A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor.
A handsome forester on a mission to catch her.
Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.
The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.
For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.
When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.
The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?
Lately, Melanie Dickerson has been on a faiytale retelling kick. Here’s my thoughts about her latest:
What I liked:
Fairytale. I think it’s fair to say that Ms. Dickerson has mastered the art of making her novels feel like a fairytale. There is just something about the way that she tells the story that makes me feel like I’m in a land of princesses and princes and good vs. evil. Her stories are always crafted beautifully.
Jorgen. The hero is a wonderful guy with a fascinating back story. He’s very trustworthy and I hazard that you fall for him from almost the first page of his introduction.
The mystery. There’s a mystery in this novel that I didn’t quite expect. While I started guessing elements of it before the novel was over and I didn’t guess the entirety until it was revealed. I thought the mystery added a nice touch of suspense to the novel.
Spiritually, the novel plays with whether you can sin to prevent a greater sin (i.e. stealing to feed the poor) and many characters pray and read the Bible.
What I didn’t like:
Odette. I just didn’t connect to her at all. Everything she did was based on her feelings–like a Disney princess—and while I can deal with that in a movie, I found it irritating in a book. She reacted without thinking things through. She believed unfounded rumors. She jumped to conclusions that logically made no sense. Also, she failed to come across as Robin Hood. One thing about Robin Hood is that you get the feeling that he has no real choice if he wants his people to survive. Odette had choices…and so I wasn’t sold on why she was poaching.
Romantic scale: 7
Overall, this was not one of my favorite novels by Melanie Dickerson. At times I found it a bit trite and had moments of skimming or wanting to skim. That said, it was very beautifully written.
** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**