FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!
Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…
Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.
But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.
Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart…
Blake's innocuous first novel, the first in a projected series, suggests that Baba Yaga, the child-eating witch of Russian folklore, has gotten a bad rap. In Blake's version, Baba Yaga is a title held by gorgeous human witches who maintain the balance between humans and the supernatural. One Yaga, going by the name Barbara Yager while traveling through contemporary upstate New York, stumbles upon an ongoing missing-children case that appears to have magical causes. Recently bereaved smalltown sheriff Liam McClellan serves as her love interest and co-detective, and some stock evil developers and wicked fairytale meanies try but fail to provide an air of menace. Blake's tendency to keep adding new characters to a meandering and predictable plot consistently mars the fun of her competent heroine and charmingly described countryside.
A new take on Baba Yaga
Bad things are happening in Dunville, NY. Children are disappearing, leaving the townfolk fearful and on edge. Sheriff Liam McLellan is at wit's end, and quickly losing credibility, the longer he is unable to crack the case. The last thing he needs is to deal with a stranger in town, especially when everyone is suspicious already. Barbara Yager is obviously not a local. With her exotic looks and accent, an ever-changing Airstream camper, and a dog that looks more like a small bear, she's sure to stir things up. Liam's just not sure that he's ready for all that that means.
Now, I don't know about anyone else, but, for me, the idea of Baba Yaga conjures up images of a scary old crone, who wasn't particularly fond of children. Deborah Blake, however, has taken the Baba Yaga mythology and run with it. WICKEDLY DANGEROUS is a well-written and engaging take on the folklore associated with the Russian witch. While there are definitely romantic aspects to the story, it really is more of a paranormal mystery, with epic characters (Day, Sun, and Knight are wonderful, and Chudo-Yudo steals scenes left and right) and a fast-paced plot that kept me turning the pages. It was impossible not to fall for Liam, broken and humble guy that he is, and to really root for Baba to give in to her human characteristics, as she experienced feelings that she'd never known before. I'm glad to say that WICKEDLY DANGEROUS is the first in a new series, and I can't wait to see what Deborah Blake has in store for her readers.