Monday, April 18, 2016

One of My Favorites by Melanie Dickerson! | Review of The Beautiful Pretender



About the Book

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

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.

Releases May 17, 2016!

My Rating

Spring/Summer

My Review

If Melanie Dickerson has a new book releasing, I know I want to get my hands on it! While some of her stories shine more than others, I know I'm always in for a sweet treat, complete with romance and adventure. I'm quite happy to report that The Beautiful Pretender is one of my favorites of hers!

(I'd probably have to re-read them all to determine which one I love best. Hey, that's not a bad idea! ;) From first impressions, The Fairest Beauty, A Spy's Devotion, and The Beautiful Pretender stood out to me.)

The fairy-tale elements in this story weren't quite as distinct as they are in many of her other books. In fact, while I might just be out of the loop, I couldn't quite pinpoint a particular fairy-tale tie-in. And I was perfectly okay with that, because this story and its characters felt more original and definitely held my attention.

(After looking at the author's website, the two fairy tales connected to this story are "The Princess and the Pea" and "Beauty and the Beast." Makes sense! But still, I appreciate the originality of this mash-up.)

I liked that the heroine is brave and bold, and that the hero, gruff and wounded as he is, reveals a tender side. The way these two connect and watch out for each other as the story unfolds is very endearing.

Interestingly, the big plot point that one might expect to be the climax happened sooner than I expected, which left more time for character growth and added danger. No complaints on that score, here!

The Beautiful Pretender is a wonderful addition to Dickerson's collection and an all-around great read for fans of sweet historical romance. The story comes with a great reminder that sometimes we have to stop hiding and take some risks in order to experience the best of life.

*With thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Other Melanie Dickerson Books I've Reviewed...
The Healer's Apprentice | The Merchant's Daughter | The Fairest Beauty | The Princess Spy | The Golden Braid | The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest {Prequel to The Beautiful Pretender} | A Spy's Devotion {Regency}

2 comments:

Meghan M. Gorecki said...

I have this high up on my To Be Reviewed shelf. Cannot WAIT to dive into it after reading your review, my friend who I will email back this week! ;)

Amber Stokes said...

Meghan,

Aww, I'm glad my review made you even more excited to read this! It's a great story, and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. :)

And yay! Can't wait to get your email. :D

~Amber