Blurb: A daring rescue.
A difficult choice.
Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?
Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.
When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.
I enjoyed The Fairest Beauty (Hagenheim #3) by Melanie Dickerson, though not as much as I liked the first in the Hagenheim series. The cover of the book immediately gives away which fairy tale it is based on, though the Cottage of Seven makes it pretty obvious, too. But I loved the unique spin on the cottage and its inhabitants.
Sophie and Gabe are both likable character; Sophie a bit too sweet but Gabe was realistic – a bit immature and impulsive but very relatable. He starts the adventure without the best of intentions, mostly wanting to prove himself and get some of the attention he feels his brother monopolizes. But he grows quite a bit throughout the story. I was taken aback at one moment where Sophie lashed back at someone who bullied her. While it was a perfectly human reaction, and really wasn’t too extreme, it was singular and jarring since she was so sweet the rest of the time.
Overall, I enjoyed the story, it’s fun and heavy on the romantic aspect of the story (even if nothing much happens outside of a few kisses) but it’s very simple YA.
How complex do you like your stories?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.