Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake

28504575Dangerously Charming
(Broken Rider #1)
Deborah Blake
Release: October 4, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
From the author of the Baba Yaga novels, a brand new series set in the same “addicting”* world, filled with wild magic, enchanting damsels, and the irresistibly daring men who serve the Baba Yagas...

The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended—and their new destinies are just beginning...

Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her...

For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own...

To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts...
I was fascinated with the Riders in the Baba Yaga series and excited to finally learn more about them. But this hermit-y, curmudgeon-y Day is not exactly what I was expecting. I thought Jenna was more interesting since you don't often see a pregnant heroine, certainly not one who's having a baby that's not the hero's. I didn't love the way her ex was handled, but I can't decide how I would have done it differently. I felt like the book and the romance both got off to a slow start. I just never really connected with either character emotionally.

I do love road trip stories though and this one is certainly unique. Blake's version of Faery, called the Otherworld, is colorful, fanciful, and often delightful. I liked getting to see new parts of it and new creatures, like dwarves and trolls. But sometimes I feel like the blue grass and six-legged cows are excessive. Like in the Baba Yaga series, I had a moment of "that's just too much" that pulled me out of the story.

I really liked the backstory that Blake created for the Riders. I think she's referred to them as brothers before but I guess I thought they were more like a fraternal order than actually related. We learn about their parents, who include some interesting new supernatural creatures, and their childhoods, and get an idea of just how ancient they really are.

We also get to see Barbara, the Baba Yaga from the first book in the series, and her family again. The original series established that each of the three Babas had a favorite Rider so I assume that each Baba will make an appearance in this spin off series.

You don't need to have read the Baba Yaga series to pick up Dangerously Charming, but it contains major spoilers for Wickedly Powerful. Having read the original series, I felt like Day recapped those events a little too much as he was dealing with his guilt. But someone who was not familiar with his story would certainly have enough information.

I had a few issues with Dangerously Charming just like I did with the Baba Yaga series, but I still enjoy this world and I'm looking for to the next book, which tells Gregori the Red Rider's story.

Recommended for fans of: road trips, quests, and fairy tales

3 1/2  stars

My reviews of the Baba Yaga series:
Wickedly Dangerous and Wickedly Wonderful
Wickedly Ever After
Wickedly Powerful

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