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?
Melanie Dickerson's The Beautiful Pretender has just about everything you could want in a romance: flawed yet likable main characters, forbidden love, a touch of danger, and a happily ever after.
Avelina, lady's maid to the Earl of Plimmwald's daughter Dorothea, must take Dorothea's place when the Margrave of Thornbeck, Reinhart Stolten, invites noble ladies to spend two weeks at his castle. He plans to choose a bride at the end of the period, and Avelina knows that choice cannot be her, but she needs to impress the Margrave enough for him to look favorably upon Plimmwald. This becomes more difficult than she imagined when she finds herself drawn to the Margrave ... and he seems drawn to her, too.
Avelina and Reinhart's romance is so sweet! I pulled for their happily ever after from the very beginning, but I also appreciated that the story continued after they fell in love. In fact, some of my favorite portions of the novel came after Reinhart had chosen his bride. Another wonderful aspect of this novel is the friendship between Avelina and Magdalen, one of the potential brides. I don't know if Dickerson plans to continue this series, but I would love to revisit Magdalen in a future novel.
The Beautiful Pretender is not just a simple love story—it also drives home several important points: every life is precious, each person has innate worth and deserves respect, and prejudice is a cancer that tears people apart. And it does all this wrapped up in a beautiful, captivating plot.
I've read and enjoyed a few of Melanie Dickerson's other books, but The Beautiful Pretender is by far my favorite. I highly recommend it! 5 stars.
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Read my reviews of Dickerson's The Golden Braid (5 stars) and The Princess Spy (5 stars).
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.
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Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. 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?
Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
- A Kindle Fire tablet
- A $25 Amazon gift card
- The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."