The Beautiful Pretender
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The Beautiful Pretender

Thomas Nelson / 2016 / Paperback

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The Beautiful Pretender #8 in the Medieval Fairy Tale Novels by Melanie Dickerson

Under orders from the King, The Margrave of Thornbeck must find a bride of his choosing… from among the ten noblewomen proposed by that same King.  All ten are invited to the castle for a fortnight…and a secret series of tests.  But one of the guests is not who she pretends to be…and not everyone in attendance is there with good intentions.  Will there ever be a wedding at Thornbeck Castle?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 312
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0718026284
ISBN-13: 9780718026288
Series: Medieval Fairy Tale Romance

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Publisher's Description

From New York Times bestselling author comes The Beautiful Pretender!

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his 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

Author Bio

Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist. Her first book The Healer’s Apprentice won the National Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Book in 2010, and The Merchant’s Daughter won the 2012 Carol Award. Melanie spends her time writing stories at her home near Huntsville, Alabama, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Visit her online at MelanieDickerson.com, Facebook: MelanieDickersonBooks, Twitter: @MelanieAuthor.

 

Editorial Reviews

4 stars. 'Readers of The Huntress of Thornback Forest will be pleased to see Odette and Jorgen happily married and working together to help Reinhart overcome his insecurities. Avelina and Reinhart’s devotion to each other in spite of gossip and social expectations reminds readers that we are never too old for fairy tales, and romantic dreams can come true.'
“Dickerson fans will enjoy this latest medieval fairy tale that includes the return of Jorgen and Odette as they aid Reinhart and Avelina in seeking God’s help in sparing all from war.”

Product Reviews

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  1. Lindsey from BFCG
    Texas
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Enjoyed it! {Content Review}
    September 12, 2017
    Lindsey from BFCG
    Texas
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    **This is a Books for Christian Girls content review for girls ages 9-19. The Spiritual, Negative, & Sexual Content from this book are honestly listed below. Keep in mind, when reading a BFCG review, ignore the things that don't bother you, but take notice of the things that do.**

    About this book:

    After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

    The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the kings approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

    Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesnt select her as his 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 Avelinas best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she cant deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worsefar deadlierconsequences

    Series: Book #2 in the Medieval Fairy Tale Romance series or also known as the Thornbeck series. (Review of Book #1 Here!)

    Spiritual Content- Many, many prayers; Talks about God, faiths & chapels; Hs are capital when referring to God; Many mentions of God; Many mentions of prayers; Many mentions of chapels; Mentions of those in the Bible; Mentions of sins & judging; Mentions of Jews; A few mentions of Bible reading; A couple mentions of Heaven;

    *Note: A mention of d*mning information.

    Negative Content- Minor cussing including: four forms of stupid; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); A bit of sarcasm; Wolf attacks (along with killing wolves), blood, pain, injuries & wounds (lots of all, semi-detailed); Almost dying & being killed (semi-detailed); Nightmares (up to semi-detailed); Hitting & wanting to hit someone; Many, many, many mentions of deaths, murders, killing, fires, threats & executions (up to semi-detailed); Many, many, many mentions of rumors & gossip (including that Reinhart killed his brother, which he didnt); Many mentions of pain & injuries; Many mentions of wolves, their kill & shooting them (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of hunting & killing animals; Many mentions of drunks, strong drinks, drinking & wine; Mentions of battles, fighting & killing; Mentions of the pillory, being beaten & shamed; A few mentions of a poacher (Book #1); A few mentions of horse manure & the smell; A couple mentions of self-harming & suicide; A mention of a woman falling to her death; A mention of breaking someones limbs; A mention of a threat of cutting someones tongue out; A mention of rat droppings.

