Friday, November 9, 2012

The Djinn's Dilemma by Mina Khan

Rukh O'Shay, half-djinn and assassin, is used to taking out the bad guys. But his latest assignment, Sarah White, is nothing like he expected. A glimpse of her bright aura reveals her gentle spirit, while her luscious beauty clouds his mind and makes him long for only one thing--to taste her.

Sarah shares the feeling of raw desire at Rukh's touch. He can turn her on with a glance, and satisfies desires she didn't even know she had. But Rukh had been hired to kill her--and the only way to save her is to find out who wants her dead before someone else finishes the job....

Where to Buy

A paranormal romance that's a bit out of the ordinary, this novella still is well deserving of a place among those dealing with more familiar beings. While the story often seems a bit rushed, and many things happen a bit too quickly to be entirely believable, the writing in this one is top notch and keeps you engaged and willing to overlook the awkward plot moments.

Sarah is a reporter working on a story that she's been keeping pretty tightly under wraps. Only it isn't entirely a secret, and unknown to her, someone who knows she's working on it has hired an assassin to stop her story via drastic means if needed. This is where Rukh, a djinn-human hybrid, comes in for he is the assassin that was hired to do the job. He begins questioning his assignment from the first time he sees Sarah, partly because he can see that her aura is pure and innocent of any kind of evil deed that might make someone want to kill her, and partly because he finds himself irresistibly attracted to her. The attraction proves to be mutual once he is obliged to reveal himself to Sarah, and thus begins a whirlwind tale of combustible chemistry, romance, intrigues, and trying to stop whoever it is that wants Sarah dead.

Sarah is a very independent woman with a gentle, giving heart, who is nevertheless a tenacious reporter who's not afraid to pursue a story that is likely to become the scandal of the year. She may not be aware that someone has hired an assassin to stop her, but she surely would have to know that she's swimming in dangerous waters and poking her nose into the business of some very important and influential people who could do her a great deal of harm in a great many ways physical and financial. And yet there often seems to be a certain sort of naivete about her that makes you wonder if she really does realize how potentially explosive the situation she is creating is, for she mostly just talks about it as though it were any other story she might write. She knows that the things she will be revealing will set off a scandal most likely, but she seems oblivious to the fact that doing so might place her in danger. Despite however rose colored her outlook on the world might be at times, she's no shrinking violet that will let a man walk all over her, nor does she seem to have any particular need of a man to make her life complete. She might be a bit bookish, and slightly oblivious to things at times, but there aren't any secret yearnings for a man to take her away from it all, or any latent submissive tendencies that make her secretly want to be overpowered or anything. Just a healthy young woman with a fairly healthy attitude toward relationships. Quite refreshing really.

Rukh fits the usual specs for a paranormal hero: large bodied, muscular, sinfully handsome, a take-charge attitude, and a desire to protect the feminine object of his desires - despite the fact that he's been hired to kill said object of his desires. He's clearly described in much the same way as any typical Alpha Male type is described, and yet in a lot of ways he doesn't really fit the alpha male mold. He might have a take-charge attitude, yet he treats Sarah very much as an equal, and only occasionally attempts to tell her what to do. Even at his most adamant, however, he always stops short of outright forbidding her to do something, even if he thinks what she intends to do is highly ill-advised at best. He simply makes his feelings on the matter clearly and strongly known, but then stands back to let her do as she will without any further interference. There were actually a few times I wished he were more aggressive or overbearing with her, for he eventually ended up looking somewhat weak really since he sometimes ended up letting her walk over him in his desire to avoid unfairly trying to dictate to her.

Overall, though the story did have its issues, mostly stemming from the short length which forced the action to be rather rushed in several places, I thought this was a very enjoyable read. The story was interesting, with some refreshingly original elements, and there were several things that I wished the author had explored in greater detail, or let develop at a slower pace. A longer word count would have benefited this book in many ways I think. Still, for what it is, I think it was quite good, and I'd recommend it to those who like paranormal romances, perhaps just with a few caveats about needing to make some allowances for the short length. I give it 3½ stars, for while the writing is certainly deserving of 4 stars or better, there were too many minor issues for me to go that high with the overall rating.

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