Book Review | The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

I have never been much a fan of the Princess and the Pea fairy tale . . . NEVER.

Melanie Dickerson has changed all of that for me!

 . . . because I LOVE LOVE LOVE this story!

Of course, if you’ve ever read one of my reviews of Melanie’s books, you’ll know I am flat-out IN LOVE with each and every story she writes!

Aside from her AMAZING writing talent, there is the fact that she writes fairy tale re-tellings! And since I LOVE fairy tales, what more could a girl ask for in a favorite novel!

Also, Melanie writes her books with no magic needed! God has blessed her with such ability that she is able to craft a magnificent story using all of the most important elements of the original story – and yet present the reader with a conclusion that is solved through faith, hard work, skill or pure and simple determination.

No magic required!

Each and every one of these stories is a masterful retelling of our most cherished tales of olde – and in my opinion, these are the books we should introduce to our daughters . . . not some silly tale about a witch of a fairy godmother who gives the hero/heroine whatever their hearts desire without an ounce of reason or work behind it.

But that’s just my opinion. . .

A Beautiful Pretender is all of that and MORE!

Melanie has taken the best elements of the “Princess and the Pea” tale and woven them together with the exceptional characters she introduced in The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest – and taken us on another lively adventure where heroes are just the way you always hoped they would be and there is always more than meets the eye where our lovely heroine is concerned.

Forbidden love . . . Danger . . . Excitement . . . And an ending that no one could ever see coming . . . What more could you ask for in a medieval fairy tale re-telling!

And hey – just look at the BEAUTIFUL cover! Can you think of a more fitting cover for this book? I think not.



Review © JCMorrows 2016

More about The Beautiful Pretender:

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?






I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.


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Book Review | The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

OK… I have to do this one differently because it just has to lead with Melanie’s opening line:

The Golden Braid

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower…

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

OK… now for my thoughts about this fantastic book.

Am I the only one or did anyone else find themself humming the theme from“Tangled” while reading the blurb for this book?

I know the blurb says “like no other” and that is true, but there are definitely bits of it that are reminiscent of Disney’s long-haired heroine. And – for me – those little tidbits just added to an already fantastic story!

Speaking of similarities… I LOVE… LOVE LOVE LOVE that Melanie makes her characters enamored with books and reading. Not only is it a wonderful addition to each story, it’s so very realistic – especially given that it’s usually her female characters who want to learn or have found a way, even though they really shouldn’t…

Now we just have to wait until May for her next awesome fairy tale retelling. And I’ll tell you a little secret. In February, Melanie is releasing a Regency Intrigue Romance! Exciting!

Review © JCMorrows 2015







I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.


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Saying goodbye to a favorite series… “The Princess Spy” by Melanie Dickerson

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

Or not…

Melanie has informed me that this is NOT the last book of the series! Anyone else doing the happy dance right now? WOW! WOW! WOW!

I know I’m excited!


OK…this review and my review on GoodReads have been edited to reflect that but there’s nothing I can do about so… *shrugs*



Melanie Dickerson is a genius!

I picked this book up earlier to pass the time while my kiddos were playing outside and I just couldn’t put it down.

I do believe I may have a new favorite!

The Princess Spy is a fantastic story and I’m so thrilled that Melanie has at least two more books that will follow these beloved characters and are coming to us soon!

I feel so blessed to have received an advance look at The Princess Spy (especially since I have no patience whatsoever where Melanie’s books are concerned…) and I can assure you that you DO NOT want to miss The Princess Spy! Of course you shouldn’t miss ANY of Melanie’s books but The Princess Spy is just the latest in a long line of Fantastic books!

I am excited to see Margaretha’s story being told and I have to say that this is certainly the best yet! …at least as far as this series is concerned!

There were so many things in the story that I never would have seen coming, which makes for an intriguing and fast-paced adventure full of surprises and unexpected plot-twists – one thing Melanie does very well!

The Princess Spy is also an outstanding Christian Fairy Tale!

A fairy tale like no other before it. No silly magic or nonsense, just good, strong Christian values and excellent story-telling.

As usual, Melanie has found the right way to retell the classic fairy tale with a Christian worldview (which is much more believable anyway for that time period) and making the story one that I, and many other moms I’m sure, will be thrilled to pass on for generations to come!

While I am always a little sad when a new chapter of this wonderful journey is over, I’m thrilled to have five wonderful books that I can read over and over… again and again.

God Bless you Melanie Dickerson! Keep up the GREAT writing!




And here is what Zondervan has to say about “The Princess Spy”:

 Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha—one of the few who speaks his language—understands the wild story.

Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin’s message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself “Lord Colin” is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy—not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she’s sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.



You can find more information and/or pre-order the book from these popular sites.




I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the author via Zondervan.






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