Haunted, by Joy Preble
Haunted is a sequel to Dreaming Anastasia, and while I didn't read the first book, let me say 2 things. 1) I am SO going back and reading the first book, and 2) I could easily pick up Haunted and follow along without having read the first book.
It's a complex tale that is difficult to summarize in one blurb, but Anne's heritage traces back to the Romanovs, full of magic and deceipt and lies. In Haunted, Anne is being stalked by a Russion mermaid; she's hooked up with a new boyfriend; her old flame, Ethan, returns; and the old witch, Baba Yaga, is haunting her dreams. Everyone seems to want something from Anne, and Anne not only needs to sort out her feelings and riddles, but is forced to extreme lengths to protect her friends and family.
Joy's writing is fluid and a pleasure to read. She immediately draws you in to the story, her characters are well defined, and you care what happens to them. It's even easy to like her shallow best friend, who obviously cares for Anne. The interweaving of the story with Russian folklore and history is seamless and clever. Despite the complexity of the plot, it's easy to follow, and the twists and turns will keep you flipping pages at breakneck speed to see what happens next.
I would definitely put anything written by Joy Preble on my TBR list!