Series: Bottled Magic #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 1 January 2011
Reading Challenges: 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Genie Eden did a bad, bad thing to her former master and has been locked up in a bottle ever since as punishment. Her only companion was an egocentric cat called Obo until the owner of the antique shop where she was incarcerated decided to toss out her bottle. The garbage truck’s mechanical jaws free Eden and plop her into the path of Matt Ewing. Eden and Matt try to avoid the attention of vizier Faruq who is determined to possess Eden.
Eden sees being a genie as a form of slavery and has fought the system (unsuccessfully) for years. When we meet her, she has been incarcerated for so long that the Home Shopping Network and raising orphan dragons are her only forms of entertainment. Eden’s magic backfires after her release which provides much of the humour.
Matt is fairly whiny as his business is failing but he is too proud to accept help from his step-father and brother. He likes to see himself as a knight in shining armour that rescues damsels in distress but that is fairly difficult when he’s competing with magic. I didn’t see him undergoing any great transformation throughout the course of the book which was a shame.
The plot started well but quickly went downhill as the two leads failed to a) stay hidden and b) find the bottle. I get that the first one is hard when butterflies appear out of nowhere once you start having sex but they were so totally inept at it. Lust obviously kicks in fairly quickly for this couple with Eden wanting to jump Matt’s bones almost immediately wearing an I Dream of Genie harem outfit no less. By the time I had sort of wrapped my head around a genie in the modern world, we were transported to the fantastical town of Al-Jarrah. This was so abrupt that it divided the book in two. I got a distinctly Aladdin movie vibe from the town from the inept but creepy villain Faruq to the Aladdin style cave. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if these extreme flights of fancy had been toned down and the two halves of the book were more compatible. The cat however stole every scene he was in and was an absolute delight.
Writing a book based around genies has to be hard as we have such a clear mental image of how they are supposed to look and act from popular culture. I think Fennell tried to squeeze too much of the fantastical elements in to cater for this and the romance suffered as a result.