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.
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of The National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. She earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at www.melaniedickerson.com.
Original edition (November 29, 2011)
The Merchant's Daughter reminds me of the well known "Beauty and the Beast" story. Annabel is definitely beautiful, but life has dealt her a very bad hand. Her father lost his wealth and his life, and the family is almost destitute. In desperation, Annabel agrees to serve three years in the household of Lord Ranulf, the wealthy lord who has just moved into the countryside.
Love is the last thing that Lord Ranulf expected to find, yet he is enchanted by the lovely Annabel. Annabel can't wait to finish paying off her debt as a servant, and she longs to join a convent and devote her time to reading and praying. Neither of them are prepared to go where their hearts are leading them.
The Merchant's Daughter is a great story of unconditional love and second chances, and I highly recommend it.
Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley, courtesy of the publisher Zondervan, in exchange for my honest review.