She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.
Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.
But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.
Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.
Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.
It’s always so fun to read a Melanie Dickerson book. Every single one is well plotted and well researched and this book is no different.
The world built around the story was on point, and the story was full of unforeseen twists and adorable characters. The romance was attraction at first sight but slow burning. It was clear that Melanie Dickerson knew exactly what she was doing in every aspect of the story.
The romance was adorable, and Magdalen and Stefan were just so, so perfect for each other! I loved how the “villains” were more than the eye could see, it made them feel more human and all of the characters more accessible.
One this I did find though was that Magdalen’s perspective seemed to tell more than show, but I only noticed that because I was a writer and I was specifically paying attention because I was a reviewer. As simply a reader, the telling didn’t bother me as much.
While there were more relatable villains, there was definitely on (the “main” villain, per se) that was just EVIL. like I hated him. Everything he did was selfish or mean.
Also I feel like I was supposed to recognize Avelina?? I’ve read all of the Hagenheim books but I didn’t recognize her so maybe I need to reread or just ask a knowledgeable human??? My memory is crap (maybe I should pursue different jobs options )
But overall this was a really fun story and I loved all the new characters and the high stakes retelling of the goose girls tale, which isn’t often retold.
Sexual – kissing
Cussing – none
Imbibing – no drugs, no alcohol
Violence – threats