Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.
Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets.
Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.
A dark twist on the genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him.
SUMMONED is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
Note: SUMMONED contains strong language, naughty scenes, mature content, terrible wishes, mystery, violence, discomfort, explosions, and an apple.
Summoned opens with the kidnapping. Dimitri dislikes kidnappings. Murders are easier for him. He gets in, does the job, and goes home to wait for his next assignment. On this afternoon, he has a precocious nine year old and her stuffed bunny shackled in his back seat. He doesn’t know why his boss wants her, but tells himself that it’s for ransom and she’ll be home before bedtime. He never sees anyone that he brings to Karl’s desert mansion after security drags them from his car, which is why he goes immediately to a bar to forget the afternoon ever happened. While there, he meets Sydney, a sexy blond who’s supposed to meet a friend until she gets stood up. Easy hook-up. No strings attached. At least, that’s the idea at the time.
Dimitri Hayes is an astonishingly complex antihero. He’s a child, a monster, a victim, a sex-fiend, and a bad man’s puppet. His entire reason for existing is to fulfill Karl Walker’s violent wishes. Because the act of being summoned physically moves him, without warning, from wherever he is to a special room in Karl’s house, Dimitri’s life outside of work is incredibly limited. He can’t have a part-time job, make friends. His sex-life consists of one-night-stands that he rudely kicks out in the morning to ensure they don’t call back. He doesn’t like it, doesn’t want to do what he does, but he literally has no choice. The magical bond that tethers him to his master is cruel when challenged. As it stands, there’s nothing in his life worth the trouble. So he lies to himself about who his victims are to make them worthy of the fate he brings to their door.
Syd, a “rock star” he meets by chance, was supposed to help him forget his troubles for a few hours and get lost. Getting rid of her, and her insatiable sexual appetite, proves to be impossible. Despite Dimitri being a complete jerk to her, she keeps calling, texting, and showing up at his house, until she becomes something he can’t live with or without.
I was delighted by the evolution of Dimitri’s character over the course of story. We are introduced to a deviant, who is somewhat weak-minded and apathetic, and he grows into someone with a moral compass that finds its true North and holds onto it for dear life. (And not just his own.)
But don’t get me wrong, Summoned is not a romance. In fact, I was neither surprised nor disappointed by the blood bath at the end. (No, that’s not a spoiler. Surely you can guess by now that people die, and I’m not telling whom.)
If you’ve seen me around the Internet, you might have read four things about me. I like a) organic scenes, b) inquisitive characters, c) slow reveals, and d) snowballing climaxes. In Summoned, Rainy Kaye solidly hits a, c, and d, which makes it a story pretty much written just for me. Even throws in a puzzle and Pre-Muslim Arabia at total bonuses.
Still, the author gave me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review, and the book is not perfect. Some things are errors that I fully expect to be cleaned up before publication, because Immortal Ink cares about stuff like that. I also found details that I personally would have chosen to do differently, but Ms. Kaye didn’t actually write it just for me. It would suck of me to hold those against her, and I try hard not to suck.
I give Summoned 4.5 stars, and I round up. I recommend it to fans of dark paranormal that don’t mind mature content with their felonies and apples.