Two Hearts. One Hope.
Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.
When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
I read this series out of order, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It probably helped my heart to know how this series progressed when I started listening to the audiobook. I don’t think my heart could have taken it otherwise.
Rose wants to make a better life for herself, so when she’s offered a apprenticeship with the Duke of Hagenheim’s healer, she jumps at the opportunity. She doesn’t expect to come face to face with the Duke’s son, Lord Hamlin, or their instant attraction – especially since he’s betrothed to someone, even if no one has seen her since birth. The more time they spend together, even if they try to stay apart, the more they fall for each other. I gobbled it up like I have almost every other one of Dickerson’s books.
From the get-go, I loved Rose’s character. She had spunk and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. It didn’t always play in her favor, especially when the person on the receiving end of her opinion was part of the noble family. In some of the other Dickerson books I’ve read, she showed the compassionate side of the nobility, but in this one she showed that it wasn’t always the case. Sometimes they saw themselves above the peasants, but sometimes they had humble, kind children, like Lord Hamlin. Everything wasn’t black and white.
Rose and Wilhelm complemented each other so well. This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, a tale I’m not as familiar with as other fairy tales, so I enjoyed discovering the story in a new light. The romance started as a friendship, since both parties knew they couldn’t be more than that to each other. Rose was a peasant, and Wilhelm had a responsibility to his people and the woman he had promised his life to. He didn’t necessarily agree with the arranged marriage, but he stood by it. It showed as much about his character as it did the time period they lived in.
There are a few villains in this book, so I was interested to see how they affected the story and the ripple affect that each action caused. Some of the decisions Rose made, even though I understood her reasoning, made me tap my toes impatiently. I had to know what happened next.
I love love. I discovered Melanie Dickerson’s books browsing the library’s audiobooks. Fairy tales, romance, and Dukes and Duchesses, I loved every second of this story.