Djinn & Tonic
by Stephanie Cage4 out of 5
As fashion photographer Sally Purdew sets up her studio for a special shoot, she wishes for the perfect male model, and he appears. Sal just wants to win at the Alternative Fashion Awards, but her model, Ashtad, is a djinn with the power to grant her wishes and turn her into anything she wants to be. From the pretty English town of Whitby to a tropical beach, Ash whisks Sal away on a magical trip neither of them can forget. When Sal finds herself falling for Ash, she has to decide: do they have a future together, or will his magic always come between them?
Sally is focused on proving herself as a photographer, but wishes she could have the perfect model. In walks Ashtad, who disrupts her life in a magical way.
I got to meet the author at a local Christmas fayre, which is always awesome, and this book was recommended to me.
This is a short, fun story.
First and foremost, I have to say this is full to the brim with wish-fulfilment. I usually find it off-putting when an average woman suddenly attracts the most gorgeous guy, who also happens to want to make her happy; support her career; take her shopping; intuitively knows her every need and pampers them.
BUT this is a genie (or djinn) story. Ashtad's very existence is to grant wishes; and it's all done in an almost tongue-in-cheek way that makes it very amusing.
I really liked the setting, as the story takes place in "real" Whitby. As any resident of any tourist-attracting town or village knows, the location has different faces. This is explored, if a little briefly due to the shortness of the story.
Sally is a nice character, she's very work-focused, and is content with the way her life turned out. She's given up on her unrealistic dreams, and is happy to work towards what she wants.
She's not a full-blown workaholic, but often hides behind it to avoid relationships or taking any notice of guys.
Sally enjoys her job as a photographer, fading into the background. I liked the fact that she has to face her own failings, as she judges beautiful people, just as much as she thinks they judge her.
Ashtad is... well, perfect. He only has a limited time on our plane of existence, and he wants to enjoy every moment of it, preferably with Sally at his side. He's a little but bossy, but genuinely cares for Sally and does everything for her own good.
It all wraps up very quickly, but with enough of an opening for further books.
Overall, I enjoyed this little read, and I look forward to more of Cage's work.