Jinn and Juice, by Nicole Peeler

Nicole Peeler's Jinn and Juice is nowhere near as terrible as either its tacky cover art or suggestive tagline (“Don't Rub Me the Wrong Way”) would suggest. On the other hand, that doesn't make it actually good, nor does it prevent the story from dipping into some really shady areas.

999 years and 51 weeks ago, Lyla made a deal with an evil jinni: he would help her escape an arranged marriage, but she would be cursed to spend a thousand years as a jinni herself. Lyla only has a week left of her sentence, but there is suddenly a major roadblock on her path to freedom: a new Magi, Ozan, has turned up, and he's convinced that the only way to save a young girl is to magically bind Lyla to his service—a decision that could potentially trap her as a jinni forever.

Jinn and Juice does an above-average job of delivering on the "paranormal" part of "paranormal romance". (Seriously, this book has a wider variety of monsters in it than you can shake a stick at.) The author is also clearly aware that any romance between an enslaved woman and her “master” is venturing into extremely dicey territory. Peeler does her best to mitigate this by emphasizing over and over again that Ozan would never take advantage of his ability to force Lyla into a sexual situation. (#NotAllMagi.) Unfortunately, all this does is continually remind the reader of the creepy extent of Oz's power. Oz isn't sexually abusive, but he does enslave Lyla, forcing her into a dangerous situation against her will. I don't care how much I'm supposed to ignore under the “It's just a romance novel!” banner: that is never going to be anything less than totally gross.
Posted by: Julianka


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