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The tale of the Beauty and the Beast has been around in some form for ages. Melanie Dickerson has taken the idea and given it a Christian twist. There is no magic in this version, just a desire on the part of the heroine to know first hand what God’s word says.

The story of Annabel Chapman and Lord Ranulf le Wyse takes the reader back to the 1300s, to the time when lords ruled the manor and their villeins worked the fields.

The once wealthy Chapmans are despised in their village for being slackers. Though the death of Annabel’s wealthy father left them with little income, her brothers will not do their duty by helping in the fields. When faced with the choice of marrying a man she despises or serving the new lord for three years, Annabel jumps at the chance to become a servant in Lord le Wyse’s household.

Ranult comes to the village to build a manor house in which he can hide from the scars of his past, both physical and emotional. Those he carries on the inside are greater than the ones the world sees. Under his gruff manner and scary exterior, he’s an honorable man destined to save ladies in distress, one of whom is Annabel.

This book goes deeper than an animated fairy tale. Yes, it’s a sweet romance between two people who know how to find the treasure that’s buried below the surface of a person’s looks—something good to remember in this time when physical beauty is highly sought. But there are serious issues to deal with: jealousy, lust, lies, revolt against authority…to name a few.

It may be classified as a young adult novel, but The Merchant’s Daughter is a pleasurable read for any age.

     

I have no material connection to this book. It’s one I read, enjoyed, and wanted to talk about.

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