Allie McCormack casts a magic spell on us in her first book in a series titled, “Wishes in a Bottle.” Her world building in the seldom explored Arabian world mythology paints a rich mosaic in a contemporary world. The Djinn are as you would expect magical wish givers with Julian being a twist. The style of the story evokes strong emotions from heartbreaking to hilarious. McCormick has a way to tie you empathetically to her characters, each one crafted for a purpose. The romance between the two leads develops in a way that I was rooting for them early on and wondering how they could pull it off with everything that was going on. I enjoyed the pacing as we slip into their world and learn the rules of it.
I look forward to the next installments in this series “Wishes & Dreams.”
"Wishes in a Bottle" by Allie McCormack is a heartwarming, emotional paranormal romance. Julian is sympathetic hero and the heroine, Alex, is appealing. Side characters have their own journeys (or the beginnings of them) but their stories don't overwhelm the main romance. Julian and Alex's love story exists in a web of other relationships, which is a realistic portrayal of how romantic love is part of other forms of caring. The magical element is excellently imagined and reaches a satisfying conclusion (keeping it vague to avoid spoilers). A wonderful book in with the real magic is the gift of compassion.
“Wishes in a Bottle” by Allie McCormack is a story that has a bit of everything from romance to action, from mages to Djinn to shape shifters, and some of the most empathetic, true to life human characters I’ve read in a while.
Allie McCormack has got her stuff together. Whether the scene is one of great sadness and loss, jubilant triumph, a scary nail biter, or erotic romance (no worries, nothing hardcore)—she hits the nail squarely on the head. It’s hard for me to admit this, macho guy that I am; but there are a couple of scenes in “Wishes in a Bottle” that literally induced misty eyes. Anyone who can bring out the emotional highs and lows of a reader has gone beyond simply “doing it right.” The story is not a thriller, though it is surely a page turner, and one you’ll not soon forget. Get it, read it, review it, and then go get another of the several books published by Allie McCormack—I will.
Great use of fictional characters with real human lives
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Story brings together so much everyday family issues and mixes those with some interesting fictional characters like djinn, shapeshifters, and mages. Results are tragic, heartwarming, and even a bit funny. Keeps me interested and turning pages. I liked the Uncommon Threads philanthropic venture. Shows how much good sharing can do. Good work Allie McCormick! ;~)))
When I saw the title of Wishes in a Bottle, it reminded me of the Genie in the lamb of Aladdin. As a Disney-fan, I was curious and requested the arc. Allie McCormack's story of Julian (in a bottle) has a bit of a twist, however. Julian has been cursed to be a genie (or Djinn) in a bottle for over six hundred years ago, because of a spell going haywire. As a human trapped in a bottle and forced to fulfill three wishes of it's owner, he has seen a lot of greed and selfishness.
And not being able to do as you wish, not having a family and being trapped in a bottle for years has made Julian desperate. Because since he can't tell his master how to free him, he will probably never be free. Enter Alessandra, who meets Julian in the hospital while visiting her nearly dying nephew. Julian is instantly attracted to the strong woman, who devotes her life to making the life of others better. After so much greed and dishonesty, Julian is honored to meet her.
But then, Julian is pulled back into his bottle. To be found by his new master: Alessandra. But how can she use her wishes to free Julian? Not eager to spend her wishes, she and Julian start to date and enjoy each others company. Because they know: once the three wishes are used, Alessandra will never see Julian again. While trying to figure out how to stay together, time is running out. Because when Alessandra must choose between someone dying and keeping her wishes, she uses her wishes without a doubt. Four out of five stars from me and a special thank you to Netgalley for providing the arc.
This book had a lot of heart jammed into a paranormal story with djinn and magic.
Julian started his life as a magically gifted man who only wanted to help people. When his magical wish went wrong, he ended up as a mage/Djinn hybrid, stuck tied to a bottle and granting people’s wishes until a predetermined endpoint. He’s unable to inform his “master” what would free him and is pretty sure his torture will never end.
After a particularly nasty master refuses to save a child and instead wishes for jewelry, he feels like life cannot get any worse. Enter Alessandra – the most selfless woman alive. She splits her time between hospice care and working at a women’s shelter. She catches Julian’s eye, even when he is determined to avoid most human attachments.
These two had a really beautiful start of a romance when he is suddenly sucked back into his bottle, only to reappear as slave to Julian’s* wishes. Not nearly as hot as it sounds, they work through it, and they even get a HEA! Alessandra was, by far, the best part of this book. She was a wonderfully beautiful soul and was obviously destined to break his curse. You know what was the worst? Julian’s* family! Once you move beyond the horrible people in their family, the story was pretty enjoyable.
by Carrie's Reviews on GoodReads
*Quick note from Allie: She means Alessandra's... not Julian's!
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