    Sexual Content- a hand kiss, two cheek kisses, two hair kisses, two barely-above-not-detailed kisses, four semi-detailed kisses; Remembering kisses (barely-above-not-detailed); Lots of Touches, Embraces, Warmth & Nearness (semi-detailed); Attraction & Butterflies; Noticing & Smelling; Wanting to be kissed & loved; Wanting to kiss, touch & embrace; Wanting someone; Dorothea had trysts with a knight & is now with child (and many, many, many mentions of that and rumors); Many, many, many mentions of lovers & mistresses; Many mentions of Reinharts brother, his brothers lover & their unborn child; Mentions of bare ankles & a mans bare chest (along with trying not to stare, up to semi-detailed); Mentions of flirting & jealousy; Mentions of wooing & loving a woman; Mentions of kissing & kisses; Mentions of Reinharts parents unhappy marriage (they hated each other, both had lovers & those facts make Reinhart wonder how he and his brother came out of that marriage); A few mentions of unfaithful spouses; A few mentions of temptations; A couple mentions of men who impregnated different women; A couple mentions of a maidservant & her lover being alone together at night and having a good time; A mention of a 15year old boy taking advantage of any girl that would let him; A mention of molestation; A mention of a newly married couple going to their bedroom; Love, falling in love & the emotions.

    -Avelina Klein, age 20

    -Reinhart Stolten

    P.O.V. switches between them

    Set in 1363 {Medieval}

    307 pages

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Pre Teens- One Star

    New Teens- One Star (and a half)

    Early High School Teens- Three Stars

    Older High School Teens- Four Stars

    My personal Rating- Four Stars

    A retelling mix of The Princess and the Pea and the Beauty and the Beast, Melanie Dickerson brings us back to Thornbeck and we get to learn the mystery behind the Margrave's past. While The Beautiful Pretender can be a stand-alone, it will be enjoyed much more if The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is read prior to reading this one. Odette and Jorgen are still in this one, which I was so excited to see! This novel got kind of kissy near the end, but I did like all the prayers. I really liked Avelina (that name is fabulous!) and her personality. Reinhart (again, fun name!) was a good hero for this story and I found it very touching how protective he was near the end.

    Overall, this was another great Melanie Dickerson book and I can't wait to learn more about the next book in this series! :)

    *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

    *I received this book for free from the Publisher (Thomas Nelson) for this honest review.
  2. theLadyLeigh
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Enjoyable YA
    February 28, 2017
    theLadyLeigh
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This story is a new retelling of an old, old story. Avelina is a servant and companion to the earls daughter, lowly in standing, but very smart and clever on the spur of a moments notice as she is always needing to aide and cover up Dorotheas misdeeds.

    When its discovered that Dorothea has run off with one of her fathers knights- just as word comes of the Margrave of Thornbeck holding a search for a bride- a bride that will help ally and strengthen neighboring regions- Avelina has little choice but to obey the earls command and take his daughters place!

    Avelinas one job if she is to keep her family safe and well cared for is to get into the margraves good graces for the sake of her region- but not get herself noticed too much- and certainly not allow herself to fall in love with the margrave! With a serious of odd and dangerous occurrences keep happening around the castle Avelina however, may be in danger of failing her mission- and falling in love with a man she can never marry!

    I read this book over the course of a couple of weeks as I sat in and out of doctors appointments and waiting rooms- and boy was I glad to have this book as companion! I really enjoy old themes and stories being retold in new ways and enjoy the medieval time period this book is set in! Its a nice change of pace from more modern books and settings, and from some of the same-old, same-old historical eras and settings that flood the market today.

    I really love reading YA fiction from time to time and usually find that the storylines are more interesting and the plot is more detailed with more twists and turns than your average novel. This is the case of this book by Melanie Dickerson. As in her previous works I found myself drawn right into the story and swept along to enjoy every minute of it! I cannot remember anything that I found objectionable content wise, though if you are sensitive to kissing scenes and talk of attraction there is some of that in the latter portion of the book. I didnt find this overly or soppily done (as I do in many books) but felt it was in keeping for the situations and relationship point where they take place. Frankly, I was more interested in at last solving the whole of the mystery that is throughout the story, and was glad to see it come to a satisfying conclusion!

