Saturday, May 21, 2016
Book Review: "The Beautiful Pretender" by Melanie Dickerson
As Margrave of Thornbeck, Reinhart Stolten is told by the king that he needs to get married. The king even supplied a list of the women he should pick from. Reinhart doesn't know the first thing about how to pick a wife and his friends propose that he invite all ten women to Thornbeck for two weeks so he can get to know them.
Avelina Klein is lady's maid to Lady Dorothea of Plimmwald. When Dorothea is unable to go to Thornbeck as requested by the Margrave of Thornbeck, Avelina is sent in her place. She has two rules: don't get caught as an imposter, and don't let the Margrave pick her for his wife.
Avelina doesn't think that it will be difficult to follow the rules until she meets Reinhart and sees that there is more to him than just the gruff exterior. Even as she tries to promote her new friend Magdelan, she finds herself wishing that she would be able to marry him herself.
As he puts the ladies through a series of "tests" to see their true character, one lady stands out from the rest. What he doesn't realize is that she isn't a lady of noble birth at all. And he might have bigger problems on his hands when a sinister plot is revealed.
I have read all of Melanie Dickerson's books except one (I have it, just haven't had the time to read it) so I had meet Reinhart in "The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest". It was fun to be able to read his story. I liked the interactions between Reinhart and Avelina. There were times in the story that made me thing of movies I'd watched. The strongest impression was of the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore and Henri's reaction when he finds out Danielle is a servant. I loved that movie, so it was kind of fun to have that similarity in the book. There are only so many types of interactions for the medieval time period, but I was glad that the interactions with the "bad guy" weren't of him chasing them through the forest. I felt the book had a nice amount of the characters seeking God.
Melanie Dickerson's books usually are a retelling of a fairy tale. "The Beautiful Pretender" is the Princess and the Pea. Reinhart does have a conversation where he discusses his mother's views on how and where a lady should be able to sleep and the fact that a lady wouldn't be able to sleep if there were a pea under her mattress is mentioned, but there isn't really any peas in the beds.
"The Beautiful Pretender" is available in paperback:
and in Kindle edition:
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.