WICKED AS THEY COME by Delilah S. Dawson
When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Copers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
Okay guys, I’m such a picky reader. Nine times out of ten, I pick up a book and toss it aside within the first fifty pages. No high concept premise, no hunky stranger keeps me reading if the writing somehow isn’t there. I’m also a bit idiosyncratic–an author has to push particular emotional buttons to keep me turning pages.
And boy, oh boy, WICKED AS THEY COME pushed all those buttons and never let up. To say WICKED AS THEY COME resonated with me is an understatement. I read the book in one sitting, grinning all the way. The moment Tish met Criminy Stain, I was hooked. I didn’t care what happened, as long those kept circling one another.
Tish is everything I want a heroine to be, a gal who inherited a winsome mix of ‘manners and moxie’ from her high-spirited grandmother. No wonder the locket pulled her to Criminy’s world. He cast a spell to summon his soulmate and equal, and she certainly fits the bill.
And ohhhhh, Criminy. Bludman. Gypsy King. Magician. Seductive, Sinful Smart-Aleck Savant. He’s irresistible, yet never forces his suit. For me, that makes Crim the perfect alpha male–the charmer who doesn’t make demands, but lets his best qualities command the moment. Yes, pulls out all the stops to allure Tish, but he leaves the choice to her. As he watches her and waits for her to discover her heart’s true match, the tension builds and builds. I loved every minute of it.
And I love sharing this recipe with you–BLACK MAGIC CAKE is every bit as sweet and sinful.
1 cup butter or margarine, cut up
3/4 cup chocolate syrup
8 (2.05 ounce) Milky Way bars, cut up
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
21/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan.
In 4-quart microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, syrup, and nougat bars. Heat 5 minutes, whisking once. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar, then buttermilk, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir in the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
Pour batter into pan. Bake 1 hour 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen cake; invert onto rack to cool.
Melt in microwave: 1 stick butter with 3 tablespoons milk and 3 additional Milky way bars. Whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over cake.
Binge! And thanks for sharing in the #DESSERTEDREADS FUN! If you write up your own matchup, don’t forget to post it to the hashtag. And let us know if you’d like to see this type of blog-a-thon in the future! What ideas do YOU have???