Title: Wickedly Dangerous
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Baba Yaga #3, Baba Yaga World #3
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Paranormal romance, Witches
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
5th sentence, 74th page: She patted the large leather-bound book that had pride of place in the middle of her worktable.
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…
The only thing more fiery than Bella Young’s red hair is her temper. She knows that a Baba Yaga’s power without strict control can leave the people she cares about burned, so to protect her heart – and everyone around her – the only company she keeps is her dragon-turned-Norwegian-Forest-cat, Koshka.
But when Bella is tasked with discovering who’s setting magical fires on Wyoming’s Black Mountain, she finds herself working closely with former Hotshots firefighter Sam Corbett – and falling hard for his quiet strength and charm.
Sam may bear the scars of his past, but Bella can see beyond them and would do anything to help him heal. Only before she can rescue her Prince Charming, she’ll have to overcome the mysterious foe setting the forest fires – a truly wicked witch who wields as much power and even more anger than Bella…
So far, this is my favourite Baba Yaga novel. It’s the combination of two severely damaged leads (both physically and emotionally), and fire that seems to claw at my heart and make me want to read this story again and again and again. Being terrified to get close to someone is something that I am all too familiar with, and working through this self-constructed barrier is something that Bella does amazingly well throughout the story.
The other reason that this tale so compels me is the constant presence of fire. Growing up in country Australia, fire is a constant thought and after the bushfires of the past two years, it is all the more present in my mind. So, a story about an ex-firefighter and survivor of fire was uniquely compelling. For me, it’s a primal concern, maybe even fear, and the idea of a man surviving a ravaging fire when no one else does is heart wrenching and leaves me thinking like nothing else does.
The last, but certainly not least, reason for my mild obsession with this book is Bella’s love interest – Sam. He is this gorgeous man who suffers from PTSD and is just as damaged as Bella is. Blake uses this character to beautifully investigate the effects that past tragedies can have on our everyday lives. She uses the idea of survivor’s guilt to create this beautifully multi-layered character that draws you in as much as the heroine.
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