Drowning in bad luck, Cari doesn’t know where to turn when the unexpected happens. A loyal customer at her Key West café has left her an inheritance. She hopes for cash to save her restaurant but receives an old brass bottle that looks like a sex toy…and has Jez inside.
At six-four, he’s built like a gladiator, has looks to die for, and oozes sexuality. He’s also a jinn.
Color her enthralled and excited. Besides being one hot dude, he grants wishes, right?
Not for her. Ironclad tradition demands he serve men, not women. Of course, if she wants to get down and dirty with him, he’ll gladly oblige.
Let the battle of the sexes begin. Before long, their differences fall away as they indulge in every lusty desire, while falling hard and fast. Ah, paradise. Until trouble arrives, threatening to pull them apart forever…
Once inside her snug kitchen, Cari flicked on the light to chase away the increasing gloom. Despite the dreary day, her apartment was still warm and fragrant from the buñuelos she’d made for breakfast, cinnamon and other spices scenting the air.
She placed her purse on the table, then used a fresh towel to dry her face, hair, and throat. Peeling off her soggy clothes seemed like a great idea, but anticipation kept her from it. She dropped her damp apron on a chair and reached inside her bag for the container.
Wait. Maybe there was a reason Antonini had held it in a dishrag. The bottle might be more fragile than it looked or felt.
With a towel in hand, she pulled the container from her purse, set it on the table, and frowned. There were odd symbols carved into the metal, not hieroglyphics, but images resembling penises and balls in every shape and size.
She curled her upper lip, not understanding why an old lady would have something like this, unless Ethyl’s longings ran deeper than her love for Cuban fare or she’d liked to shop for smutty antiques.
So much for the promised nice weather, though the storm added a nice touch to her suspense as to the treasure awaiting her.
Given how much the bottle weighed, she predicted gold inside. However, if something clinked rather than rattled, that might mean jewels. She held the container to her ear and shook it.
Thunder cracked. A faint growl and clawing followed it.
Worried an animal was trying to dig its way inside her place, she checked her windows. Nothing out there except flowers and bushes drowning in the rain.
Back at her table, she couldn’t wait a second longer and twisted the knob to open the container.
The top didn’t budge.
She tried repeatedly until she was breathless and sweating.
The fucking thing wouldn’t turn. The nicks and dents she’d noticed earlier proved to be pry marks around the top that resembled the crown on a man’s cock.
“Crap.” She wasn’t equipped to break this thing or saw it open.
After searching her kitchen for something to use, she settled on rubber gloves to add traction to her grip. With her thighs holding the bottle, she wrenched the top as hard as her strength allowed.
The knob not only loosened but flew off—similar to a cork on a champagne bottle—and hit her wall, denting the plaster.
There goes my security deposit.
By itself, the bottle trembled between her thighs, the metal growing warmer. Not an unpleasant feeling but fucking weird.
Appalled, she flung the container on her table.
It thudded dully against her purse and shook violently.
“Shit, shit, shit!” The damn thing was going to blow. Her spicy, rich cooking must have pushed Ethyl into an earlier grave than she wanted, and this was payback. Terrified, Cari dropped to her knees, desperate to crawl to the door and outside. Frozen in horror, she hunkered behind a chair for protection.
Gold-and-black smoke poured from the bottle.
I’m going to die.
Hard rain struck the windows, but they didn’t blow out from an explosion.
Rather than the smoke rising to the ceiling, it curled in a slow spiral, then drifted away from the table to her side.
Shuddering, she crab-walked away from it.
The smoke followed and took form.
Feet appeared first, at least a size fifteen, the toes well-formed and long. Muscular calves and thighs materialized next, dark hairs hugging them, the complexion olive.
She stopped edging back and leaned forward instead.
Upper thighs and narrow hips emerged, a startling-white fabric tied around the groin area, the ends hiding the good stuff. Not a loincloth exactly, more like a scarf exposing a rock-hard ass.
The abs and chest were no different, each sculpted, the small nipples a dark brown shade, similar in color to refried beans. The pecs quivered on each new breath. However, there was no navel.
This can’t be happening.
She raised her face.
The smoke broke apart, floated to the ceiling, and disappeared.
Leaving a thirtysomething man standing before her.
He opened his lushly lashed eyes.
Her breath caught. His irises were closer to gold than hazel, his shoulder-length brown hair thick and wavy, stubble outrageously sexy, mouth sensuous, one dark eyebrow arched at her.
He planted his hands on his lean hips.
Holy fuck. A gladiator couldn’t have owned more muscles, though they weren’t overdone like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, but totally male.