(First posted at USA Today's Happy Ever After blog)
|THE FAIREST BEAUTY by Melanie Dickerson|
I love this beautiful cover!
What it's about (condensed from publisher Zondervan): Sophie has long wished to get away from her stepmother's jealous anger and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be her chance at freedom — but can she trust another person to keep her safe?
Gabe defied his parents by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the orphan girl has stolen his heart. Though romance is impossible — she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else — he promises he will keep her safe, no matter what. When the pair is forced to run to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help — but their feelings for each other have grown. Can they protect Sophie while also safeguarding their hearts?
Why you should read it: I adore how Melanie Dickerson reinvents a popular tale and makes it accessible even to readers who don't care for the magical elements typically found within classic fairy tales. In The Healer's Apprentice she retold Sleeping Beauty. The Merchant's Daughter brought readers a fresh vision of Beauty and the Beast. With the new release of The Fairest Beauty, Dickerson builds a believable world — and ups the romance factor! — of Snow White and imbues each character with a deepening faith that informs their necessary growth. With a steady heartbeat of romance pumping throughout the story, this is my favorite Dickerson tale yet!