Title: The Beautiful Pretender
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Thornbeck / A Medieval Fairy Tale series, book 2
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Note: Even though The Beautiful Pretender is the second in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other two books in the series, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (book 1) and The Noble Servant (book 3). However, the characters that are in this book are featured in rest of the series, which is why I recommend staying in order.
A retelling in which Princess and the Pea meets Beauty and the Beast.
Dorothea is one of ten ladies invited to the home of the margrave of Thornbeck for a two-week stay, after which he will choose a suitable bride. During the two weeks, the margrave secretly tests the women, hoping to find one whose character matches her beauty and status. He cannot help but be drawn to Dorothea, even though she does everything in her power to remain unnoticed.
But Dorothea is not who she claims to be, and she knows it is impossible for her to end up with the margrave, despite the connection they have. She is not actually a lady, but a servant, Avelina, posing as her lady under the orders of the earl she serves. Her situation worsens when she realizes a plot is underway to remove the margrave from his position. It may be up to her to set all things right in the end.
I liked how this book told the story of the margrave we met in The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. (Odette and Jorgen also make a few appearances!) Dickerson has a theme of overlapping characters and their stories, and this book is no exception. If you are a fan of fairytale retellings, I definitely recommend giving this book a try!
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