Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his 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.

My Thoughts:

The Beautiful Pretender is another one of Ms. Dickerson's series, The Medieval Fairy Tale Novels, and offers a fresh and romantic twist on the classic, Beauty and the Beast.

What I love about this story is the two strong characters, Lord Thornbeck and maidservant Avelina. In plenty of fairytale romances authors give us strapping, handsome, heroes who set out on a quest to rescue the fair and helpless heroine, which we come to expect for this genre.

However, Ms. Dickerson does not subject her readers to the expected. Instead, she gives us Avelina-a beautiful, opinionated, courageous, and determined young woman who when the going gets tough-she gets tougher. I loved that about her. Yes, there was some tears and yearning but I never felt for one-second that it depicted Avelina in a helpless manner but rather made her human.

Lord Thornbeck, the beastly man who growls, snarls, and barks orders at those around him embodies what we'd expect of his character but Ms. Dickerson shows us the softer side of his animalistic tendencies offering us a glimpse into a man who struggles with guilt and disability. Could someone love him in spite of his handicap? Yes!! Over and over again-yes!

Ms. Dickerson does a wonderful job of bringing all the characters alive in this book and will have you rooting for the heroes and jeering the villains throughout. I've had the opportunity to read several novels in this series and I believe it's these later ones that are worth their weight in Rumpelstiltskin's gold! If you're a fan The Beautiful Pretender will not let you down.

You can purchase your copy of The Beautiful Pretender HERE.

*I received a copy of The Beautiful Pretender from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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