Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: Jack & Djinn (The Houri Legends #1) by Jasinda Wilder

Book coverJack and Djinn (The Houri Legends #1) by Jasinder WIlder
Purchase link: Amazon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame

Miriam’s life is a hot mess. Ben won’t let her go and she knows she can’t take anymore. She simply will not and cannot withstand another insult, another drunken rage, another blow. But she has nowhere to go, no one to help her.

One night, Ben’s alcohol-fueled abuse explodes hotter than it ever has before, and Miriam isn’t sure she’ll survive it this time.

Then Miriam meets Jack. Sweet, handsome, brave, and totally unafraid of the strange and often scary things that have begun happening whenever Miriam’s emotions run high.

As things between Miriam and Jack heat up, so does Ben’s jealous rage, as well as the mysterious fire that seems to burn hotter and hotter inside Miriam. She quickly discovers two things: one, that she has a lot more power and strength hidden within herself than she’d ever imagined, and two, that Jack’s gentle, unwavering love can heal a lifetime of wounds and scars.

Will they survive to explore all that could be between them?

This is the fourth battered heroine book I've read in a week, so I've become somewhat familiar with the theme and have come to have certain expectations from it. I understand that domestic abuse is a terrible thing and oftentimes the victims find themselves in a situation that makes it hard for them to get out of that situation or that they keep going back to it, out of habit, fear or a lack of worth. It often takes years and years of love and healing for the victim to move on.

All that said, when I'm reading a romance, I want a heroine that I can empathize with and cheer for. I had a hard time doing that with Miriam, even though I really wanted to. I found her behavior frustrating throughout the course of the book. I wanted her to take more control of overcoming her situation with Ben and I wanted her to take responsibility for her own actions. I felt that she used Jack as a catalyst to get out of a bad situation, and at the same time an excuse to go back to a situation that she knew and was familiar with even though it was horrible and painful.

Jack was wonderful. He was loving and kind and understanding, but he was also sure of his own worth and would not come second to a person as terrible as Ben. He knew what he wanted and he went for it but at the same time, he understood where Miriam was at in her own head space and gave her room to make her own decisions, to take responsibility for her life. At times I really felt for Jack because he believed in Miriam and wanted her but at the same time, I felt like he was being used even though he was very much a trigger the way that Miriam saw herself and what her life had become.

The paranormal aspects of this story were negligible and really didn't come to the forefront until towards the very end of the story. I felt as though this was more of a contemporary romance which highlighted domestic abuse first and foremost with a touch of paranormal to it rather than a paranormal romance. I think I would have liked to see much more of the paranormal aspects of the story portrayed in greater depth as I really enjoyed the world building that was going on there. I hope the next story does that.

This story seemed to be very much a platform for Jasinda Wilder to deal with the issues of domestic abuse and put out the message that the victim deserves better than what she is faced with while under the thumb of the abuser. In fact, Jack said very often in the story to Miriam that she "deserves better". I felt like at some points of the story, it got a little preachy because of this.

Overall, I thought the writing was good for the story and that it was relatively enjoyable though there were many moments of aggravation and frustration as I waded through the drama that was Miriam's life. I am, however, intrigued enough by the overall djinn story arc that I am interested in reading the next book when it comes out.

A couple of quotes from the book that stood out to me:

"Carson stood up and wiped the pen on his pant leg, wishing he hand't just poked a dead body with it - he had a tendency to chew on his pens."

"I might not understand why you stick around a cocksucker like that, but what I do understand is that you shouldn't. You're beautiful, Miriam. You deserve better. You may not believe it, but you do."

* This book was sent to me by the author for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own. I received no compensation for reading and reviewing this story.

View all my reviews

About the author

Juliette CrossNEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, WALL STREET JOURNAL and international bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. Her bestselling titles include ALPHA, STRIPPED, WOUNDED, and the #1 Amazon and international bestseller FALLING INTO YOU. You can find her on her farm in Northern Michigan with her husband, author Jack Wilder, her five children and menagerie of animals.

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