My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
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?
I enjoyed being immersed in medieval Germany with political intrigue and hidden identities. As a young adult novel this is written with a lighter tone, and I smiled at the nods to Beauty and the Beast that popped up throughout the story. Avelina's strength of character and compassionate personality shine as she stands out from the crowd of pampered ladies. I was glad that her isolation was offset by a friendship with one of the young women, which proved to help her cause later on. The beginnings of their attraction for each other is awkward, but then develops into a more natural rapport. There is plenty of action during the climax as they defend Thornbeck against those plotting against him. A great addition to the author's Medieval Fairy Tale Romance series!
(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. 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?
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