17 May 2016

Noela reviews THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER by Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender
Thomas Nelson (May 17, 2016)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

A Medieval Fairy-tale Retelling - The Princess and the Pea meets Beauty and the Beast

Imposing stone castles, wolf-infested forests, and immensely gripping characters—together with treachery, sacrifice, and love, ensures this medieval tale emerging from 1363 in the Holy Roman Empire—is one that seizes the reader instantly from the breathtaking beginning!

Avelina, the beautiful maid-servant to Lady Dorothea of Plimmwald Castle, is forced to go in Dorothea’s stead to the Margrave of Thornbeck’s two-week party—from whence the Margrave will choose a bride from the invited noblewomen. Dorothea’s father, the Earl of Plimmwald, insists Avelina impersonate his daughter to attend the gathering after Dorothea ran away with one of his knights. The Earl fears an attack on his castle from a threatening neighbor and must find favor and an ally with the powerful Margrave. Upon fear of banishment for herself and her family, along with the burden that many lives may be lost upon Plimmwald being defeated, Avelina goes along with the masquerade with no small lack of trepidation.

Avelina is a simple and pure-of-heart maiden, but possesses spunk and is opinionated when it comes to injustice and the downtrodden. I couldn’t help but champion for her. Though she’s meant to merely stay in the background and above all avoid the Margrave choosing her as his wife; the scheme falters as the Margrave becomes captivated with her. Avelina attempts to direct his attentions elsewhere but this becomes increasingly heart-rending when her feelings deepen for this austere but kind-hearted man. She knows a union between a maid and Lord would never be permitted, but even so there is too much at stake for Avelina to even contemplate the possibility. Before the fortnight is spent, a much direr situation than her deception begins to emerge. Can this beautiful pretender help truth and justice to triumph or will all be lost?

Truly, I devoured this medieval feast of treachery and love so gluttonously I’m sure I must have burped at the conclusion! Masterful storyteller Melanie Dickerson, once again delivers upon a feasting platter, an intriguing, original tale with phenomenal characters, exhilarating suspense, and a sigh-worthy romance. Enriching ‘The Beautiful Pretender’ is a meaningful reminder of God’s enduring love and faithfulness. Highly recommended! 


*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Thomas Nelson for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given. 
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

This book may be purchased from these and other places: Amazon; CBD; B&N; BAM

GIVEAWAY: Melanie Dickerson is generously offering a giveaway of a signed paperback or e-book to someone who leaves a comment below! (US entrants only) 
To be eligible please leave your email address for contact purposes should you win. Using (at) and (dot) will protect you against spammers.

75 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great read. Thx for sharing!
    Anne at Rightler dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, ANNE! It was such an enjoyable read, so I really hope you get a chance to devour this novel soon, too! Thanks so much for coming by to read about Melanie's book, Anne.

      Delete
  2. At mjertwbr@gmail.com. This looks like a great book, would love to win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the best with your entry, 'JERMWBR', it truly is a wonderful story that's a treat to read!

      Delete
  3. Interesting book. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.
    princessdebbie1_2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely very interesting and difficult to put down, DEBBIE! I sure hope you get to read it soon! All the best!

      Delete
  4. Aw, Noela!!! You guys are the best review writers on the PLANET!!! I so appreciate you!!! Thanks so much for this. I love this story too. There's something about a wounded hero. :-) So excited it's releasing today! Thanks again for this!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Release Day, MELANIE!! Thank you so much for your lovely and encouraging words. That made my evening. :) Hope you know we love and appreciate you too, and are extremely thankful for these wonderful stories that are such an enormous pleasure to read.

      Delete
  5. Your covers draw me in! I would love to have this book for my daughter, Grace, who is an avid 13 year old reader! This is a perfect book for a girl who loved princesses and now is a young teen! (and I'd read it as well!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cover is just stunning, isn't it DEBBY! I'm sure your 13 year old will absolutely love this story!! You too of course, lol. I know I did! All the best with your entry, Debby.

