Book Review – The Skinny on Djinni by E.J. Russell

Publisher: Reality Optional Press
Pages: 215
Characters: Hector/Rafi
POV: 3rd
Genre: Paranormal, Series

Being in tech time-out totally sucks.

Hector Gonzales knew the danger when he hacked the magic grid to marry it with human technology. He’d never imagined this system crash: A total tech suspension while the tradition-bound supe council reviews his case. He’s reduced to running errands for his friends, and seriously? How had people survived before GPS? Then several wrong turns—thank you so much, stupid paper map—lead him to a remote burger joint. And when he spots the cute guy behind the counter? His wolf wakes up and howls You have arrived at your destination.

Getting fired—again—totally sucks.

Rafi Abbas tries to give customers what they want, he really does. However, when he gets distracted by the lovely man with the gorgeous brown skin, he screws up another customer’s order and his boss fires him on the spot. With no money, no job, and soon nowhere to live, Rafi has no business saying yes when the lovely man asks him out. But something about Hector whispers home.

Obeying the Secrecy Pact totally sucks.

To keep the supe community safe, werewolves cannot partner romantically with humans. That rule has been programmed into Hector since he was a pup. But as the day slides from bad to worse to are-you-freaking-kidding-me, Hector sees the moratorium for what it is: ridiculous and outdated. For Rafi, he’s willing to challenge the status quo.

After all, things can’t very well get worse than worst. Right?

The Skinny on Djinni is a M/M paranormal romance set in E.J. Russell’s popular Mythmatched story universe. While it features instinctual attraction, fated mates are not a thing. You’ll recognize some familiar faces from other Mythmatched tales, and although the romance—complete with HEA—stands alone, the story answers a couple of long-standing questions!

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I love this author’s Mythmatched universe and read this story in one sitting. I enjoyed seeing characters from previous books, especially Matt and Jordan, and loved how Hector and Rafi fit into this world.

Both Hector and Rafi are struggling against their natures, and I loved how their being together enables them to embrace who they really are. I liked Hector’s inner war between his need for tech, and being a werewolf, and why he views Wolfie as a separate entity. Rafi’s ability to give people what they need, rather than what they want is a cool twist on an existing mythology, and I liked how it’s taken that much further. I also liked how they work together in that Rafi, who can’t afford technology, needs to learn how to use it, and Hector, who isn’t allowed to use it, must figure out how to do things the old-fashioned way.

I loved seeing Jordan and Doop again! And also the hope that comes with this story that might help him move past what happened.

The worldbuilding is great, and wonderfully detailed. The plot keeps moving, with several twists and turns as Rafi and Hector run into coincidences, bounty hunters, horrible landlords, ex-bosses, and missing relatives in order to get their HEA. I loved how it tied back into previous books and gave a few answers.

More please.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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