for her efforts at repairing their city, Sam realizes that they're praising the wrong person. Yes, she made the wish but it was Kal who'd done the work of granting the wish. This convinces her that she is useless. She wants nothing more than to be useful in her own right. Well, not just that. She also wants the hunkie genie, Kal, who is the answer to all her wishes. But that's another problem...her wishes. She doesn't want him to want her simply because she wished it. She wants to be wanted for herself.
Kal has no idea why Sam doesn't want to be able to wish for anything but it's his job to do what she wants. He just wants to please her, wishes or not. As he spends time with her, he comes to realize that she would be very easy to love. Love is something a genie can't do without risking all their powers. He's spent too many years waiting for his chance to become the Grand Vizeer.
But Arnold, the slimy soon-to-be-ex-almost-but-not-quite-fiance, finds the orange cystal and an amulet in the open safe that also take him to Izazz. He wants Kal even more than he wanted Samantha's riches. After all, a genie who can grant his every wish is so much better than a company and its bankroll. And the fact that Samantha has given up her ability to wish proves he was right - she's spoiled and stupid and useless. He plans on getting the lantern, and Kal, from her and he doesn't care what he has to do to get it.
Genie Knows Best is fast paced, full of bright humor and sensuously romantic love scenes. The characters are right out of the Abrabian Nights...and, well, possibly a few other mythologies but it all blends so well to create the world of Izazz that the reader never blinks. The secondary characters are fun. The plot is perfectly balanced between humor, adventure and romance. While this is Ms Fennell's second book in her genie series, it stands alone quite nicely.
I'd definitely recommend this as a break from the hustle and bustle of the coming holiday season. Besides, we all deserve a treat and this book is definitely a treat.