Title: Wickedly Wonderful
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Baba Yaga #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Paranormal romance, Witches
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
5th sentence, 74th page: An Irish accent made the simple words pleasantly exotic.
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…
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, especially when faced with her biggest job yet…
A mysterious toxin is driving the Selkies 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 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…
This is a fantastic sequel to Wickedly Dangerous. Beka is a starkly different heroine to Barbara and this contrast between two sister Babas was brilliantly done. Not only did Wickedly Wonderful take me on a whole new adventure, but it also let me fall in love with a new, and striking female lead. I love chief protagonists that are full of self-doubt, I think that it makes them all the more real and relatable. So to go from Barbara’s cocky self-assurance (and total lack of social skills) to Beka’s open and vulnerable persona was endearing and refreshing.
Where Wickedly Dangerous taps into our need to protect and nurture our children, Wickedly Wonderful emphasises the importance of the ocean in all of our daily lives. The beach-feel of the book and characters is so much more laid back than that of Barbara’s tale and the pages simply ooze relaxation and sweetness. Although, beneath her surfy exterior, Beka shows herself to have a backbone of steel when it really counts.
I’m reminded of the realities of cancer and radiation poisoning throughout this book, they’re such serious issues that touch upon so many lives. So reading about them in a not-so-tragic way brings home the pain and suffering that this can cause, without making you cry. Which I appreciate, sometimes it is good to have a nice sob over a book, but some days not so much.
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