The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson + Giveaway

Title:  The Beautiful Pretender
Series: The Medieval Fairy Tale Novels, Book 2 
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  May 17, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction / Fairy Tale Retelling

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? 

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson will excite all fairy tale lovers, especially when it's reminiscent of the popular The Beauty & the Beast.  As the gruff Margrave of Thornbeck, Reinhart invite noble ladies for a ball, in search of a wife under orders of the king, we are met with the selection process of ladies gentile and vindictive.  As jealousy and duty clash, our fair Belle, aka Avelina can't help but stand out with her compassion, humility and cleverness. How could you not fall in love with Avelina, especially as a fellow book lover? Like Beast, Reinhart's gruffiness may be all show, when other forces are at play; but behind the rough exterior, will others see his honor and faith? And will Avelina be able to keep her heart hidden beneath the disguise of indifference, from the soul-penetrating eyes of Reinheart? And what will happen when the truth comes out? Will the lost be too great for both?

I love the re-imagining aspect from The Beauty & the Beast, but I also enjoyed the retelling of The Princess and the Pea through the series of tests Margrave had Jorgen and Odette gave to the ladies.  And the original method was even discussed in The Beautiful Pretender.  Fundamentally, the implication for true nobility wasn't about status, physical beauty or flattery. It was what was in the heart that truly matter. And in the end, courage for love wins out, because that's what's in the heart.
"Do you think a God who sent His Son to be born in a lowly stable to poor people, announced to shepherds in a field, could care about gold and ivory and jewels? Perhaps God cares about our hearts, not our wealth." (62)

Romance plays a big part in fairy tales, but Melanie's retellings, including The Beautiful Pretender adds mystery and adventure. Physical and emotional battles gives depth to two dimension characters, allowing readers to be rooted into their journeys.  The ending was perfect. Fairy tale perfection as love conquers all as the element of hope for all shines brilliantly through. 

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity Tours for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

CONNECT WITH MELANIE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+

Melanie is also 1 of the 34 confirmed authors at this year's Christian Fiction Readers Retreat!  Head over to the website to see which other authors will also be joining us! Don't miss the chance! Register now!

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
  • A Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll
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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.

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  1. Melanie's books are my favorite fairy tale retellings! "Fairy tale perfection as love conquers all as the element of hope for all shines brilliantly through." You describe it perfectly!

  2. Thanks Rachel! O, I so love this one. *sigh

  3. Annie, thank you for spotlighting Melanie's book. I haven't yet had the pleasure of reading them. Must correct this soon!


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