Wickedly Dangerous & Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake

November 9th, 2015 Kimberly Review 48 Comments

9th Nov
Wickedly Dangerous & Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake
Wickedly Dangerous
by Deborah Blake
Series: Baba Yaga #1
Published by: Tantor
Narrator: Romy Nordlinger
Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level:One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

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.Contains mature themes.

Audiobook paranormal ROMANCE smartfunny

Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah Blake is the first book in the Baba Yaga series and was recently released by Tantor Audio featuring Romy Nordlinger as narrator. A twist on the Baba Yaga lore, Wickedly Dangerous delivers a mystery wrapped in paranormal woo-woo with a side dish of romance.

I had a good time listening to Wickedly Dangerous. From its suspenseful story to the humor, and magic. Blake drew me as right into the story and introduced me to Barbara Yager and her dragon-turned-dog in her enchanted Airstream. Now if that sentence did not peak your interest keep reading.

You have probably heard of Baba Yaga—the archetypal wicked witch of Russian tales who lived in a log hut that walked about on chicken legs, rode through the forests in a giant mortar that she steered with a pestle, and ate small children if they didn’t behave. According to legend, Baba Yaga usually appeared as an ugly old crone, although she also wore other faces, and sometimes gave aid to a worthy seeker, if such a one could pass her tests. You probably think you know who Baba Yaga is. But you’d be wrong. Because I am Baba Yaga, and this is my story.

The story takes place in a small Upstate New York town where the local sheriff, Liam McClellan is frustrated by a string of missing children who seems to vanish without a trace. He epitomizes the all-American good guy and I immediately liked him. During routine sweeps of his county, he stumbles upon the Airstream and Baba Yaga. She is posing as a researcher with a doctorate who is collecting and studying plants in the area. She is also an herbalist. Her real reason for being there is that someone summoned her to find a missing child.

“Holy crap!” he said. “That’s a big dog.” “Yes,” said Baba. “But a small dragon.”

Blake’s Baba Yaga is not the old woman; from the tales I remember as a child. Blake has twisted the tale creating a unique heroine. She is still quite witchy and not to be messed with. Clad in biker jeans and tattoos, she loves to be barefoot and has a sweet tooth. When summoned she requires payment and yes sometimes it is in the form of a chicken, but usually it requires the requestor to give up something important. Liam does not know what to make of Barbara and her enormous dog, but soon the two are knee deep in the solving the case.

Three children are missing, someone is sabotaging Barbara’s remedies and there are those in the town that want Liam fired. Barbara senses an Otherworld presence and soon things get complicated for both of them. Blake writes an engaging, suspenseful tale with plenty of twists but she wove in humor and romance keeping the story light. We have a villain that you will love to hate and you will meet creatures from the Otherworld.

The small-town added depth with its nosey neighbors, politics and grieving parents. Of course, as the stranger in town, Barbara soon finds herself suspect numero uno and the fact that someone is trying to sabotage her only complicates matters. The romance was sweet, with touches of heat that consummated in a fade to black scenario.

While this book introduces the series, Blake did a wonderful job of slipping us right into an interesting case while fleshing out the world. We learn a great deal about Baba Yaga without information dumps. I loved some of her awkwardness when dealing directly with humans, but she has a quality about her that endeared her to me. I was completely enthralled by Baba Yaga, the three riders and her dragon companion. They guard the magical waters and doors to the Otherworld. The Fae populate the Otherworld and I loved Blake’s depiction of it, right down to its Queen.

Romy Nordlinger does a wonderful narrating and I loved the Russian accent. I will definitely be continuing this series on audio. The tale was twelve hours in length but it felt like four.

Wickedly Dangerous is the perfect read for anyone looking for a paranormal tale with unique characters, and twists on old lores. Blake’s writing style draws the reader in and holds their attention until the final page.


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Wickedly Dangerous & Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake
Wickedly Wonderful
by Deborah Blake
Series: Baba Yaga #2
Published by: Tantor
Narrator: Romy Nordlinger
Length: 12 hours and 11 minutes
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level:One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

Though she looks like a typical California surfer girl, Beka Yancy is in fact a powerful yet inexperienced witch who's struggling with her duties as a Baba Yaga. Luckily, she has her faithful dragon-turned-dog for moral support when she discovers that a mysterious toxin is driving the Selkie and Mer from their homes deep in the trenches of Monterey Bay. To investigate, Beka buys her way onto the boat of Marcus Dermott, a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine, and his ailing fisherman father.While diving for clues, Beka drives Marcus crazy with her flaky New Age ideas and dazzling blue eyes. She thinks that he's rigid and cranky (and way too attractive). Meanwhile, a charming Selkie prince has plans that include Beka. Only by trusting her powers can Beka save the underwater races, pick the right man, and choose the path she'll follow for the rest of her life.Contains mature themes.

