Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Published: November 2011
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 302
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.
Its taken me a little time to write this review and I'm not sure why.  I enjoyed The Merchant's Daughter but it was not what I was expecting.  To be honest, I was expecting a historical romance with a little more emphasis on the "romance".  What I didn't realize until about 1/2 through is that The Merchant's Daughter is christian fiction.  To those of you who are fans of Ms. Dickerson`s work, please forgive my ignorance.  I've worked for a bookstore and recognized the publisher's name as an international Christian media and publishing company.  I have seen their name on many bible publications as well as about 85% of the books in the Christian literature section.  About 1/2 way through, I noticed the publisher's name and realized why the story wasn`t exactly taking the turns I was expecting.

Annabel was sweet, innocent and strong-willed. She stood up for her beliefs and her sense of character was refreshing.   At first I was thinking to myself - is this girl for real - but as the novel progressed, the author built up her role and it was believable.  Lord Ranulf was the right counterpart to her innocence and I often found myself comparing them to The Beauty and the Beast.

Trying new genres is always something I`m open to and I`m glad that I read Ms. Dickerson`s title.  Stepping out of your regular comfort zone is always a nice challenge once in awhile to appreciate different writing styles.  I`m glad I finished this one because I have to admit, it was rather refreshing!

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