      Delete
  6. I'd love to read this! Love her books :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One can always be assured they're in for a treat when reading one of Melanie's books, for sure. You'll love this one just as much as her others, DEANNA! :)

      Delete
  7. Another author that I'm not familiar with, but I will definitely read this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh BECKY, I sure hope you get to read 'The Beautiful Pretender' then, whether you win it or buy a copy. You'll discover a wonderfully refreshing story-teller in Melanie. All the best!

      Delete
  8. I loved your review, NOELA! WOW! Especially the "burp" line. hehehe I can't wait to read this and it's waiting patiently for me as soon as I feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha thanks DIANA! :) All true, lol. Well the burping is in inconclusive, but devouring this book is a fact! Feel better soon Diana, you've a great book waiting for you when you do!

      Delete
  9. Thank you, Noella, for a chance to win a book on my TBR list. Blessings on you.
    leliamae54(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, LUCY, I hope you can cross this one off soon! :) Bless you!!

      Delete
  10. This looks really interesting. I love the cover.

    kyriaus at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very interesting, AMANDA... One of those really hard-to-put-down books! :) One that I hope you get to read soon!

      Delete
  11. Sounds like a great book. Well written review too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you LG, I really appreciate your comment and loved that you came by to read about Melanie's new release! If you come back, please leave your email so that we may contact you should you win. Thanks!

      Delete
  12. Oh my, love your review Noela...had to chuckle when I read of your ~devouring the feast and "burping" after~.... ;-)
    I too love Melanie Dickerson's books and will add this to my oh so long to-be-read list.

    Congratulations on your book release Melanie Dickerson! Beautiful book cover.
    Blessings,Tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, I'm glad it made you chuckle TINA. I thought it was a bit cheeky but couldn't resist leaving it in anyways. :-) As with all of Melanie's books, this one is just terrific and I know you'll love it! All the best!

      Delete
  13. Oh this sounds so good!! I can't wait to read it for myself!!

    alander87 (at) allcom (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a real treat... Or should I say 'feast' to read, ABBY!! Hope you get the chance, soon! :)

      Delete
  14. Thanks you for the great review. Now I know I don't want to miss reading this book. I do love tales set in Medieval times. Thank you for offering a copy of Beautiful Pretender.
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an exciting and fascinating era isn't it, KAY? And Melanie Dickerson does it all so well!! All the best!

      Delete
  15. What a beautiful cover! Thank you for a great review and giveaway!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MELANIE, thank you so much! The cover sure is strikingly beautiful... Definitely an eye-catcher!

      Delete
  16. It sounds like a very intriguing story. I like that you said it captured you from the beginning.
    fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, JAN, it was one of those books that didn't want to let you go either! :) All the best with your entry!

      Delete
  17. Great review! I can't wait to read this story :)

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, HEIDI! I really hope you get to 'feast' upon Melanie's story soon! :)

      Delete
  18. This sounds Awesome! Thank you for the giveaway chance! Have a Blessed day! ��
    swanphillips4(AT)gmail.(COM)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely awesome, WENONA! :-) Thanks, and many blessings to you too, Wenona!!

      Delete
  19. I can identify with the Princess and the Pea, lol. Would love to win this new story! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well you are a princess, KATHLEEN, and our Father is the King! ;) I really hope you get to read this wonderful story soon!

      Delete
  20. Melanie Dickerson....need I say more? :-)


    Beautiful review Noela for "The Beautiful Pretender", I'm excited for her new one!
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shared the giveaway on my FB page :-)

      Delete
    2. Nup, needn't say anything else, TRIXI! Not a word more. I'd have a copy quicker than you could say Melanie Dickerson. ;-) Thanks SO much for sharing Trixi, I wish you all the best with your entry!

      Delete
  21. Oh I would love to win this book. Sharing giveaway on FB. Joygibson at highland dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love you to win also, JOY! And thank you so much for sharing!

      Delete
  22. Great review Noela. Sounds very interesting. I would love to win a paper book of this. Thanks to my OWG for great reviews and give-aways. Love you all. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com < Still need all of your prayers. Really still having trouble. Still found no remedy for my arm and worse than ever. Can hardly use it so don't do Facebook very much. Hurts bad most all day and many nights. Need lots of prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks MAXIE, and I do so wish you all the best in the drawing. Sounds like you could do with a blessing as well as a healing. I'll be praying and will pass on your prayer request to everyone else. Love and gentle hugs, Maxie!

