Title: The Beautiful Pretender (A Medieval Fairy Tale #2)
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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?
A delightful retelling of a fairy tale!
Melanie does an incredible job of intertwining aspects from both The Princess and the Pea and Beauty and the Beast in this charming medieval story. Knowing both of the usual fairy tales made it very easy to recognize the key components of those stories. But they were combined and the final story was completely new and refreshing.
The main characters that she has created are so well developed and presented. I was able to connect with both of them very early in the story. Avelina of Plimmwald is a sweet and demure girl who only wants to do what she is told and take care of her family. Reinhard Stolten, Margrave of Thornbeck, is deeply brooding and grumpy about being forced to find a wife.
All my favorite parts of a fairy tale are present and accounted for. A sweet damsel, that is poor and in need of rescuing. A strong handsome hero, that needs a woman to love. And an evil villain who wants nothing but to destroy both of them and all that is good. Throw in some sacrificial love where both the damsel and the hero try to save the other and all is good.
This wonderful book is getting a rating of 5 stars from me. I highly recommend it.