The Merchant’s Daughter

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Title: The Merchant’s Daughter
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zondervan
Published: November 15, 2011
Pages: 288

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After her father’s tragic death and loss of fortune, Annabel and her family are now without money and they refuse to do their share of the village work, but are unable to pay the fee that makes their neglect acceptable. Now, Annabel’s family had been charged with neglect and now must make a choice, try and pay the outrageous fee, choose one of them to be an indentured servant for three years, or their personal favorite send Annabel off to marry a vile man, the Lord’s bailiff.

Unwilling marry a man that scares her and unable to pay the fines, she sneaks away to become an indentured servant in Lord Ranulf’s home to save her family. It puts her in close proximity to the bailiff, but if she’s willing to do it nonetheless. Now she just has to try and do duties she’s never done before and try and stay out of the way of the lord, a man rumored to have a nasty temper.

Lord Ranulf is a man haunted by his past and his scars. Scars he got saving a maiden from a wolf. Unwilling to trust anyone let alone beautiful women, he is less than cordial to Annabel when she arrives offering herself for her family. But, as he gets to know Annabel, he starts to believe that maybe she is different and maybe he can trust her. Maybe he can move on from his scars and his past, if only she could love him.

Will Annabel and Lord Ranulf fall in love or will they find themselves keeping to societies strictures? Will Lord Ranulf be able to put aside his past and move on or will he give up his chance at true love because of fear and doubt? Will Annabel be able to love a man with only one eye and one usable hand or will she be too disgusted to see past his appearance? Will Annabel be able to shake to bailiff or will he continue to pester her and ruin her life forever?
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I picked this book by cover alone, which I find myself doing more and more lately, and sometimes that’s a mistake. I’m happy to report that this book isn’t a mistake at all. It was a beautiful historical romance written for young adults and it kept me entertained throughout the whole thing. I actually finished this book in two nights of reading, which is impressive for me.

The romance in this book won’t really make your heart flutter, but it will take you back to your childhood. The author decided to make this romance a remake of the classic, and my personal favorite, story of Beauty and the Beast. That in its self brought it up a few notches. That being said, if you’re looking for a romance with a lot of development and tender moments, I recommend you look elsewhere. The romance was good but more in an innocent preteen way. Making it perfect for that romantic preteen in your life.

I feel like the history in this book was mostly accurate, though are some things that I feel might have been inaccurate, the biggest being the Bible. For anyone who’s a history buff, did people besides priests and such have Bibles back in 1352? I’d like to know that, considering Annabel’s priest doesn’t have a Bible but Lord Ranulf does. Other than that though, I couldn’t detect much that seemed off to me, giving this book another step up.

The characters however, felt underdeveloped to me. The mean people were mean with no explanation as to why, the nice people were nice. That’s it. There’s no real depth to them. I finished the book with the same opinion that I started, indifference. I didn’t feel that I was really allowed to fully view any of the character’s especially the main ones. I feel like the author could’ve put more thought into their development and also the stilted conversations and interactions between the characters. This greatly brought the book’s quality down.

Despite some historical inaccuracies, a tweeny feel, and bad character depth, I somehow actually enjoyed this book. I think it has something to do with the fax that Beauty and the Beast type books hold a special place in my heart and I always enjoy reading the remakes. I do intend to keep reading books by this author, considering she likes to do remakes of classic princess tales but also because if I think like a tweener, I actually really enjoy her books. Besides who doesn’t need to stop and think like tween or teen every now and then.

Overall, this book is absolutely perfect for a tween or young teen, but adults might find this book lacking in many areas. I highly recommend this for young readers, particularly one who love romance. It’ll satisfy their romance craving without making you worry what their reading. I give this book a three out of five.

*I received a complimentary ebook of this book from the publisher through the netgalley program in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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