03 January 2013

Teresa Mathews Reviews The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson



5 Stars*****

Fairy Tale Perfection!

Melanie Dickerson has beautifully mastered the re-telling of Snow White in a way that all I can say is: I wish the first one had been this good. With this version Melanie takes us back to the land of make-believe where a damsel in distress can be rescued by a handsome Lord and live happily-ever-after.

Sophie has no memories of her life as a child except being here in Hohendorf Castle with the evil Duchess Ermengard. Everything she does seems to bring the wrath of the Duchess on her. She has spent days in the dark, dank dungeon with no food or water as punishment; it seems the Duchess has always hated her. It is only by her faith in God she keeps going on day after day. Will she ever be able to escape this horrible life?

Lord Gabehart Gerstenberg didn't know if he believed the old lady Pinnosa or not, her story seemed far-fetched. They all knew that Duke Baldewin’s daughter Sophie died as a small child. Could she really still be alive and is being held captive by her evil step-mother? Gabe knew that Valten should be the one to rescue his betrothed but something in his heart was urging him to go and not wait for Valten‘s broken leg to heal. Will he find Sophie and be able to bring her back to his brother? 

When a handsome stranger shows up and starts asking Sophie all sorts of odd questions she has no clue what he is talking about. Her, a lowly scullery maid, the daughter of a Duke? That can’t be true; the Duchess told her she was an orphan. Was that another of her wicked lies? Could she really be betrothed to a future Duke named Valten, this stranger's older brother? If so, why didn't he come to rescue her?

When Gabe arrives at Hohendorf Castle and meets the beautiful Sophie, he knows he cannot leave her there in the clutches of the evil Duchess. When Pinnosa’s story is verified by the only other person who knows the truth, Gabe makes haste to whisk Sophie away before the Duchess has her killed. When a wicked huntsman follows them will he succeed in killing them before they make it to the safety of the Cottage of the Seven? Will Gabe be able to watch  Sophie marry his brother now that he realizes how much he loves her? 

This story was absolutely charming; Melanie took one of my favorite fairy tales and improved it to the point of perfection. We have the basic story we grew up with but Melanie has taken it and woven God’s love and the power of His forgiveness throughout the story and that is perfection! Thank you Melanie for helping me remember that with God’s love, fairy tales do come true!!

I was given an ARC by Zondervan in exchange for my honest opinion.

This marvelous read along with others by Melanie can be found at Amazon, CBD and Barnes & Noble.


GIVEAWAY: Melanie is giving away a signed copy of The Fairest Beauty to a US commenter who answers the question below. 
International commenters cannot be entered in this giveaway.

QUESTION: As a child what was your favorite "Happy-Ever-After" story?

54 comments:

  1. Yay for Teresa's review!! Excellent review, Teresa, well done! Loved your comment that with God's love, fairy tales do come true, AMEN to that!! Such a beautiful cover too :)

    The two happily ever stories from my childhood were both fantasy movies, they utterly encouraged me and inspired me:
    *The Neverending Story
    *Beauty and the Beast
    LOOOVED the characters in each movie and they both impacted/enhanced my faith afterwards. I so enjoyed them!

    Thanks so much for your comments on this wonderful book, Teresa! Loved your title and "We have the basic story we grew up with but Melanie has taken it and woven God’s love and the power of His forgiveness throughout the story and that is perfection!" God's forgiveness is such a great theme in stories and His forgiveness brings miracles. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book and looking forward to getting a copy of it :)

    Hugs and blessings Teresa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, Kara! Can't wait for you to read it! :-) Only 5 more days before it comes out!

      Beauty and the Beast was definitely one of my favorite stories. I also loved all the fairy tales, maybe Cinderella was my favorite as a little girl. I love the way she stuns everyone with her beauty and the fact that they don't know who she is! Love that.

      Delete
    2. KARA thank you so much for your encouraging words. I can't wait for you to read this, I know you will LOVE it!!

      Delete
  2. TERESA, after reading your fabulous review I'm seriously hanging out even MORE to read Melanie's beautiful book!!
    I love that Melanie can bring God along with the message of love and forgiveness, her own twists, and a much more satisfying and beautiful romance, into the classic fairy-tale stories... turning them into as you say, perfection!!

    I think Cinderella was probably my favourite childhood 'Happy ever-after story'. We were quite poor then and I have always been a romantic at heart... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Noela! I can't wait for you to read it and to hear what you think of it. :-) It seems something different stands out to every person when they read a book.

      Cinderella was a favorite when I was a little girl, and I loved the rags to riches aspect of it. I loved how she was so gentle but she still ended up getting a very happy ending. And I can't wait for you guys to read my Cinderella story ... this October!!!

      Delete
    2. NOELA I feel bad that you and MARIAN haven't gotten to read this beautiful story yet but I know when you do you will enjoy it.

