The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie DickersonA solid follow-up to The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest! Avelina is a servant to a spoiled Lord’s daughter, Dorothea. When Dorothea runs away just as her father plans to send her as a bride candidate to the Margrave of Thornbeck Castle, he threatens Avelina’s family and forces her to go in his daughter’s place and act as if she is Dorothea. The goal is to make a military alliance, not a marriage. Avelina does not like Dorothea’s spoiled behavior and tries to behave as she normally would thinking this would turn the Margrave away from her as a marriage candidate; but hoping he would have mercy on her and her “father.” Unfortunately her open honesty sets her apart from most of the bride candidates and draws the Margrave’s attention to her as a marriage candidate, making her a target of bride candidates who are determined to win the Margrave for themselves! Avelina’s courage and faith sustains her as she faces pranks and near death experiences, but will her courage and faith be enough to save the Margrave when he becomes a target of an enemy?
Again, this retelling of The Princess and the Pea, is a solid follow up to The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. I enjoyed reading how the reticent and glowering margrave worked through all the ‘romantic’ events that Jorgen and Odette planned for him to help him pick his bride. It was an emotional tug-of-war for poor Avelina who knew she was a servant, but wanted so much to be worthy of the margrave. Deceptions, secrets and lies have a way of destroying the very thing we desire most, and Avelina finds truth to be her best weapon in the end. Melanie Dickerson always weaves a quality story and gives me that ‘happily-ever-after’ that I’m seeking. I’m looking forward to book 3 in this series.

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