A Sweet and Daring Romance: The Fairest Beauty

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Fairest BeautyThe Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so excited to read this book—the cover is just gorgeous and that was the sole reason I was compelled to read this book. Well, I won’t lie; I am a huge fan of fantasy, fairy tales and the show Once Upon a Time. So, when I saw this cover I had to have this book and luckily my dad got it for me for my birthday. I enjoyed the book well enough though I do wish there had been less realistic situations and more fantasy. Really, despite this being a retelling of a fairy tale there wasn’t a fantasy element to it at all and I really missed that. A fairy tale just needs a good dose of magic in my opinion and that was seriously missing in this story. Otherwise it was pretty good!

Sophie has been raised as a lowly scullery maid for an overbearing and evil duchess. She wishes for nothing but to please the Lord and to live her life serving others and being a blessing. Now, I really thought this was an unusual element to this story. I knew going into it that it was Christian fiction but I’m used to Christian fantasy using allegory rather than actually saying “Jesus Christ” or quoting the scripture. I’m not sure why but this element just didn’t seem to flow with the theme. Perhaps that’s just because I have a preconceived notion of how a fairytale typically reads…

Anyway, Gabe is nobility from a neighboring kingdom and he learns of Sophie’s plight and of her true origin as the daughter of the late Duke and though she was betrothed to his older brother in her infancy—Gabe is determined to rescue her and steal the glory that would belong to his brother.

However, it was never Gabe’s intention to fall helplessly in love with Sophie and when they find themselves in the Cottage of the Seven while Gabe recovers from an injury—Sophie finds she can no longer deny her attraction to the handsome Gabe. This provides quite a problem as Gabe is already engaged to another and of course there is the problem of the legally binding betrothal of Sophie to his brother.

As always the story wraps up with a fairytale ending but I thought this one was almost a little too clean of a wrap up. I can’t quite put a finger on what I would change as I really did enjoy the story but there were little things I felt made the story disjointed or perhaps out of place? As a Christian I really do enjoy a book that pulls in a Christian element but it just didn’t seem to fit in well in this story. Otherwise, it was a really good read and I do think I’ll pick up a few more of her books to check them out.
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Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). . Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama. Find out more about this author by visiting her website at

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