The Genie Smolders, book #2 of Kellyann Zuzulo’s Zubis Chronicles, is once again a sexy, suspenseful and thrilling read. It continues the tale of the passionate love between the Genie Zubis and Bethany O’Brien, the reincarnation of the ancient priestess, Lina. Their ill fated love affair during the time of Solomon led to the brutal murder of Lina, resulting in Zubis and two other genies, Borzal and Imtiri being punished and banished from the kingdom of Solomon and imprisoned in copper vessels for centuries and bound to fulfilling the three wishes of the humans who find their vessels. If you have not read the first book, The Genie Ignites (click for review), please be aware that this review contains spoilers relating to that book.
The Genie Smolders continues almost two years after the conclusion of The Genie Ignites. Bethany does not know whether her desperate actions to save Zubis‘ life succeeded or resulted in his death. Bethany has since given birth to Fia, Zubis’ daughter, and as she decides to once again venture to the Middle East to find out if Zubis lives, Imtiri, the genie who murdered her in her incarnation as Lina, awakes. Imtiri not only seeks vengeance for the death of her fellow genie Borzal, but to once again secure what she views as the rightful place of the Jinn, as rulers of humankind. Imtiri has many allies and plays a dangerous game, whereas Bethany and Zubis are surrounded by enemies and deceit. Imtiri is particularly keen to ensure the downfall of Bethany, who as her malachi, bound to her through blood or death, is a threat to her life.
To safeguard their love, daughter and the fate of the world, Bethany and Zubis also have to do battle with a much more powerful and ancient enemy who is allied to Imtiri. There is also the mysterious Veil of Thoth, whom we met in book 1, who is pledged to eradicate all genies who seek to use Bethany and her power and influence over Zubis and other genies for their own ends. The enigmatic characters of the Interpol agent Abel Barnasha and the British agent Derek Martin, who we met in the previous novel, play a key role, as do other familiar characters who appear. We are also introduced to new characters from the world of the Jinn. The Genie Smolders is a thrilling and magical read, with a number of surprising plot twists and it was difficult to put the book down.
Bethany’s love for Zubis has not wavered, but she is besieged by doubts about whether Zubis can possibly love her, a frail human, with a lifespan over in the blink of an eye in terms of the longevity of the Jinn. She fears that he wishes to return to Jinnistan and knows that humans are not able to travel there. I loved how Bethany’s memories of herself as the priestess Lina, the Asima Uruk, continued to come to the fore in this book, allowing her to grow in knowledge, confidence and powers. She also shows a lot of spunk and fortitude in how she faces her many adversaries, human and Jinn in her quest to secure a safe future for both Zubis and Fia, whom she is fiercely protective of.
Zubis, who has been recovering since the events at the end of book 1, fears that Bethany will think that he has abandoned her and that any affection she had for him will have diminished. He has a fierce desire to protect both Fia and Bethany, fearing that the ancient enemy about to rise will not baulk at sacrificing any one of them to secure its evil intent. Zubis is an alpha male who is used to getting his own way without question. However, Bethany is no pushover and challenges him when she does not agree with him and their relationship is one of equals. The lovemaking scenes between them are sensual, inventive and super hot. Indeed, Zubis utilises his awesome genie powers fully when it comes to lovemaking, making for some lengthy and scorching scenes!
The author shows her wealth of knowledge of the beliefs and superstitions relating to the Jinn, drawing on a multitude of myths and legends which refer to their creation, abilities and homeland of Jinnistan. We learn more about the different types of Jinn and their powers and there are numerous references to biblical and ancient text, prayers and incantations. The descriptions of the Middle East are evocative, painting colourful pictures in my mind’s eye. There are also vivid scenes of violence and magic as Zubis and Bethany battle their enemies. I shall be forever rubbing copper vessels in the hope that my own Zubis like hero will appear!
If you have read book 1, The Genie Ignites (click for review), you will almost certainly want to read this book. I strongly recommend this series to lovers of paranormal romance and romantic suspense, who like alpha males, strong heroines and a thrilling action packed read. Kellyann Zuzulo has created a magical world in the Zubis Chronicles and I look forward to exploring it further in any future instalments.
A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar http://www.gopublished.com/