Dark, dangerous, exotic, and all too irresistible, the djinn, Raheem wreaks havoc on Elise Beauchamp’s ordered, uncomplicated life the moment he appears. There’s no doubt in Elise’s mind that he can create a fire in her blood, but can he grant her the one wish her heart truly desires?
Word Count: 31,671
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, November 2003
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
It had a strange, pungent odor. It wasn’t unpleasant, just powerful, particularly considering the phial appeared to be empty. Elise Beauchamp wrinkled her nose, jerking away from the tiny bottle she’d just opened and waved beneath her nose.
“Some love potion,” she muttered under her breath. Not that she’d believed any of that malarkey the vendor had spouted. It had sounded good, though, and it wasn’t as if the old trinket had cost that much.
Still, she didn’t know why she’d bought it. She didn’t particularly care for jewelry. She’d only picked it up to study it because of the tiny, cunningly wrought, glass bottle secured to the chain like a charm. Noticing her interest, the vendor had immediately begun to weave tales about it’s history, asserting finally that there was a love potion inside the bottle that would bring her true love to her.
That alone had almost been enough to make her put it right back, because she’d already found her true love--and lost him. She supposed, though, maybe, in the recesses of her subconscious, hope still dwelt that she was not destined to live the remainder of her life alone, and she hadn’t been able to leave the charm because she couldn’t leave hope behind.
She’d brought very little money with her and had had to resort to counting the last of her change just to pay for it. She’d told herself that she would just wander around and check out the wares the flea market merchants were hawking, just so she didn’t have to sit at home and think about the fact that today would’ve been her second anniversary .... If John had only stayed home that day, instead of rushing off to work ... or if they hadn’t overslept ... or if they’d only slept just a few minutes later.
It tortured her almost as much to think life without John could be counted in minutes as it did having to learn to live without him. If he hadn’t arrived at that particular intersection at that particular moment ....
Sadness filled her, but the tears had all been cried long ago.
Slowly, the memories receded and she became aware of her surroundings once more, aware that a dark shadow had fallen over her. She looked up. Comprehension wasn’t immediate. Sluggishly, her brain assimilated the fact that there was a person standing before her--a man.
Her first impression was ‘naked’. He wasn’t, of course. Just the next thing to it.
Must be some displaced Yankee, she decided. They might be in Florida, but natives still considered February winter and dressed accordingly. They certainly didn’t go around in public places bare chested.
It was Gasparilla, though, not nearly as wild as Louisiana’s Mardi Gras, but some people went a little overboard.
He wasn’t even wearing pants! Not what she’d call pants, anyway. It looked more like those filmy things belly dancers wore, fitted at the waist and ankles, but baggy everywhere else. Since she was sitting on a bench and he was standing, his ‘package’ was practically nose level.
It was an impressive package.
It occurred to her that she’d been staring at ‘it’ transfixed for several moments. Even as her gaze jerked upward in the direction of his face she felt blood begin to pound in her cheeks.
She forgot all about being embarrassed, however, when her gaze reached his face.
He didn’t look at all pleased. His lips were drawn into a tight, thin line, his dark brows arched but pulled into a sharp v above the bridge of a noble blade of a nose.
It wasn’t the scowl on his face that stunned her, however. It wasn’t the wicked looking, neatly trimmed ‘Fu Manchu’ that framed his hard mouth. It wasn’t even the scalp lock of silkly black hair fluttering from the crown of his head, or his eyes, more gold than brown, glittering with intelligence, curiosity--animosity.
The moment she gazed up into his face, it was almost as if she’d been struck a physical blow. A shaft of pure animal lust shot through her, right down to her toes, something so alien to her that she wasn’t even certain of what had happened at first. It was almost as if she’d been struck by a bolt of lightning.