Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Stand Alone
Published: November 23rd 2013 by Zondervan
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela meets the duke's son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--and learns he is throwing a ball, she vows to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
I Give This ...
I love fairy tale retellings. I particularly enjoy Melanie Dickerson's versions. They are clean and tastefully done, even if they don't stray much from the original idea. This one was no different.
The story of Cinderella is actually one of my favorite fairy tales, so this one called to me. I enjoyed how this story was setup. Gisela is the daughter of a wealthy business man known for his outstanding horse farm. Which was one of the aspects I enjoyed most in this story. Gisela has her father's affinity for horses and I found it charming. After her father's death, Gisela's stepmother has sold the horses one by one to keep up her extravagant lifestyle. She also knows it's the one was to keep Gisela in check and continue to do her bidding.
I was curious the first time we meet Valten. I was sure that Gisela had built up this girlhood crush into a man that could never leave up to that ideal. While Valten is far from perfect, I was relieved to learn to that Gisela was willing to see Valten for what he was. I actually enjoyed their flirting and how they interacted with each other. I never felt like it was an instant attraction. They were drawn together and circumstances led to the intensity. Plus, fairy tales are all about the heroics.
This story actually reminded me a lot of Ever After, which is has always been one of my favorite movies, so double bonus. I need to remember to read another one of Melanie Dickerson's books. I have a couple on my Kindle ready to go!