Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

Book review of The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson (Thomas Nelson) by papertapepins

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 who meet the king’s approval 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 a sweet medieval fairytale story with sort of an upstairs/downstairs theme. A lady's maid is sent in her mistresses sted to a gathering of maidens at a Margrave's estate nearby where he will choose one of them to wed. She is to go, and not offend anyone, but certainly not let herself be chosen as his bride. Want to guess what happens? The plot is predictable but there are plenty of tricky situations along the way. This book feels geared toward teens, and while for the most part I think her audience will love it, the romance described is at times more mature than I would like to see. Not what I would want my daughter reading in a couple years, and I don't understand why it has to be that way. So I am left feeling that this book straddles a line, one foot in teen fiction, another definitely adult ... I think the author has to tone down the romance or write to an older audience. 

I've read a few of her fairytale romances and while I enjoy them and would love to share them with my daughter in a year or two (the bigger reason I read them in the first place), I am hesitant to do so because I feel the romance goes too far once or twice in each book and that I find very disappointing.

I received this book from Zondervan and BookLook for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.

        About Melanie:

Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. 

She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. 

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

Book review of A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund (Zondervan) by papertapepins

In A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund, Julianna is the daughter of a lord, who following her father's death, she has started disguising herself as a young man, living in the woods and helping the poor and starving people. Her harsh uncle rules the land that should be hers and orders that she be captured. Collin has been summoned to Wessex by the lord to protect the nobles from a group of vigilantes who have been attacking traveling parties with bows and arrows, stealing their valuable possessions. But when he comes across the leader of this group, he feels a familiarity to a girl that he knew as a youth. Soon he and Juliana are fighting for what each believes is right, while also fighting the feelings that have begun to develop between them both.

First of all, isn't that a lovely cover? That caught my interest right off. Then there was the fact that is is a remake of the classic Robin Hood story. Very cool. It lives up to both the greatness of the original tale and the cover, I'm pleased to say!

Julianna is a wonderful heroine. She's not perfect but you are definitely rooting for her right from the get-go. She is daring and fearless as a huntress and bandit providing for her band of people hiding in the forest but she's not without her longings and insecurities. As a book geared to a YA audience I wasn't sure if I would find this up to the author's writing level from previous books (I haven't read the first in the series yet, but I will!) but I didn't find it was simplified or more written differently as sometimes can be the case. In fact, I would recommend this book to an older teen and up audience as there is somewhat gory torture details, true to the time, but maybe not appropriate for tweens/young teens, and also because of the amount of romance. That could have been cut back just a little. It manages not to get in the way of the action, which starts on page one and continues all the way through. The banter between Julianna and Collin is fun and lightens up the storyline. Great story, I highly recommend it!

I received this book from Zondervan and BookLook for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award and INSPYs Award. She received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

I Can Read: Great Stories of the Bible 6 in 1

Book review of Great Stories of the Bible from Adventure Bible!

Great Stories of the Bible is a six book treasury of level 2 Adventure Bible I Can Read titles designed for newly independent readers and based on the Adventure Bible—the #1 Bible for kids!
Read all about people in Bible times and their adventures in these well-known Bible stories.
The I Can Read stories by Adventure Bible are both accurate and beautiful ... and funny! You should see some of the pictures. The bit of humor adds to the story, but does not detract from the main point. They are, of course, short on details because they need to be told in few words, but they get the main details right. The hard cover and thick, glossy, colourful stories just beg to be opened and read. This is perfect for reading aloud to a 2 year old and up, and also for an early reader to practice with. Six Bible stories are included in this book.
I received this book from Zondervan and BookLook for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. 

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