Werewolf Hector Gonzalez is on a tech time out. He knew using technology to magic without asking permission first was risky, but he thought he could work out all the kinks before bringing it to anyone’s attention. Now, the tribunal has forbidden Hector from using tech of any kind while they figure out what to do with him. Hector is lucky that he has good friends he can rely on while he has no access to any technology.
Raffi Abbas is so far down on his luck, he can’t see a way out. He’s severely behind on his rent, has no money, and he’s doing his best to just survive. When Hector comes into Raffi’s work, he catches Raffi’s attention. But Raffi’s preoccupation with Hector causes him to mess up another customer’s order, and it’s the final straw for Raffi’s boss. Now, he’s without a job and no hopes of paying his back rent.
Hector took more than one wrong turn on his errand, but he ends up meeting Cute Burger Guy, and even though he doesn’t catch CBG’s name, Hector’s wolf has sat up to pay attention for probably the first time ever. When he sees CBG walking along the side of the road, Hector stops. Raffi and Hector have an instant connection. Hector wants to help Raffi, who is clearly down on his luck, and Raffi finds himself trusting Hector where he normally wouldn’t.
But as much as Hector wants to be with Raffi, the Secrecy Pact means he can’t be with a human. The more time they spend together though, the more Hector puts together pieces. There’s something different about Raffi that sparks hope for a future together. When the truth is revealed, it sets in motion events that neither man expects.
Skinny on the Djinni is the latest installment in Russell’s Mymatched Universe. It is technically a standalone, as the author gives all pertinent details for this story to make complete sense. That being said, however, as with most connected universe books, there’s extra nuance added when you’ve read the other books in the series. In particular, there are some secondary characters here who we’ve seen before and, in this book, we get answers to some questions. You definitely could start here, but for me, the reading experience is more complete having read the books up to this point, and that’s something to keep in mind.
I really enjoyed both the MCs so much in this book. Hector is a little bit broken due to his choices, and even though it maybe wasn’t the smartest thing he’s ever done, his heart was definitely in the right place. He’s a sweetheart who just wants to help, and that shows in everything. But he also is adhering to the consequences of his actions, which shows a morality I really liked. Raffi, though, broke my heart from the start. He’s in such a bad place, and he’s trying so hard just to survive. I couldn’t wait for him to finally catch a break. Hector’s reaction to Raffi was genuine and sweet, and I loved that Raffi readily accepted his help, going with his gut, and that it finally gave him a hand up.
These guys have chemistry right from the start, and even though the events of the book basically take place over one day, it didn’t feel forced or rushed. Their connection is so strong that it’s easy to be swept up in their burgeoning relationship. And though there’s no sex here, that didn’t diminish the heat between them. Raffi and Hector just fit together, and there’s a sweetness and awkwardness to them adds to their charm. I liked the way they complemented each other and shored each other up as they navigated the obstacles before them.
Overall, this was a great addition to the universe and I really liked not only seeing Hector get his own story, but that we got some answers to suspicions I’ve had about other characters. On top of that, there’s another clue and theory about one of the larger plot points that runs through the books, but that hasn’t been dealt with too much yet. All in all, this book was a nice read that adds to the world as a whole. If you’re a fan of this author and the universe, then definitely pick this one up. And if you haven’t given it a try yet, this would be a good place to start and then go back and catch up.