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Wickedly Dangerous, by Deborah Blake

Wickedly Dangerous CoverWickedly Dangerous [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] is the first book in a new paranormal romance series from debut novelist Deborah Blake, coming out in five weeks on September 2, and it’s a lot of fun. From the publisher:

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…

As some of you might know, I have a bit of a weakness for updated/retold fairy and folk tales, so seeing Baba Yaga brought into the 21st century with an enchanted Airstream trailer (complete with a fridge that at any given time might contain anything from baked chicken to an endless supply of cherry pie), a dragon disguised as a big old pit bull, and a load of magic, was pretty much guaranteed to draw me in.

Barbara is a great protagonist, powerful and compassionate, but also a bit out-of-touch with her human side. That happens when you spend most of your life moving about, hanging out with the supernatural, and never building any long-term relationships with mortals. Her love interest, Liam, was engaging as well, being a small-town sheriff with a good heart and some romantic/emotional scars, dealing with the double-barreled crap gun of corrupt politics and a case he’s not equipped to understand. They make a good team, and Blake definitely creates some good chemistry between them.

I winced a little at the treatment of Liam’s ex-wife. She’s quite broken, and at times it felt like she was there more as a plot device than as an actual character.

It looks like each book in the series will follow a different Baba Yaga, which I like. It means the book has a satisfying ending and a full plot arc, but also promises more to come. The epilogue sets up the next book, Wickedly Wonderful, which comes out in December 2014 and tells the story of Beka Yancy.

Wickedly Dangerous is a fun, fast-paced read with heroic protagonists, a clear battle of Good vs. Evil, love and romance, a happy ending, and a lot of nice little details. And also a dog-dragon. (Yes, I really like Chudo-Yudo.)

More info is available on Blake’s website.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2014 10:57 pm (UTC)
Note to self: save ALL the money for September 2nd. I already know of two must-buy books for me coming out on that date, looks like this will be #3. (Baba Yaga. Dog-dragon. *makes gimme hands*)
Jul. 29th, 2014 11:02 pm (UTC)

I'm sure the book is great, but all I can think of, when confronted with a book cover featuring a Baba Yaga character in a midriff-bearing top, is this poem...
Jul. 29th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC)
I love that poem :-) (And for the record, at no place in the novel does Baba/Barbara wear a shirt like the one on the cover. However, it is a good picture of Chudo-Yudo, so I'll allow it.)

Thanks for the great review, Jim! Of course, now that you have found a weak spot, you will be forced to read all my books BEFORE they go into print. You have no one to blame but yourself.
Jul. 29th, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
Also, just for the record, you were one of the authors (there were a few of them) who inspired me to write an updated fairy tale of my own. So again, all your fault.
Jul. 30th, 2014 08:50 pm (UTC)

Of course, now that you've revealed this little tidbit, I'll expect a cut of all royalties ;-)
Jul. 31st, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
Sure thing! Where do you want me to send your $2.57?
Jul. 30th, 2014 01:40 am (UTC)
Ooh, sounds fabulous! Will have to add this to my list of what to buy.
Jul. 30th, 2014 02:00 am (UTC)
Sounds like a good antidote for the Kevin Hearne "Druid" books. I bounced HARD off the first one because his protagonist seems to be 900 going on 19 -- immature and annoying. But apparently a bunch of people liked it, because there are 3 or 4 of them now.
Jul. 30th, 2014 11:35 am (UTC)
Part of his persona is the affected twenty-something he puts on like a cloak. He wears a few different ones throughout the series. Part of what has kept the protagonist alive so long is his ability to be overlooked like that, as just another young guy. But when he talks to other long lived folks (and isn't trying to antagonize them or set them off kilter) he drops the valley-boy act. I'm not saying to give it another try, just that the author has a specific reason for the POV he is using for the character.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines

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