Redeeming Love

Title: Redeeming Love
Author: Francine Rivers
Genre: Christian, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Multnomah
Release Date: 1997

Note: I am straying from my typical Young Adult book reviews to review this book. This is not a book I would recommend to YA audiences, as it is deals with mature content for adult readers. 

Angel has only ever seen men as heartless and cruel. Sold into prostitution at a heartbreakingly young age, she has known intense betrayal and cruelty; used and abused countless times, she has long given up all hope in men. Which is why Michael Hosea rocks her world when he enters her life.

Michael believes that Angel, a high-priced prostitute in Pair-a-Dice, is the woman God has called him to marry. Confused, but obedient, he eventually convinces Angel to leave behind the only life she has ever known and be his wife. He offers her more than she bargained for: a home, security, and love. Instead of accepting Michael’s – and God’s – love, Angel is terrified of it, terrified that this sort of love would be her undoing. So she runs back to her old life, the life that feels safe, but is really dangerous and deceptive.

In this compelling retelling of the book of Hosea, we see Michael demonstrate a love for Angel that is too powerful to outrun. She is forced to face her dark past and accept love for the first time, ultimately, the love of a God who never stops pursuing the lost and redeeming the broken – no matter how lost or broken they are.

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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Title: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, 5/7
Genre: Adventure, Allegorical, Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Release Date: September 15th, 1952

Note: This post reviews the fifth book of The Chronicles of Narnia series. You may like to read the first four books in the series, The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Horse and His Boy, and Prince Caspian before reading this review. 

For seven weeks, I will be reviewing The Chronicles of Narnia, a classic in my opinion. I’ve lost track of how many times I have read these books. Hopefully my reviews will give you a glimpse of why I love these books so much, and maybe even convince you to read them if you haven’t already.

The two youngest Pevensies, Edmund and Lucy, return to Narnia for one final adventure – and their miserable cousin, Eustace, accidentally tags along. Edmund and Lucy are reunited with their friend, Caspian, who is several years older by now. This tale is different from the rest of the series because it primarily takes place on a ship, The Dawn Treader.

Edmund, Lucy, and Caspian encounter one adventure after another – but self-centered Eustace has the most life-altering adventure of all. After undergoing both physical and emotional changes, Eustace becomes an entirely different person, much to the delight of his cousins.

This is a fun summer read that invites you to join these characters as they journey to the ends of the earth and beyond!

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The Silent Songbird

Title: The Silent Songbird
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 7
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 8th, 2016

Note: Even though The Silent Songbird is the seventh in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of The Little Mermaid.

Evangeline, the ward of King Richard II, wants nothing more than to be free and to live her life outside the castle. And when the king decides that she will marry his closest advisor, a vile man at least twice her age, she knows she must seize whatever chance she has and flee the castle.

Pretending to be mute to keep herself unknown, she joins Wesley le Wyse and his small band of servants, heading back to their own village. She wishes she did not have to deceive Wesley, especially as she begins to form a friendship with him. But too much is at stake for her to reveal her identity now. Will she win her freedom, and find happiness with the man she loves, or will her ruse not be worth the all the deceit in the end?

I really enjoyed this retelling of The Little Mermaid! I haven’t actually read many retellings of the mute redhead with a fiery spirit, so this was a fun read. At this point, I am wondering if Melanie Dickerson has any more Hagenheim books up her sleeve? Maybe Aladdin, or Little Red Riding Hood, or something? Anything? I’m not ready for this series to come to an end!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

The Golden Braid

Title: The Golden Braid
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 6
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 17th, 2015

Note: Even though The Golden Braid is the sixth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Rapunzel. 

Hagenheim, 1413

When sheltered Rapunzel receives another marriage proposal, her controlling and over-protective mother moves them to a new city, one where she hopes to better hide Rapunzel from unwelcome suitors. Rapunzel and her mother meet some trouble on the road, and are rescued by a knight – Sir Gerek – who is later rescued by Rapunzel, who knows a thing or two about knife throwing.

