By Melanie Dickerson
Sophie has long wished to get away from her stepmother’s jealous anger, 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 her chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?
Gabe knows he defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the orphan girl has stolen his heart. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises to himself he will keep her safe, no matter what.
When the pair are forced to run to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Can they find a way to protect Sophie while also safeguarding their hearts?
I have found myself, like I so often do, devouring a series of books that I have found enjoyable to read. This is the latest in the series from Dickerson that I’ve read, based on the fairy tale Snow White. Her re-tellings are more fact-based and down to earth. Not magical, but practical. The villains are just people with evil intent. The good people are God-fearing and kind. I had a little trouble with this story because I liked Gabe but he seemed really wishy-washy. We’re told that he’s irresponsible and rash, but the whole time we as readers know him he is nothing but kind, respectful, and responsible. I was thrown by this, and a little irritated. Sophie is your typical nice sort of blah character. This wasn’t my favorite from Dickerson, but it doesn’t mean I won’t keep reading her books (eventually. I’m taking a break). Although it was fun to read about Rose and Wilhelm's children.