Dashed


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Title: Dashed
Author: Gwynn Marssen
Publisher: MM Romance Group on GoodReads
Release Date: September 5th, 2015
Genre(s): Paranormal, Magic, Fantasy
Page Count: 154
Reviewed by: PrinCkhera
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Dear Author,
I admit I don’t drink a lot, so last night might not have been the best idea. Everyone knows that summoning demons and alcohol is a very bad not good combo, and that Dark Entities Are Not Personal Playthings or Party Favours.
So, long story short, I’m now stuck with that absurdly hot guy you can see in the picture. He owns my soul and the bastard won’t even tell me what I sold it for…
I just hope that he’s not as bad as that smirk would suggest and that my story will have a happy ending.

Photo Description:
A photograph from the chest up of a stunning dark-haired man. He has his hands behind his head and he’s looking into the camera with a look that is both devious and challenging. The smirk around his lips doesn’t promise much good— or a lot of it— depending on your perspective.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s Love is an Open Road” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

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Well, this was absolutely… delightful.

3.5 Stars rounded up because this was free, yet better than quite a number of books you’d end up paying for, along with being my first genie (Dash would not approve) Djinn book. Ever.

“Then what have you been so stupid to sell your soul for?”
“You think I’m dumb enough to sell my soul to get laid?”
“Well… yes. He’s that hot. So what was it then?”
I looked at my hands. “I don’t know. He won’t tell me. I might’ve been drunk.”

From the first meeting between Dash and Pumpkin I had this huge smile plastered on my face. The bickering, the banter, the UST, Pumpkin’s inability to hide his attraction because the Djinn could read his mind. But, the way Pumpkin was acting, it wouldn’t have taken a rocket scientist to figure it out.

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God. That initial conversation. That dawning realization of WTF was a guy that hot doing in his room to I sold my soul for… something he couldn’t even remember. Yes. Apparently that actually happens. The author took that prompt and seriously rolled with it.

So, what does it mean exactly? What is he going to do with your soul? And what will it do to you?”
I swallowed. “I don’t know. I’m not even sure he’s not fucking with me.”

For a second there I thought he actually was fucking with him. That he hadn’t given up his soul. That just made everything more interesting.

I’ll be honest.

I was going through a free-fic download binge. The Love’s Landscapes event, as well as others, by the MM Romance Group on Goodreads sometimes do that to me. I open a bunch of tabs, then go through the stories for ones that catch my eye and put them on shelves. I’m a hoarder, or rather, I have hoarder tendencies which is why that list gets so very long. For some reason the blurb just caught my eye and I decided to actually read it.

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Now, take into consideration, I had been going through a number of pieces written for the event and some – and don’t take this the wrong way because authors that are willing to spend time, effort, dedication into writing a story for free so we readers can have our fill? They’re fucking amazing. No other word. – end up being a bit sloppy. Mostly because there wasn’t enough time, I suppose.

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Usually they’re short stories. This one was quite a bit longer than most, about thrice the size, but the issues I usually come across, perhaps because of those added pages were not there.

Imagine my gratefulness. Halfway through I had this thought that this was so much better than most of the other stuff I’d read recently. I liked the characters. Pumpkin was hilarious from the first page onward. What would have been amazing was if we’d also had Dash’s POV? But, maybe I’m just being greedy and wanting more.

We get quite a lesson in Djinn-ology by Dash. The author used the Djinn and went with it. Guys. He’s also absolutely devastating to one’s heart.

“So you like big, bad, powerful, and out for destruction.” Dash smirked devilishly. “Please explain to me why you hate me so much?”

Bad-boy complex anyone? As I said, devastating. Dash was intriguing and he did change from not giving a shit to something much more. The shifts in behaviour could be considered somewhat abrupt though. And also – leaving Pumpkin alone to end up in a jail (after what the both of them had just done)? Not okay. At all. However, you’re constantly guessing when they’re finally going to resolve all that UST until they finally just get on with it. They were kind of adorable.

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“Let me explain something about compliments, Dash. They are supposed to make people feel better. So they need to be positive. You don’t tell people their presence annoys you. You actually tell them something positive. Like how beautiful their eyes are.”
“Why would you compliment people on their eyes? It’s not like you did something to get those pretty green eyes.”

I ended up really liking these two. Even more when they were together. And let’s just say they were never apart. The author gave hints, clues about what’s happening. Perhaps in the end there was a lot of angst.

Spoiler
Znd I didn’t completely understand why Pumpkin couldn’t have just wished him free to walk the Earth with him
It seemed kind of redundant, and then it was solved so easily. Though the resolution the author came up with was brilliant. There was even an epilogue!

“Let’s just say there are some very confused mortals somewhere looking for their lunch.”
“That’s stealing,” I protested, even while taking a bite of my hamburger.
“I can send it back if your morals are troubling you?”
I thought. My stomach was troubling me more. I would simply give back by donating to the poor. This hamburger was good enough to have come from an expensive place. I was stealing from the rich, and I would give back to the poor. Very Robin Hood of me

What I would have liked was more information on the really really old wizard (like thousands of years old)

Spoiler
I would have liked more backstory, and I know Dash explained his side of the story before, and we get a sense from the artefacts left behind. But, that all-powerful wizard barely said a line before he was extinguished. Now, I’m not one for monologues or anything, which would have been the expected thing, but this was the other side of the spectrum and felt a bit too abrupt.

I would have also just liked more. The Djinn has a plan to make those that have wronged him pay. I would have liked to see him execute said plan. He gets derailed rather quickly, and didn’t he also have a mission to save all the enslaved Djinn in the world? Whatever happened to that? We don’t know. The Djinn that are saved, the Djinn that aren’t, knowing more about them, learning more about their dimension would have helped. Also, Pumpkin. Is he a witch? Because he can summon demons and stuff, obviously it runs in the family, but he’s never actually given a label? It would have been nice to know.

I guess, just more backstory would have been lovely, but that’s also why the score’s 3.5. Anything extra is there because of the originality of this concept, the author following the prompt really well and incorporating it into something that was so much fun to read.

In the end, it’s a story I’d really recommend you give a shot. There’s literally nothing to lose. Because. Again. It’s FREE. Maybe I just really like free stuff.

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“Hell’s got IT?”
“Yes, of course. Who do you think invented Candy Crush?

I knew there was a blasted reason that every time I opened that game, I ended up losing hours of my life I’d never get back.

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You can download this book for free on the MM Romance Group‘s website.

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