I’m not really sure what happened…I am almost positive I had this post scheduled, but it’s no where to be found…but anyway, here is my review!
The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson
A Medieval Romance
My rating: 4.5 Stars
About the Book:
What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?
Another super sweet fairy-tale-feeling book from Melanie Dickerson!
The plot was so intriguing, and exciting, and I became engaged immediately. The hints of Beauty and the Beast, and The Princess and the Pea, were absolutely delightful. Having ten noble ladies come to the Margrave’s home as “possible brides” was entertaining, if not unconventional. ^.^ Again, I say: Delightful.
As usual for Mrs.Dickerson’s books, each character was written extremely well, and I clicked right away with Avelina (what a pretty name too!). And then I found out she likes to write stories – yep, I loved her even more then! Avelina did surprise me in some ways, but in good ways.
Reinhart was gruff, very much a “beast” kind of character, but true to tale, he had a gentleness about him and yes, he was very likeable. And very handsome, I hear. ;)
And Lady Magdalen was seriously one of the most kindest and sweetest friend-characters I have ever read about! Such genuine beauty, and I don’t just mean in appearance. She made me smile so often by her gentleness and kind heart.
There was only one scene that leaned towards the more graphic side, but it wasn’t really horrible as some books are. And then there were two other things that gave me a bit of concern – one of those was that Avelina did what she wanted, even when instructed to do otherwise. It wasn’t shown in an extremely blatant way, but it was shown in more of an accepting way at the same time which I wasn’t too sure about. For example, towards the end, Lord Thornbeck told her to stay put several times because he didn’t want her to get hurt, and while I understand that she wanted to be with him, I don’t really agree that he always gave in – “He knew her well enough to know he could not stop her”. It just seemed…disobedient at times.
The other thing was about a character being mentioned that was sleeping with a servant – it was only hinted at as ‘wrong’ one or two times, and not in the way I was expecting – that is, it wasn’t necessarily shown as morally wrong.
But other than that, I did really enjoy “The Beautiful Pretender”.
There was just such…enchantment to this book. You really relish it as you read. And what a tremendous cover! Striking. :)
A very sweet, endearing story, one that is full of exciting and well-crafted plot lines.
I recommend it for ages 16+
“A woman wishes to be swept up by a man’s fervent feelings for her, by love and longing and depth of feeling. She does not wish to be married for her father’s coin or her noble birth or because she is a sensible choice. She wants to be wooed, even after she is married, to be cherished and loved for her very self, not just because she has a beautiful face, long after she has passed the age of freshness and youth.” Chapter 5 pg47
“I’m just curious. Do you think a God who sent His Son to be born in a lowly stable to poor people, announced to shepherds in a field, could care about gold and ivory and jewels? Perhaps God cares about our hearts, not our wealth.” Chapter 6 pg 62
“But it was the thought of him wanting to know about her stories that made her stomach tumble inside her.” Chapter 11 pg 101
“She’d never been in love before. She’d tried to save herself this pain, but all her pretending and hiding the truth from herself had not saved her at all. And even though this love was painful, it was worth it to remember how the sight of him and the sound of his voice had made her heart beat faster, that feeling of wanting what was best for someone else, even if it broke her own heart.” Chapter 23 pg. 220
“She no longer had to dream about love. God had given her a love all her own, one that the troubadours would sing about for years to come.” Chapter30 pg307
I received a complimentary copy from the publishers/Litfuse in exchange for my honest review which I have given.