8/1/15

Fairytale Romance Collection by Melanie Dickerson




Romance, intrigue, and danger abound in this bind-up of five of Melanie Dickerson's fairy-tale retellings presented in realistic historical settings. Includes The Healer's Apprentice, The Merchant's Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, and The Princess Spy. 
Here is a brief description of each:

The Healer's Apprentice: Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, and when Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, Rose tends to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to fall in love, and wonders if he feels the same. But Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
I read this one years ago, when it was first released!  I remember really enjoying the book, so I jumped at the chance to read the rest of this set!
The Merchant's Daughter: Annabel is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. She soon finds he is not beastly after all, and becomes involved in a situation that could place Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, in her hands.
The Merchant's Daughter is a "Beauty and the Beast" tale in which the beautiful servant, Annabel, sees the true heart of Lord Ranulf, while he remains misunderstood to the rest of the village.  I love when someone looks past public opinion and outside appearances and finds truth, and I enjoyed this story very much.  
The Fairest Beauty: Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and receives her chance when Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and that he has come to rescue her. Though romance is impossible--she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else--the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven to find help. Before long both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them, they must also protect their hearts.
The Fairest Beauty stems from "Snow White," and I found it fun and entertaining.  I enjoyed the variations from it's parent story, especially the Cottage of the Seven. 
The Captive Maiden: When Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
The Captive Maiden is the "Cinderella" story of the set.  This is Cinderella with a little extra suspense and intrigue in the mix, and again, it was very fun to read.  
The Princess Spy: Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha--one of the few who speaks his language--understands the wild story. It is up to her to save her father, Colin, and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.

 The Princess Spy finishes up the set with Margaretha's story, who was introduced in The Captive Maiden.  I read this one in a day!  It is a fun, fast read. 

This series is great for quick summer reads.  I would also recommend it for teen readers.   Each story is light and easy to read, with a Christian viewpoint.  While they do not require deep thought, or inspire a lot of life application-they are super fun to read.  I would recommend them!