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 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 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.
The Beautiful Pretender is Melanie Dickerson’s most recent novel, but definitely isn’t the first book I have ever read by her. I’ve read The Fairest Beauty, The Golden Braid, The Healer’s Apprentice, The Captive Maiden, and The Merchant’s Daughter—all of which are on my all-time favorites list. Clearly I knew I would enjoy this novel, since I always enjoy every single bit of anything Melanie writes, and I wasn’t disappointed. This story had already captivated me by the time I had simply read the description, and every single line, page, and chapter I devoured only enthralled me more. By the time I made it to the end, I was so glad to find out what happened but I was dying for the story to continue and go on and on forever, and I wished I hadn’t sped through it as quickly as I did so that maybe it would have lasted longer. As soon as I finished the last page, I was already longing to open it back up at the beginning and read it all the way through again, and that’s not something I can say about a book very often.
Avelina was by far one of my favorite heroines that Melanie has written. She is sweet, compassionate, loving, selfless, and just a little daring, and all of those qualities combined to make her the absolute perfect woman for the margrave, no matter the fact that we all know she can’t possibly be with him. Not only would she make him the perfect bride but, in my opinion, they were also completely and utterly perfect for each other, and I hate that she has to deceive him. My favorite thing about Avelina, however, is possibly her selflessness in dire situations. With every plot twist, she is constantly putting others, especially the margrave, before herself, even at the risk of her own health. That type of sacrificial love is by far the most beautiful kind.
One of my favorite parts of this book was the relationship between Avelina and the margrave, before and after everything that happened at the ball where he chose his bride. I couldn’t help but love every single second they were together, no matter what else was going on around them. And I will say, the twists and turns this book took in the second half were fabulous! I couldn’t put the book down as it kept me on the edge of my seat and I had no idea what would happen! My favorite part of all was the ending, but I really loved so many bits and pieces all throughout this novel—and I just loved the whole thing—so it’s only my favorite part by the slimmest margin. Because every single solitary sentence of this book was perfect.
All in all, if you couldn’t already tell, I really, really loved this novel. I’m so, so glad I own a copy of it because I’m 150% sure I’m going to read it again sometime in the near future, and I already have plans to lend it out, first to my best friend and then we’ll see from there. I just couldn’t find a single thing wrong with this novel—not that I was looking and trying to be nitpicky or anything—so I couldn’t give it anything other than all five bookshelves, and a permanent place on my all-time favorites list. Melanie hit it out of the park with this one, and I cannot wait to read whatever she has coming next because I just know I will love it completely!
Check out this great giveaway here!
I received a copy of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for only my honest review.
To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
Photo credits go to my sister, Allie, whose blog you can visit here.
All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Melanie Dickerson and Thomas Nelson Publishing.