My review of The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

About the book:

A daring rescue. 

A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.

When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

My review:

Of the three novels that this author has written to date, I think I enjoyed this one the most, though I gave all three of her books five star reviews. Any time a book is so compelling that I can’t stop reading it gets high marks from me as a reader. I get bored easily and this novel held my attention. I loved how this story paralleled Snow White, but with an added spiritual twist that made it even more interesting.

It’s hard to say much without giving away plot points, though it does follow Snow White’s fairy tale. I’m sure this is what the author intended. The strong faith thread in this book as well as a desire to do God’s will and to please Him is what makes it unique. I appreciated that. I also enjoyed the fact that there was an element of forbidden love, which makes the love that much harder to resist. No one wants to betray anyone else, but sometimes doing the right thing means following your heart. If it is God’s plan, it will all work out in the end.

The author did a great job with the setting. I truly felt like I was living in the past and experiencing the sights and smells from the days when people lived in castles. I also enjoyed the way the author slowly built the tension between the hero and heroine. It blessed me to see the tenderness expressed in so many ways from people who cared about Sophie.

The portions of the story where the heroine longs for a family are quite touching. The stepmother was truly wicked and creepy. She gave me the shivers. I suppose extreme jealousy and insecurity can do that to a person. Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the story for readers by alluding to too much, but I can say this novel is for all ages, though geared toward young adults. If you want a warm romance with a strong faith thread that’s clean, but by no means dull, then this is the perfect book to recommend.

The Fairest Beauty was published by Zondervan and released in January 2013.

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