I’m continuing the Sneak Peek Party, revealing little glimpses of our dark secrets. That is, of our collection, DARK SECRETS: A PARANORMAL NOIR ANTHOLOGY.
Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.
Today, I’ve got one from Mina Khan’s story, A DJINN IN THE MIRROR.
A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother.
Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?
Goosebumps raced across Dahlia. Her breathing grew hoarse as the smoke gathered in dark storm clouds above the dusty attic floor a few feet from her. Instead of the acrid stink of fire she expected, the air held the sharp electric scent of rain. Anticipation tightened her chest as the cluster of clouds solidified and reformed into a male figure, into Ashmael. Thankfully, with the robe on.
Dahlia met his gaze. It still held cool contempt that made her want to shrivel and disappear. She didn’t deserve this…judgment. She had a good heart and good intentions. “Once I’m safe, I will free you.”
“When will that be?”
“After I survive my twenty first birthday and I own this house, you will be free. Completely free in about five days from today,” she said. Not even a full week. Her words loosened the tension inside her, filled her with warm hope. Once she owned the house, she’d be free too. Free to live as she pleased. She could roam and explore the world, but then always return home. “I promise.”
A cynical smile quirked his lips. “Forgive me, but experience has taught me not to trust humans. They have a tendency to forget promises.”
Anger shot through her. The djinn was impossible. Hell bent on seeing the worst in her. “Feel free to remind me. Though I plan to keep my word.”
“So you won’t mind if I give you a reminder?”
“What do you mean?”
“In my time, some people tied a thread to a finger as a reminder, others exchanged promise rings.”
Rasputin brushed against her, grounding her. She sneaked a glance at Ashmael’s sharp, handsome face. Dangerous territory. Rings seemed a bit too romantic. “I could do something like a string.”
“You’d have to wear it all the time.”
She figured this was a safe request to give in to. “That’s fine.”
He reached up with one hand, grasped something from the air with a twist and a mutter. Then, smiling, he stepped closer. A black satin ribbon dangled from his fingers. “I get to choose where, or are you going to say no again?”
Dahlia held up her left index finger. “I thought you were going to tie it around a finger.”
“You thought wrong,” he said. “This is way too much ribbon for a finger.”
He trailed the ribbon around her wrist. The soft, shimmery black material slid like a snake on her skin.
“Perhaps not.” He whisked the ribbon away. “Lift up your hair.”
At her glare, he laughed. “Are you regretting your pretty little speech about us being equals?”
The stupid djinn was testing her. She bit her tongue and grasped handfuls of her thick, dark hair and lifted it up. Cool air kissed her bared neck. He stepped close, too close. Heat from his body washed over her, made her dizzy and lightheaded. She almost swooned, but firmed her stance.
His nostrils flared, his breath came fast and ragged. Good, he wasn’t as cool as he pretended to be.
A shiver escaped her when the ribbon dragged across her collarbone as he slipped it around her neck. Would he try to choke her with it? Dahlia’s breath stopped as his warm knuckles brushed against her skin. Warm, not cold like marble. He stepped back. “You can let your hair down now.”
She met his gaze and, even though her arms ached, she continued to hold her hair up. “How does it look?”
Something flared in his eyes, but he blinked it away too fast for her to catch. “Beautiful.”
Add DARK SECRETS to your TBR!
We are now on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26135577-dark-secrets-a-paranormal-noir-anthology