Published by Berkley on October 4th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
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...
¬¬Reviewed by AnnMarie¬¬
Dangerously Charming is the first book in the ‘Broken Riders’ series by Deborah Blake. It is a spin off series from the ‘Baba Yaga’ series which I haven’t had the opportunity to read any of. That said, you don’t have to have read them to understand and enjoy what happens in this book.
Jenna Quinlin’s family has been cursed by a vengeful faery. Every generation of women since then has had to give up her first born child. There is no way to stop the faery taking each baby, unless they can solve a riddle. Up until now the riddle hasn’t been solved and Jenna, despite all her precautions finds herself pregnant. Her boyfriend who has had a vasectomy refuses to believe that she is pregnant with his child, so he splits up with her, gets her the sack from her job, and pretty much runs her out of town in his anger. Jenna wants to run anyway because she knows she is being watched, and has a premonition that the ‘thing’ watching her is the evil faery, waiting to lay claim on her child. So with little money, and a rubbish car, she makes her way up to the mountains where she knows an old family cabin is. She wants to seek refuge there at least until she figures out what she can do next. Unfortunately on her way, her car breaks down and she ends up walking through horrendous weather conditions trying to make her way to the cabin. Instead of finding her cabin though, she comes across another one. She just hopes and prays somebody is in there.
Mikhail Day is the owner of the cabin and is indeed in residence. He used to be a ‘Rider’ an immortal who looked after the Baba Yaga witches. But a terrible mistake by him ends with him and his fellow Riders being tortured nearly to death, and although they are saved by magic, the Queen strips the three of them of their immortality and their calling. Mikhail can’t forgive himself for what he has done to his brothers and he took to his cabin in the middle of nowhere to lick his wounds and stay away from all damsels in distress, such as the one that caused his terrible error in judgement before. So when Jenna comes knocking at his door he is very unhappy about it. She has sprained her ankle though, and even if he refuses to do anything other than give her shelter, he begrudgingly invites her in to dry off and to let her ankle rest. She ends up having to stay a few days before she is up to leaving, and in that time Mikhail finds out about her pregnancy and the curse she is trying to break. He doesn’t want to help her, but in his heart of hearts he knows that he has to, and when that is confirmed by a friend they seek out, that he is actually a part in the riddle, he accepts his fate and he and Jenna set out to solve the riddle.
Will they be able to solve it, will Jenna get to keep her baby? And what of Mikhail, will Jenna’s kind heart and his new purpose of helping her help him to overcome his past, and maybe even allow him to fall for her, see a future whereas he couldn’t see one before.
This was a really exciting, fascinating fantasy book, with scenes reminiscent of The Labyrinth, and Alice in Wonderland. It was really delightful to read about the array of mystical beings and creatures, especially tall lizards in colourful waistcoats! The story has love, laughter, sadness, mystery, and it all starts off with the gorgeous man on the cover of the book. I really enjoyed this book and am definitely going to read the rest in the series. The next book being about Gregori Sun, another ‘Rider’ without purpose.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.