Published by Zondervan on November 23rd 2013
Genres: Historical, Religious, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Happily Ever After...Or Happily Nevermore?
Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela meets the duke's son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--and learns he is throwing a ball, she vows to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
The Captive Maiden is book #4 in the Hagenheim series. In the previous book, the hero was Gabe and this time it is his older brother Valten’s chance to meet his future wife and save her from her evil stepmother’s clutches and as well as from a kidnapper with a grudge against him. As expected, the romance aspect of the story was cute and aww-inducing. Melanie Dickerson can write really romantic endings.
The reason I cannot rate this book above three stars is how formulaic all the books in the series tend to be. They all follow this list in some way or another:
- Maiden with evil stepmothers/guardians/etc.
- A handsome man with good, no ulterior motives.
- The unexplained pure evilness of villains.
- A quest to save Maiden.
- Journey back to Hagenheim.
- Marriage or romantic ending scene.
It gets too predictable—especially when read back to back. Of course, I have every intention to finish this series, but I think they’re better when spaced out in terms of reading.