Author: Melanie Dickerson.
Published: January 8th 2013.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
A daring rescue.
A difficult choice.
Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie's one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe? Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl's inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what. When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.
The story is told from the third POV and switches very subtle between different storylines. I liked that a lot, because we get to know more about the whole situation. We see how Gabe and his brother Valten find out about Sophie and her real identity and then we see how ill-treated Sophie is. Gabe decides that he wants to rescue her, but he has no idea how dangerous Duchess Ermengard is. She rules her land with an iron fist and she is obsessed with her looks; the main reason why she hates Sophie so much.
Gabe is a complex character. He wants to save Sophie to prove himself to his parents. He is the second son, so he doesn’t have responsibilities like his brother Valten. Let me just say that Gabe used to enjoy life with his friends. He is brave and a good love-interest. It was fun to see how hard he is trying to not fall in love with Sophie. Sophie was sometimes a bit too perfect, but you have to like her. She has such a sweet spirit, but also her moments of kick-ass-ness. She was smart and I liked her thoughtfulness. It would have been better if she was a bit more flawed (and I don’t count the inability to dance as a flaw) but she was an interesting character.
It was a shame that we don’t get to meet the Seven. They have names and they have their purpose, but they are on the background. I wish they got more time to shine. Then, of course, Duchess Ermengard. I loathed her! She is the perfect villain. From the descriptions of her disgusting appearance to her hateful nature, she made me want to punch her in the face.
Overall, a book that made me interested in her other work.