I absolutely love Nicola E. Sheridan's writing. This is the second book of hers that I have read and I just cannot put them down once I start. I think I might be in love with genie books because of her now. Magical Gains is the precursor to Magical Creations (which you can see my review for at http://www.identitydiscovery.net/2012/02/wordy-wednesday-magical-creations.html and a character interview with Lugh who is ALSO in this book at http://www.identitydiscovery.net/2012/03/magical-creations-interview-with-lugh.html). You do not have to read them in order though in order to enjoy both stories.
This story is about Primrose Brasco who works for the Australian government in the Magical Culture department. She is engaged to a rugby player and also government employee named Ian Beckwith. Both of them are completely human which I am thinking is pretty much a requirement for the Australian government. In this world, Genies are pretty much coveted and hidden. All magical creatures have to register with the government in order for their powers not to be abused and unbalance the economy. No one is allowed to gain fame and fortune via magical means without having to pay a magical gains tax (hence the name of the story). Abdul Imran, the genie of the story is unregistered. He tries very hard not to register because he does not want to be passed along to anyone whom he does not deem worthy. He also could be imprisoned for some of the wishes he has granted in the past. That said, Imran sees Primrose as she passes the antiquities shop that his lamp is being sold at. He instantly is infatuated with her and uses him magic to entice her to come into the store to buy his lamp. Apparently he is normally better at researching the person he wishes to be his master because he was completely unaware that Primrose worked for the government and therefore is completely unable to accept his wishes. He also didn't pay attention to the diamond ring on her hand, which you can guess is a problem for a genie who normally has very close relationships with his mistresses.
Their genie/mistress relationship is strained by Imran's intense desire to be with Primrose and Ian being an abusive and ungrateful fiance. It takes a few months for Primrose to realize that she cannot tolerate Ian any longer. Imran's influence has only the effect of helping Primrose to feel more wanted and show her that she deserves better. Unfortunately, Imran also "helps" his mistress to get away from Ian by magical means and then to flee the country when the government figure outs that she is harboring an unregistered magical being. Things go crazy as everyone Primrose runs into thinks that she is a lady of "virtue" and wants to remove that virtue while Imran goes in search of his lamp. A rogue magician has claimed his lamp and intends to drain him of all his energy, but he must also find Primrose and force her into making her wishes. It get pretty hectic, but you will be engrossed right away and thrilled with the ending! I am looking forward to my next Nicola E. Sheridan read.
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