    I would recommend this book for yourself or for a mid-teen reader that you may know!

    Final Rating: 4.5

    I have been given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.
  3. Inkwell Reviews
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Review From inkwellreviews.com
    February 13, 2017
    Inkwell Reviews
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Ahh yes, another heart-warming tale by Melanie Dickerson filled with sweet romance and happily-ever-afters. For me, I love the medieval time period, its so nice to read something not set in the 1800s or in present day. Id say that Melanie Dickersons books are geared toward more of a teenage crowd, but anyone can read them! I certainly enjoyed it.

    But...🙂 just a couple of things. Melanie Dickersons storylines are always the same, and you can bet that after reading so many of her books, it gets a little predicable. Halfway through the book, I already knew the ending! It made reading the second half boring and dull.

    Her characters have the same problem. The problem isnt that theyre too boring or dull but too perfect. Theyre sweet, gorgeous, and smart. You guessed it, they will probably find out that they happen to be a princess. I dont know about you but I cannot relate to them. (For once I would like to read about a peasant marrying a peasant) This makes them dull and boring to read about.

    I think Melanie Dickerson is such a gifted writer, she can do so much more with her abilities! She just needs to explore what she is capable of.

    This book was still a good read. If you have a teenage daughter or never read a Melanie Dickerson book, then give it a try! Youll find her stories will sweep you up into a whirlwind of mystery, romance and a happily-ever-after.
  4. Yvette K.
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Lovely Fairy Tale Retelling
    October 23, 2016
    Yvette K.
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Melanie Dickerson has taken elements of two fairy tales, the Beauty and The Beast along with The Princess and The Pea, and crafted a wholly new tale of Historical Fiction. Had I not known that this was somewhat a fairy tale retelling, I might not have identified these elements so readily, or the feeling that it was ever so slightly reminiscent of The Goose Girl.

    The Margrave, Lord Thornbeck, is the gruff and difficult but attractive Beast/Prince, masking his wounded heart. Avelina is adorably plucky and self-sacrificing, a lovely heroine forced into a difficult situation. The forces that come between them add to the tension and the fun of seeing these two attractive people find their way to each other, overcoming the obstacles of evil intentions and class divides as the "beauty" helps to heal the "beast."

    This is the second book I have read by Melanie Dickerson and I hope to read more. These are some of my favorite fairy tale based YA reads so far and I greatly enjoy the way that they blend in the faith journeys of the characters. Highly recommended.

    This review refers to a review copy received, for free, from Thomas Nelson's Fiction Guild. All opinions expressed are my own.
  5. EmilyAnne28
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Sweet Historical Romance
    September 28, 2016
    EmilyAnne28
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When the Margrave of Thornbeck Forest is charged by the king to choose a wife from among the neighboring estates within the next month, he takes his huntsmans advice to invite all the potential young women to his estate for two weeks to test their character. Unbeknownst to them all, one of the ladies is but a servant in disguise. Too bad she seems to be the only one with the kind of character worth his consideration

    The Beautiful Pretender is yet another of Melanie Dickersons fairy tales rewritten in medieval Germany. This one, like the other in this new series, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (and, yes, Odette and Jorgen make cameos!), wasnt too clear on what the fairy tale was but seemed a very loose combination of The Princess and the Pea and Beauty and the Beast mixed with almost an Esther theme. And it was amazing! One of the better books from Melanie Dickerson that I have read.

    How can you fall in love when you know you are deceiving the one you care about? And would they love you back if they found out? Talk about an awkward situation, but certainly one that novels have covered many times. The Beautiful Pretender portrayed the situation very well with the added danger of a spying contestant and her father determined to destroy both the Margrave and the deceptive lady-in-waiting. But they are certainly up to the task of conquering their foes and falling in love. And, who would have thoughta woman who knows how to pick locks in the Middle Ages! I certainly wouldnt have.

    The Beautiful Pretender was a lovely historical romance that I would highly recommend to those who enjoy a sweet fairytale romance.

    I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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