The Merchant's Daughter
[November 29, 2011]
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.
I had high hopes for this book and they weren't quite met.
The story is well written. I like how Melanie tells the story and it just flows very easily. I wasn't crazy about the amount of times Christianity was brought up, though. This is technically a Christian YA book, but it seemed a little too excessive. We got it, Annabel's religious and wants to be a nun, it didn't need to be repeated over and over.
I liked Annabel and Lord Ranulf enough. They weren't stand out characters to me, but they were interested and they fit their roles well. I enjoyed the bailiff (our Gaston, if you will) being more twisted than you would normally see him. I also liked how Ranulf was portrayed as the beast and how the villagers saw him. It was definitely an interesting, more unique take.
This just wasn't a remarkable read for me. It was enjoyable and fast paced and a really well done retelling. Beyond my slight annoyance at the frequent references to the Bible and God, I really had no problems with this book. But for me, it just didn't have that special something.
If you like fairytale retellings and don't mind it being religious, this is a really good book to try. If you're hesitant, I was able to get it from Netgalley a month after it's release, so it might still be up, or you could always try and go through your library. I just didn't click with this book the way I had hoped to.