After the tantalizing hints at the end of book two about a new threat and the Riders disappearance plus getting to meet Bella, I was rarin’ to go. There is something about this series that is a unique and refreshing voice in the paranormal romance genre. There is the Baba Yaga legend of course and Chudo Yudo guardian dragons, but I’ve anticipated each and have yet to be disappointed.
This is book three in the fantastic Baba Yaga series. I suppose in a pinch it could be read out of order, but I wouldn’t recommend missing getting this whole series from the beginning.
The story opens with Bella, the Baba Yaga responsible for the heart of the country coming to a forest in Wyoming after feeling a Calling to bring her there. Bella along with her dragon disguised as a Norwegian Forest Cat and her gypsy caravan, settle in. But it isn’t long before she realizes that something is wrong. Mysterious fires smelling faintly of magic, a note carried by a pixie with a plea for help from the riders, and a feeling of being followed. Bella is called by the Queen of the Otherworld and tasked to find the Riders and she is commissioned by a group of humans to find the source of the fires and if she can, stop it. Meanwhile, a scarred hurting man draws her attention and Bella is attracted for the first time, but he is human so how can it work?
Sam was once a Hot Shot firefighter, but now, scarred and struggling with survivor’s guilt and PTSD, he has chosen the isolated and lonely job of fire spotter high in his tower. He tried to go back to the work he loved, but he failed. Now, he hides his face and hides away from the world. That is until a certain sunny red-head moves her wooden caravan camper into his part of the forest and he seems to bump into her everywhere. He is suspicious of Bella since he has found her to be in the vicinity when a couple of the fires happen and there is something odd about her and that huge cat. Sam isn’t used to being around people and makes some blunders with Bella. He is ready to step back and leave her be when a danger he is ill-prepared for is made known and they are all in grave danger.
Alrighty…so this was an enjoyable read from cover to cover. A fun Baba Yaga, a magical caravan, a dragon-cat (oh, love it!), a cranky ex-firefighter that is still a hottie, a spunky teen runaway, a truly wicked witch, and some Riders in peril. It all wove together for a book that I struggled to put down when life responsibilities interfered.
There are several narrative threads beyond Sam and Bella even. I enjoyed getting that secondary story where the Riders were with the villain. And also young Jazz’s point of view.
Sam and Bella were interesting people that hesitated to reach out and connect with people after incidents in their pasts. Sam’s is obvious, but then Bella’s issue finally comes out. I was cheering for them both to reach out and take their chance with each other because they were good together.
The ending was a bit of a nailbiter and I was into it. My only niggle was that it was over so fast after the big build up. Not that it was bad, just quick. And the result after the big scene was a little sad, but I liked the open thread when it comes to the Riders. And yes, the series does carry on with the Riders, woohoo!
So, this was another strong and engaging book in the series. Loved getting to know the third Baba Yaga and her story. I would recommend these to those who enjoy their paranormal romances filled with witches, magic, magical plots, romance on the sweeter end between likable characters.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #52 PNR
Literary Pickers #51 Mask
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