Audiobook INFURIATING paranormal

In Wickedly Wonderful, we move to the California coast and meet Beka Yancy who is not yet thirty and struggled with whether or not to accept her place as Baba Yaga.

Again, I listened to the audio and loved the narrative voice of Romy Nordlinger. This series is perfect for audio and I listened in a few sittings.

Beka lives in a decked out bus that looks like it is straight from the sixties on the outside and is much more modern inside. She lives with her faith-full dragon disguised as a rather large, scary dog.

When a mer-woman pulls Beka and her surfboard into the deep-sea to save her baby from a fishing net, she soon finds herself in trouble with Marcus Dermott, a former U.S. Marine who has returned home to help his ailing father operate his fishing boat. She also discovers that the mer-people have left the safety of their underwater cavern because their old and young are getting sick. Something is poisoning their waters. Beka soon finds herself tasked with saving the Mer-people and assigned a mission by the Queen of the Otherworld.

The mystery was solid and kept me listening even as I struggled with the romance. I did not care for Dermott. He was cold, bossy and opinionated. Sadly, by the time he came around I was already disconnected.  Thankfully, the mystery, villains and action kept me in the game.

Blake wrapped up Wickedly Wonderful leaving me with a smile as she set up the next book in the series. I loved the world she has created and look forward to listening to Wickedly Powerful, which releases in 2016.


Converted Bus 

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About Deborah Blake

Deborah Blake

Deborah is the author of eight non-fiction books on modern witchcraft from Llewellyn and the Baba Yaga series from Berkley Romance, including Wickedly Magical (novella), Wickedly Dangerous, and Wickedly Wonderful. Deborah lives in a 120 year old farmhouse in upstate NY with four cats, and runs an artists’ cooperative shop when she’s not writing. She believes in magic, laughter, chocolate, and wine. The order may change depending on the day.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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48 Responses to “Wickedly Dangerous & Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake”

  1. MyBookJacket

    I hadn’t actually heard of Baba Yaga till I came across a review for the book Baba Yaga’s Assistant. Now I’m curious. Where would you advice me to start. (Not here I presume) especially since you didn’t like the second one much.

    MyBookJacket recently posted: Review : The Death of Mitali Dotto
  2. Maureen Beatrice

    Sounds like an interesting and unique story. I never heard about Baba Yaga before. But I love it when old tales become part of a book series! Just like these stories about Greek gods you’ve always heard about.. But when these stories are slightly changed in a book.. Fun!!
    I love the first cover.. the second one doesn’t really work for me. Too bad the second book wasn’t as good as the first one. I hope the third book will work for you! 😉

    Maureen Beatrice recently posted: Discussion Post: The Sunday's Author Spotlight
  3. Jenny

    I don’t know much about the Baba Yaga legend/folklore, so I think that aspect would be really interesting for me Kim. Wickedly Dangerous sounds pretty all-around fantastic, and Wickedly Wonderful sounds solid even though the romance wasn’t quite as strong for you. Loved the reviews!

  4. Ramona

    What, you’re reviewing two at a time now?! DO you EVER sleep??? LOL 😀 I like the small-town setting and its idiosyncrasies, and the premise sounds promising. I’d love to check out the series.

    Ramona recently posted: Zen Monday: November Fun
    • kimbacaffeinate

      :snort: Here is the thing Ramona… I read/listen to about 25 books a month. I am constantly trying to figure out how to squeeze them all into my blog for the month. I love to write discussion posts, take Saturdays off and toss in some tips and tricks, recipe and book recs, Nonna’s corner etc…I simply run out of space. I have all of November done except 5 reviews (most Ho-Ho-Ho books) and already have begun filling in Dec and Jan. #realworldbookaddictproblems

  5. Lindsey

    Ooh these sound quite cool! I’ve never really listened to audio books but really want to get into the habit, especially after reading this!

  6. Lexxie

    Oh, Kim, I definitely have to get to know Baba! She sounds like a smart, strong and slightly wicked heroine. I’m glad you enjoyed these two installments so much. And who wouldn’t want to have a dragon-turned-dog as a helper?

  7. Melissa (Books and Things)

    You had me at Baba Yaga and then you had to quote: ““Holy crap!” he said. “That’s a big dog.” “Yes,” said Baba. “But a small dragon.”” Oh must read. Then in the second book there is a group of mer people? Um yes! I saved these in my library account to listen to soon! 😀

    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted: Dark and Wild Night by Christina Lauren
  8. Lorna

    I have heard of this books, but had no idea it was really based on lore-lore that I never knew existed. You really have many wanting book one and I do have a credit to use-and an over 9 hour car trip coming up. I was going to use it to listen to the 2nd White Trash Zombie which I just bought, but now I don’t know. Think I am going to have to listen to this one. Great review!