What happens when a margrave realizes he's fallen in love with a servant?
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 is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave's 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. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.
What an absolutely wonderful book! I didn't think I would love it as much as I did and just couldn't put it down!
Avelina is a maid servant to Duchess Dorethea but when Dorethea runs off with her father's knight, Avelina finds herself being thrown into a situation where she must pretend to be Dorethea. The Margrave of Thornbeck has been ordered by the King to find a wife that will pull the country together and Dorethea is one of the noblewomen that he is supposed to consider. Avelina has been told that she is to make sure no one finds out she is not Lady Dorethea and that she must not be the one the Margrave chooses. I love how she negotiates terms with the Lord for money and food for her family if she does this.
All the ladies arrive at his castle for a series of tests (although they don't know this) and it makes for very exciting reading! Reinhart's right hand man, Jordon and his wife, Odette, are helping him choose the right bride and I really loved them as characters. They are loyal, loving and just great friends to Reinhart. I absolutely adore Avelina and Lady Magdalen because of their sweet natures and their love for others less fortunate then themselves. I'm really hoping we see a book focused on Lady Magdalen in the future!
Reinhart is a very quiet man who is dealing with pain after hurting his ankle and now walking with the cane. This has changed him in a lot of ways because he was a knight of great stature and ability and now he has a limp. I could really empathize with his plight and had great compassion for him despite his gruff nature.
There was one Lady in particular that was very unlikable and I found myself just despising her more and more. There is a big twist in the story that was really a surprise to me but it was very intriguing and made the book even more of a page turner!
Such a good story in so many ways. It's the perfect fairy tale and I enjoyed it so much! It's full of romance yet enough danger to make you hold your breath at times! I just loved this book and I know it will one that you will love, too! This book definitely deserves 5 out of 5 stars.
*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group
Blessings - Julie