Review: Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake (Broken Riders #1)


Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake // VBC ReviewDangerously Charming (Broken Riders #1)
Deborah Blake
Published: Oct. 4, 2016 (Berkley)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it may contain spoilers for Deborah Blake’s Baba Yaga series.

After the traumatic events that transpired between The Riders and the evil former Baba Yaga Brenna, Mikhail Day has sought his solitude. Not only to come to terms with the fact that he and his brothers are now mortal and no longer Riders, but because he feels guilty at being the cause of everyone’s plight. So when Jenna Quinlan shows up on his doorstep, quite unexpectedly, he can’t help but feel as though destiny is trying to butt-in on his business. As soon as he can, Day plans to send this woman on her way.

For generations the women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed; forced to give up their firstborn child to a vengeful fairy. Jenna thought she had the curse beat, but when she finds herself miraculously pregnant, she’s determined that the curse will stop with her. So when her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, she really doesn’t have time to deal with a strange, rude, unwelcoming man who is doing a fine job of imitating a hermit.

When it becomes clear that Mikhail has some knowledge of fairies and magic, Jenna will go with him to the ends of the Otherworld to break this curse once and for all.

I came in reading Dangerously Charming without having previously read Deborah Blake’s Baba Yaga series. Clearly past events from that series are currently effecting Day. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. Which is unfortunate because not only is Dangerously Charming Jenna’s quest to rid her family of this awful curse, it is equally Day’s story of redemption; of moving past the guilt he’s built up inside of himself. While I could appreciate, and understand, the position in which Day finds himself, I didn’t really feel any kind of emotional connection to it. I might be singing a different tune had I read the other books.

What really got my interest in this book was learning that Jenna is pregnant. It’s rare in the books I typically read to show a heroine actually going through the bulk of her pregnancy on page rather than off page or right at the end/beginning of the story. Jenna is given an opportunity to free herself of the curse as long as she can answer an age-old riddle. The resulting journey that stems from this was a highlight of the book for me. I really liked Jenna’s no-nonsense determination due to the fact that, at all costs, she is doing this to protect her child. Obviously, the story just wouldn’t have been the same with that element removed.

Unfortunately, the resulting relationship that forms between Jenna and Day felt a bit flat for my tastes. I wanted it to balance out better, but I think the romance became a bit overshadowed by the imminently more important issues going on.

Despite the issues I had ‘connecting’ to what Day is going/went through, it didn’t detract anything from the main storyline. Having a better understanding of past events by the end of this story lends itself well leading into the next book, which will feature Day’s brother Gregori. Seems all the ex-Riders are in need of a little fateful intervention.

Sexual content: sex

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