Wanting nothing better than to learn to read and write, Rapunzel begs Sir Gerek to teach her. Reluctantly, Sir Gerek agrees to educate her, despite the fact that they each find the other to be difficult. That is, until they realize that their feelings for each other are beginning to deepen. But will Rapunzel’s mother once again get in the way of her daughter’s happiness?

This book is an imaginative retelling of Rapunzel that felt new and fresh. If you are a fan of fairytales, this one is a must-read!

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The Princess Spy

Title: The Princess Spy
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 5
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 4th, 2014

Note: Even though The Princess Spy is the fifth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of The Frog Prince. 

Hagenheim, 1413

A romantic at heart, Margaretha has high hopes for her suitor, Lord Claybrook. But when Colin, an injured Englishman, arrives in Hagenheim claiming to be attacked by none other than Claybrook himself, Margaretha begins to doubt that her suitor’s motives are true. Because of Colin’s language barrier, he is unable to explain himself to anyone other than Margaretha, who alone speaks english.

As Margaretha befriends Colin and helps him recover, she decides to take a closer look at Claybrook. To her dismay, she begins to uncover his secret plot to overthrow her father, the Duke of Hagenheim, and realizes that the future of her family’s kingdom – and her own future with the man she truly loves – depend on her own stealth and resourcefulness.

I really enjoyed this book, though it was not obvious that it was a Frog Prince retelling. I thought it was fun getting to know Margaretha more, after reading stories about her mother and her brothers, too!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Captive Maiden

Title: The Captive Maiden
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 4
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 23rd, 2013

Note: Even though The Captive Maiden is the fourth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Cinderella.

Hagenheim, 1403

Ever since her noble father’s death, Gisela has been mistreated by her stepmother and forced to work as a servant in her own home. But she does not let her stepmother’s cruelty change her kind, compassionate heart. She is as beautiful inside as she is out, and Valten, the firstborn son of the Duke of Hagenheim, notices. Gisela used to daydream of falling in love with Valten years ago, having been around him and his family when her father was alive. But now, her dreams have turned to ash as she is considered so far beneath him. Everyone, except Valten, seems to think so.

A ball is thrown in Valten’s honor, and Gisela simply has to go, even if she risks her stepmother’s wrath. But Gisela soon has bigger things to worry about when her very life is in danger and she is used as bait to help capture the Duke’s son. Will Valten be able to save Gisela, and save himself?

I read this book before The Fairest Beauty, the one that precedes it. Because of that, I have been a fan of Valten from the beginning. I love him, Gisela, and their romance. It is so beautiful! This book might be my favorite Melanie Dickerson book ever written. (Besides The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest; that one is definitely up there.) I recommend this book for any fans of Cinderella retellings!

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The Fairest Beauty

Title: The Fairest Beauty
Author: Melanie Dickerson

Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 3
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: January 21st, 2013

Note: Even though The Fairest Beauty is the third in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Snow White.

Sophie is being held captive by her evil stepmother, the duchess, after the death of her father. Assumed to be dead all these years, she has been forced to live the life of a lowly servant. When Gabe gets word that his older brother’s betrothed is not only alive but held captive by a cruel duchess, he immediately sets out to help rescue her, since his injured brother cannot go himself.

Gabe does everything he can to rescue Sophie and bring her back to his home in Hagenheim. He wants to keep her safe and protect her, but as they spend more and more time together, he begins to see that what truly needs protecting is his own heart. Even though they both know that Sophie must marry his older brother, they find themselves struggling to get each other off their minds.

Let me just say how much I love this book! The story is a classic fairytale story of rescue and romance, and the characters are hard not to love. I did read this book out of order (oops, again), so I have to admit that I favor the older brother over the younger… who we get to follow in the next book, The Captive Maiden.

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