I stumbled across this book while on Goodreads. If you love books and haven't joined that sight yet - do it! What a great place to interact with other readers, see what they're reading, and discover new books.
What drew me to The Merchant's Daughter is simple, one line by a reviewer: "This book is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast." That got me, hook line and sinker. I absolutely love that story. And Merchant's Daughter did not disappoint.
Here's a little blurb about the book:
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.
Set in the late 1300's, I loved the glimpse into this time period. I loved Annabel's heart to learn more about God and how God met her each time she sought Him out. And I loved how she see's past Lord Ranulf's scars to the heart of him, because beauty truly is all about our hearts. At times I believe the story could have delved deeper into these characters and even into the relationship as it developed between Lord Ranulf and Annabel, but the story was a very sweet one and I closed the book with a smile on my face.
Hope you enjoy!