We first meet Barbara and Liam in Wickedly Magical
. Barbara is the modern version of the infamous Russian with. In Wickedly Wonderful along with solving a mystery, Barbara fell in love with Liam, a human sheriff. Now in her eighties, though she looks to be in her late twenties or early thirties, Barbara is tired of a solitary life. and is relieved to have found a husband and a young child to train as her replacement. Barbara now has the family she never knew she wanted and couldn't be any happier. Having completed a human marriage Barbara knows that for marriage to really work she needs the blessing of the Otherworld Queen because without her approval, Barbara will far outlive her new husband and be forced to watch him grow old and die. Naturally, nothing can run smoothly in Barbara's life and she finds the shoe on the other foot when she is given three impossible tasks to complete before she can get the Queen's approval.
At it's heart, this Baba Yaga series is essentially a paranormal romance with a few of the trappings of the Baba Yaga mythos interwoven into the plot. In truth, this sort of makes me sad. I was completely sold onWickedly Magical because it's so rare that we get a Baba Yaga story, let alone one updated to fit our modern world. The fixation on romance however seems to have taken the teeth out of the mythos altogether making it at times unrecognizable.
In all of the books to date, we are told how scary the Otherworld Queen is because she did after all turn a few maidens into swans when they got on her nerves. The entire court seems to tremble and back away from the Queen for fear. In Wickedly Ever After however, the teeth are completely removed when the Queen's impossible tasks are easily accomplished because even she has a sweet spot for love. The whole thing is so damn saccharine. I knew from the moment Baba and Liam were able to capture the sound of the sea that these tasks would be easily accomplished. I couldn't help but roll my eyes when they got a seashell from the selkies. Really? It just evidenced such a complete lack of imagination.