Review: The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson
(A Medieval Fairy Tale #2)
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published May 17th, 2016 by Thomas Nelson
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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?

My thoughts…

The Beautiful Pretender is set in 1363 Germany and is a retelling of The Princess and the Pea with a bit of Beauty and the Beast added in. I was drawn to the beautiful cover and couldn’t resist, even though I haven't read the first book in this series, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, I had no trouble following along.

Reinhart, the Margrave of Thornbeck needs to find a bride, per request of the King. He is given a list to choose from, ten noble-born ladies who would be suitable for a man of his importance. All ten ladies are invited to Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, he will put the ladies through tests and make his determination on which Lady he should marry.

Lady Dorothea of Pimmwald is invited, as she is on the list. Lady Dorothea has a secret of her own and has no intentions of meeting Lord Thornbeck. Dorothea is angry when her father the Earl of Pimmwald insists that she is to go. Later that evening, Dorothea runs away with the father of her unborn child, one of her father’s Knights.

The Earl is angry when he finds out about his daughter leaving, more so angry with her maidservant, Avelina, for not telling him immediately of his daughters’ plan. The Earl commands Avelina to go to Thornbeck and take Dorothea’s place.

“You must not ever let Thornbeck realize that you are not Dorothea. He must never suspect. He must also not choose to marry you, but you must not offend him in any way. He is by far our most important ally and our best hope of defeating Geitbart.” Melanie Dickerson, The Beautiful Pretender

If Avelina fails, she and her family would be punished and banished from Plimmwald. Of course, things do not go as planned. During Avelina’s ‘interview’ with Lord Thornbeck, he instantly realizes by the answers that she gives, she is not like the other ladies.

“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.” Melanie Dickerson, The Beautiful Pretender

No fairytale is complete without wickedness and in this story her name is Fronicka. She is determined to marry the margrave and she has given every other girl notice that if they try to flirt with him, they will be consequences. Her father is the Duke of Geitbart and they are horrible together.

Avelina had a kind and loving heart and was trying her best to be as truthful in the difficult situation she was in. Reinhart was stern man with a short-temper, a man who didn’t speak often or at length, he was respected because of his actions. The romance was perfect, beginning slowly and growing into an undeniable attraction. It was beautiful to watch Reinhart realize that Avelina was more than a maidservant.

How good it would feel to turn her face toward him and kiss her. A sharp ache stabbed his chest. He must not think such things. She was a servant and he was a margrave. He could neither love her nor marry her.
  Melanie Dickerson, The Beautiful Pretender

The Beautiful Pretender also had plenty of action, adventure and danger; the castle was over taken, Thornbeck guards were held as prisoners, Avelina and Reinhart’s life were in jeopardy. I enjoyed this book and for those who love a Happily Ever After’s... this book is for you!

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. Melanie Dickerson, The Beautiful Pretender

Happy Reading - J 

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