Hi all! So, this week I’m doing another double-book feature. Why? Because I’m so behind… lol. That, and one of my favorite authors, Melanie Dickerson, has published 2 books recently (well, one was more late last fall, but it’s recent enough for me. lol) That, and she has a new one coming out soon that I can’t wait to dig into! So, without further ado, let’s dig into these recent books while I, for one, get excited about digging into the next!
Let’s start with The Golden Braid. The latest installment of her original fairytale retelling series, this one does a beautiful job with Rapunzel’s story.
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 this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncov
ers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. 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?
My thoughts? Rapunzel is a sweet character, with a good heart, but no pushover. She can protect herself, and has an inner strength to fight for what she wants. Then there’s Sir Gerek, a knight who’s a bit arrogant and driven, but after agreeing to help Rapunzel with her greatest wish, seems to have a sweet side as well. Though at first they seem to butt heads, these two find a way to understand each other in ways that no one else seems to understand. When Rapunzel discovers a mystery in her own past, she begins to question everything she knows, and who she can trust. Can Gerek prove that he’s trustworthy enough, and can Rapunzel gather the courage to go after what she wants? Though a beautiful tale in itself, it also builds onto the world of Hagenheim, and answers some questions woven through several of the previous books, and if you’re a fan of The Princess Spy, there’s a bit of a bonus as you get to read about some of those events from other eyes. It’s a beautifully written story with engaging characters and a plot filled with twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat ‘til the last page.
And the other, most recent book by Melanie Dickerson, is certainly a shock as she begins a new series by branching out into the Regency era. As I’m sure you’ve all guessed by now, I do love a good Regency, and A Spy’s Devotion does not disappoint!
In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.
At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?
Let me tell you, this novel was amazing, encompassing the Regency era in all its enjoyable nuances. Julia Grey is a poor relation to one of England’s powerful families, but who has a good heart and deep understanding of the Ton and politics of the ballroom. Then there’s Nicholas Langdon, who is no stranger to war or a battle, but now must learn to fight with words when he’s thrust into a plot against England herself. As he finds himself drawn to Julia’s intellect, he also finds an ally in her, though he is reluctant to bring her into the danger. Though Julia could lose everything, she cannot just sit by if she can do her part to fight for her country. As they find themselves drawn closer together, they also find themselves being pulled further into the dangerous plots. Can they navigate the treacherous waters, and save England’s greatest hero? Or will they find themselves caught in the storm and at the mercy of those who hate England? This story brilliantly weaves together the beauties of the Regency ballrooms, and manners and customs of the ton, along with espionage and intrigue of the war with Napoleon. It’s a great blending, with a suspense-filled plot, and a story I highly recommend.
So… interested? While they’re two different styles, one a medieval fairytale and the other a Regency suspense, they are both wonderfully crafted novels with beautiful romances. I’ll be posting the links for the books below, as both are available on Kindle while The Golden Braid is also available for NOOK, along with my favorite, print versions of course. And do feel free to check out Melanie Dickerson’s website, along with her Facebook and Twitter, to get all the up-to-date info on her future books, including The Beautiful Pretender coming out next month, and The Silent Songbird, that’s sure to be an interesting take on The Little Mermaid story.