      Cinderella was probably one of my favorites too, I was always afraid of Snow White's step-mother. LOL Melanie makes her just as scary but Sophie has God with her so that makes anything less scary. :)

      Delete
  3. I very much enjoyed Melanie's previous books and can't wait to get my hands on this one. And now after reading your review I can hardly wait to start reading it. :) Great review!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marian! I hope you will like it as much as my other ones! :-)

      Delete
    2. MARIAN I don't know why you and Noela can't just rush right over to my house and I'll be glad to let you read my copy! :P I wish is was that easy to get to spend time with my BFF or in your case my new daughter! I know you are going to LOVE this one. Melanie is such a talented writer!

      Delete
  4. Wow, Teresa! Thank you so much for that review! I definitely think Zondervan should hire you and Diana to write summaries for their back covers! You guys are wonderful!!! I'm so thankful you liked it! :-) And so grateful for this amazing review! And so grateful the book will FINALLY be out in five days!!!
    Thank you, Teresa!!! You and Diana are my new best friends! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh MELANIE you are so sweet!! What a amazing talent you have! I noticed 2012 there was a couple of movies that came out with a twist on Snow White but I didn't bother to go see them. There seemed to be such an emphasis on the evilness that I wouldn't want to watch it. YOURS would make the PERFECT movie, now that would be PERFECTION!!!

      Don't know about writing the summaries I think they would say...GIRL YOU TALK TOO MUCH!!! hehehe

      I am so excited to have a new BFF as beautiful and talented as you. YAY!!

      Delete
  5. Thank you, MELANIE! Awesome review, TERESA!! Fun writing this one, wasn't it? I try to expound on the blurb enough to hook the potential reader, w/out giving away any spoilers. Difficult sometimes and requires alot of tweaking.

    TERESA, as CARRIE knows, MELANIE might rescind her offer to be our bfs if she knew what it was like to go out to lunch with us two nuts. haha Like the Zondervan hiring us to write blurbs idea, but boy would I have to learn to shorten things up!! Luv ya, MELANIE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my favorite fairy tales were Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. And for Beauty and the Beast lovers I watched a great movie (1998) called BEAUTY with Janine Turner! It has the mysterious beast character in his lovely mansion, but is modern day romance fairy tale. Loved it and the video is on you tube under Beauty with Janine Turner if you want a little sneak preview.

      Delete
    2. DIANA ssshhhh!! Don't tell on us, we did TRY to keep it hidden!! Hey life is SO much more FUN when you laugh your cares away. Or what was the song that the Seven Dwarfs sang...Whistle While You Work??!! Is that the one? Either way a Merry Heart Does Good Like Medicine Proverbs 17:22

      That movie sounds great...I remember back a some years ago there was a TV show based on Beauty and the Beast.

      Don't you like that idea about writing for Zondervan? I know you laughed at what I put on there! I would have to learn to "KISS"...Keep It Short-n-Sweet! LOL

      Delete
  6. Ooo! I'll have to find that and get it from Netflix, Diana! I LOVE Beauty and the Beast stories!!!

    And I also love going to lunch with friends who are, shall we say, not so conventional and calm? More fun!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. GREAT REVIEW, TERESA!!! And, MEL, I swear ... each of your covers get better and better!!! Can't wait to read it. :)

    Before the age of twelve, I actually had three favorites: Pillow to Post with Ida Lupino and Kisses for Breakfast with Jane Wyatt (both 1940 movies ... and yes, I'm dating myself here) and my top, top favorite, which was from the 50s, is Susan Slept Here with Debbie Reynolds and Dick Powell -- love, love, LOVED it and actually just watched it a few months ago. Sooooo cute, funny and romantic -- my cup of tea, even then.

    Then after the age of twelve??? Are you kidding??? Gone With the Wind. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU JULIE!! I will have to find those movies and watch them they sound fabulous. You are certainly not dating yourself when anyone of any age can watch the classic movies now days. I know you can't be any older than 21! :) Can you believe I have never read Gone With The Wind? I think my Mom was the most strictest Mom ever so I never got to read the book!! I have watched the movie in parts but I don't think I have ever finished it from start to finish. I think I need to do that soon! I'm sure my sons would appreciate that!! hehehe

      As for you reading The Fairest Beauty, it's storyline is just a beautiful as the picture on the cover. AMAZING!

      Delete
    2. Oh, Julie, you're so funny! I love old movies, but I haven't seen any of those! Will definitely have to get them and see them!

      Delete
  8. Cinderella was my favorite when I was little, but I have to say I ♥ Beauty & the Beast as an adult :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANNE I loved both of those too! MELANIE has already put her spin on Beauty and the Beast. And I can't wait for Cinderella MELANIE Style!! Come on October!! :D

      Delete
  9. I really enjoyed reading the review for The Fairest Beauty and now I'm hooked. I can't wait to read the story. My favorite Happy-Ever-After story when I was a child was Cinderella.
    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KATIE I'm glad you enjoyed my review, it is a terrific book. I think Miss Cinderella is the top favorite today. I can't wait until Melanie's "new" Cinderella is out in October. YAY!!