      Delete
  23. Noela, I unfortunately will have to miss this review since I'll be reviewing it soon! I'm sure it's great! You always captures the book perfectly. (Not entering giveaway). Just saying hi. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi back, ANNIE! Always awesome to see you, thanks so much for dropping by! I look forward to your review. :)

      Delete
  24. NOELA you certainly made me giggle at the thought you burping after reading this enchanting book. I completely understand what you mean, MELANIE's books always leave you feeling fully sated after reading them. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES you know it GF, there's definitely a very full and satisfying feeling after reading one of Melanie's books, TERESA. :-)

      Delete
  25. Love her books. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are definitely some of the best, KIM! :)

      Delete
  26. Oh this one sounds so interesting. I love that the Margrave becomes captivated by her when she needs to stay in the background. This is going on my TBR list! Thanks for the great review and giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an enticing plot for sure, LORAINE!! Sure hope you get to enjoy this one soon! Thanks so much for coming by!

      Delete
  27. Thanks Noela for another great review! Sounds like a story that definitely pulls you in! Would love to read it!! (BTW, is there a cure for book indigestion? ;) ) Thanks,also to Melanie for writing another great story (your Merchant's Daughter is one of my favorites) and for the giveaway! Please throw my name in! lynnefeuerstein(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol LYNNE, if you find the cure, let me know! Thank the Lord that the consumption of all these fine books don't have calories! ;) Here's hoping you get to enjoy The Beautiful Pretender asap, Lynne!

      Delete
  28. NOELA, I love your review! I especially liked your description of the heroine...."Avelina is a simple and pure-of-heart maiden, but possesses spunk and is opinionated when it comes to injustice and the downtrodden." I cant wait to read this novel.
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CARYL, thank you so much, you're such a wonderful encourager! All the best with your entry, I so wish you and everyone here could win a copy. However you get a hold of it, I know you will LOVE it! :)

      Delete
  29. Noela, I don't think I have ever read such an interesting review! Please put my name in as well. bsbras@al.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, what a wonderful compliment BARBARA. Thanks so much! Your name is definitely in the hat, and I wish you all the best!!

      Delete
  30. That was really an awesome review!!! I can't wait to read this awesome book!!! Thanks so much for the great giveaway❤️❤️❤️ You are a great writer!!! Have a wonderful, Blessed Day!!! Good Luck to Everyone!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you FRANCES! You're pretty awesome yourself!! God bless you and all the best with your entry!

      Delete
  31. I just got my paperback copy from the publisher, Noela! Thanks for this great review! I'm looking forward to listening to it when it hopefully releases on audiobook!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky duck! Living over the pond, I only get the e-book variety. ;) You'll absolutely love this story when you get to read/listen to it CARRIE!

      Delete
  32. What a wonderful review! I love Melsnie's books! Ccaudillky (at) Gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, CRYSTAL, that's sweet of you. Melanie writes such wonderful stories, doesn't she? All the best in winning a copy of this wonderful book, Crystal!

      Delete
  33. Would love a chance to win it :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey NESSIE, I would love you to as well, but I will need your email should you do! Thanks! :)

      Delete
  34. I can't wait to read this book. Thank you for the chance to WIN!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, PAMELA! Hope you get to read it soon! :)

      Delete
  35. Great review as usual (except not sure about that burp! LOL). I would love to win this book--I have a granddaughter named Aveline! I need to share this with her mother (my daughter, Tabitha). ;-)
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please excuse me for that, that wasn't too polite in company... Though I've heard it said, it does indicate the meal was good... And I can certainly say that about this book I'd devoured of Melanie's! :-)

      Delete
  36. BTW--other equally unique names of Tabitha's daughters: Cesarine, Aveline (as mentioned), Cerridwin, Mirabelle & baby Bridgette. They have a big brother named Jadon...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the name Aveline, VICKI! Those other names are really interesting... Where does she get these names from?

      Delete
  37. Melanie is a new author to me. I hope to win a copy to get to know her.

    Gpk1946 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete

Google Analytics