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Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Judi Fennell’s books first caught my attention on Goodreads through their giveaway program called First Reads; I was positive I would enjoy her books because she has written about mermaids and genies, two mythical creatures I adore.

Genie Knows Best is the second in her series called Bottled Magic, but it’s not necessary to read I Dream of Genies first because they do not contain the same characters or a chronological sequence of events. In Genie Knows Best, Samantha Blaine becomes the owner of her late father’s genie lantern. During his life, he kept the genie’s lantern a secret from his only daughter. Kal, the genie, is looking forward to his retirement from the Service. Samantha will be his last master, and it is his desire to make her wish him free. But Kal never expected that he would fall in love with her; if he ever utters those words to Samantha, then he will become mortal and cannot become the vizier in his world.

Samantha is not the only one who knows about Cal, however. Her boyfriend, Albert, has long been waiting for the day he would marry into Samantha’s family and gain access to her vast fortune. One day he witnessed Samantha’s father conjuring up the genie. If Albert were to become the genie’s new master, he would no longer need Samantha or her wealth. Albert now has a new plan, but when Samantha discovers his true feelings about her, he will have to find another way to steal her genie.

Genie Knows Best is a romance novel, but I was more interested in the fantasy aspects of it. I actually found myself skipping over the pages and pages of sex scenes just to get back to the plot line. The characters in Genie Knows Best were hard for me to get attached to, though, and the pacing was really off. Rather than showing us how things are between Albert and Samantha, Fennell spells it out matter-of-factly, and then immediately thrusts Samantha and Kal in the magical land of Izaaz where almost the entirety of the novel occurs.

Judi Fennell has a wonderful imagination, but her writing style, characters, and pacing left a lot to be desired. This will be the last of her books that I will read.

Rating: 1.5/5

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Casablanca. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.