      Delete
  10. Cinderella
    Kathleen ~ Missouri ~*~ Lane Hill House
    I'm back for a chance to win this book!!! Yay for the Fairest Beauty. ♫♪♪♫•*¨Hi-Ho*•.¸¸❤¸¸Hi-Ho.•*¨*•♫♪ du dum de du dum da
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  11. KATHLEEN thanks for the giggle!! You made my day! Here's wishing you Lots of Luck in the drawing!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Judging by this cover, I know this book is going to be epic! I can not wait to read this book. I love all of Melanie's books so far. My favorite happily-ever-after story when I was little was Sleeping Beauty where love will always prevail and will always overcome evil. :D

    ChristyNtzbnd@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christy, I want to buy this book just to have the cover!!! It looks GORGEOUS!!! And by Diana's and Teresa's reviews I would say that what is in between the covers is even better!

      Delete
    2. CARRIE the cover is way beyond beautiful and the story is even better than the cover.

      Delete
  13. Okay, while I loved Cinderella, like I said in my interview with Debbie Lynne, my favorite HEA was Anne of Green Gables. Do you know why? No, you can't--because you haven't read my version of the book!!! My ten-year-old self wrote a PROLOGUE to the book in which Gilbert and Anne married and had several kids together, sigh... Little did I know that Lucy Maude Montgomery had written more books in the series! Didn't know that till I was an adult. I lived in the boonies and got to read whatever was in the library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CARRIE that story was so sweet! I never got to read a lot of books as a kid, Mom thought I could make better use of my time cleaning house or washing dishes or cooking supper. I remember when I was older and I was in school to be a cosmetologist, the local library was a block away. Loved walking there on break and loading up on books. Reading all the ones I missed as a kid. :)

      Thanks for looking out for me on here while I was away cutting my MIL's hair! I thank you and I know she does too!

      Delete
  14. I love the cover of this book!
    My favorite happy ever after story is Sleeping Beauty.
    Thanks for entering me in the book giveaway, can't wait to read it.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. JANET Thanks for coming by. I think Sleeping Beauty might be catching up with Cinderella! Good luck in the drawing JANET!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Zondervan overnighted me my first copy of The Fairest Beauty! I just got it today! It's sooooooo pretty! :-)
    But this means they have the books! So they'll be winging their way to all you lovely people who pre-ordered it--very soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was addicted to Beauty & the Beast as a kid! Now as an adult I love Tangled with Rapunzel!
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MEGAN I wanted to see that one but my BOYS didn't want to go with me. LOL I need to rent it soon. You will LOVE this one by MELANIE it's sooo good! :)

      Delete
    2. T, you will hafta come over over for lunch when I get all well and we'll watch Tangled!

      Delete
  18. It's been quite awhile since I was a child, but I do remember liking the story of Cinderella. I am looking forward to reading The Fairest Beauty. It would be wonderful to win a signed copy! Thanks for the chance.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PAM I think Cinderella might be the one with the most votes today! Thanks for coming by and good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  19. Love this question! Must answer it!!! LOL! I'm torn between Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.

    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I loved Sleeping Beauty and watched it over and over. When Beauty and the Beast came out, that took its place. I loved how Aurora met her prince and I loved to read just like Belle! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VERONICA thanks for coming by. Sleeping Beauty was great and Beauty and the Beast. Last year I took one of my nieces to see Beauty and the Beast when it came out in 3-D it was sooo cool!!

      Delete
  21. Snow white

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. APPLE BLOSSOM thanks for another vote for Snow White! If you like Snow White you will love MELANIE'S version. :) Good luck in the drawing!

      Delete
  22. I just love the cover of this book!!
    Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite :D

    samanthaakuiper(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. SAMANTHA isn't the cover great??!! If you like Beauty and the Beast you should read MELANIE'S version of it. Good luck in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete

  24. One of my most favorite stories was about Baby Moses in the Bible. I also loved the Nancy Drew stories. And, Alice in Wonderland. I didn't have many books until the ones I read when I started to school. Daddy did good to keep the 8 of us fed and clothed. But, we always had our Bible stories. I would love to win this book. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MAXIE how wonderful to mention Baby Moses...that is definitely a HEA story. Thank you for reminding us of how much better God's Happy Ever After is!

      Delete
  25. I think I would say Cinderella. Someone comes along and sweeps me away from my very mundane everyday life=)

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PATTY that is every girls dream isn't it? Or how about when the little girl is angry at mom and she dreams there was a mix up and she is really a princess in real life!! :D Not saying I know ANYTHING about that! lol

      Delete
  26. My favorite was then and is now, Beauty and the Beast. I have the VHS, DVD, and all of the other releases from it.
    Amy C
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AMY I agree, Beauty and the Beast is a lovely story. :)

      Delete
  27. I've been reading all the comments. Even though Cinderella was my favorite when I was little, and Beauty and the Beast when I got older, my favorite Disney movie was Sleeping Beauty. It was when I was watching that movie with my girls that I got inspired to write The Healer's Apprentice, and then I thought it would be exciting to do other fairy tales! So, thank you, Mr. Disney. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you MELANIE for re-doing these stories...in my opinion yours are much better! :)

      Delete

Google Analytics