Monday, April 17, 2017

The Noble Servant

Lady Magdalen has been infatuated with Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, ever since meeting him at a ball 2 years ago.  She realizes, though, that while they may have enjoyed each other's company, her lack of dowry makes it unlikely that Steffan would ever pursue a romantic relationship with her.  Much to her surprise, after 2 years of silence, Magdalen receives a summons from Steffan asking her to travel to Wolfberg and become his wife.  Her maidservant Agnes, however, has a different plan.  On their way to Wolfberg, Agnes and her father betray Magdalen and convince the people of the castle that Agnes is the the Duke's betrothed.  

Finding herself minding Wolfberg's flock of geese, Magdalen watches and waits for an opportunity to prove her true identity.  Much to her surprise, the supposed Duke of Wolfberg looks nothing like Magdalen remembers, while a new shepherd bears a striking resemblance to the man of her dreams.  Will Magdalen and Steffan have the courage to trust one another with their identities in time to stop Steffan's uncle from stealing everything from them?  Will the betrayals they have both endured blind them from the growing feelings they have for one another?  

Melanie Dickerson tells an entertaining tale of mystery, intrigue, and romance in The Noble Servant.  
I feel like a broken record in reviewing Dickerson's novels: the dialogue between characters often feels awkward and stilted, but her creative storytelling abilities always keep me coming back for more.  This particular effort is true on both counts.  Luckily, Dickerson's character development in The Noble Servant is better than usual.  Both Steffan and Magdalen are real and believable characters, but not so flawed or obnoxious that they were difficult to root for as protagonists.  I was so enthralled with their story, in fact, that I managed to finish the book in a single evening.  I also enjoyed the chance to reunite with a few characters from The Beautiful Pretender.  In my humble opinion, Dickerson's latest is one of her better efforts.

 I received a free copy from the publisher.  No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.

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