Avelina's position as lady's maid to Lady Dorothea, daughter of the Earl of Plimmwald, shifts precariously when she assists Dorothea in running away with a knight she is desperately in love with. The earl insists that Avelina stand in Dorothea's place and attend a two-week visit to Thornbeck Castle. During her visit, Avelina must remain under cover and make sure she is not chosen as Margrave Thornbeck's desired bride, as the Margrave has invited ten ladies in an attempt to procure a bride. Unfortunately, the Margrave notes Avelina's sensitivity and candor quickly. Avelina diverts his attentions to her friend with a hidden bit of dismay as her own feelings for Margrave Thornbeck have grown beyond platonic friendsip. Will Avelina's secret keep her from true love or is there a chance that love can survive the deception, intrigue and danger permeating Thornbeck Castle? Read more in The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson.
I enjoyed The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson. Among the medieval fairy tales by Dickerson that I've read, this one falls somewhere in the middle. It wasn't my favorite or least favorite. Although, the story hooked me early on, I enjoyed the second half of the book a bit more than the first. The plot felt a bit stilted when the bride candidates were going through the “tests” and some of the “twists” were predictable. However, in the second half of the story, things seemed to flow better and the story felt more original. I enjoyed the budding romances and the refreshing forthrightness that Lady Dorothea / Avelina speaks with.
I recommend The Beautiful Pretender to readers looking for a fairy tale romance with plenty of intrigue and themes of faith.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."