Intelligence sparked in her expression, and she was too well spoken to have been born to servanthood. Rather, she’d been born a freeman’s daughter and probably had been trained to marry a free burgher or even a landed knight. Her mother was the daughter of a knight, and her father was a wealthy merchant, until fate had turned against him.
How well Ranulf knew about heartless twists of fate.
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Target Audience: Girls 13-18
Subjects: Outward appearance, Judging, Forgiveness, Love
Summary: Fate. It has turned against them both and will surely be what keeps them apart. She, born to relative wealth and privilege but now an indentured servant due to her mother and brothers’ selfish choices. He, once happily in love and married, scorned because of a scar that came from saving a life. Both are sure that dreams are dead and their chance for happiness is gone forever. Then they are thrown together when she moves into the castle to work for him. When she begins reading for him and he discovers her hunger for the Word of God, an attraction begins to build. But trouble is brewing and Lord Ranulf has to decide what loving the beautiful Annabel means for him.
Notes: This is a Beauty and the Beast story. A beautiful girl works off her father’s debt in the castle of the ugly beast and falls in love with him. The locals, led by a rejected lover of the girl lead a riot on the castle with the hopes of killing the beast, who is quite willing to lay down his life, as long as the one he loves can escape safely. There are quite a few spiritual elements in this story. The main one being Annabel’s passion for the Scripture. Her dream is to be able to get a copy of it and read and study it herself. The local preacher denies her this privilege claiming she is sinning to even desire this and needs to rely on the priest to tell her what she needs to know. But when she is asked to read for Lord Ranulf, it turns out that what he wants read is the Bible. The Scripture is discussed, quoted, meditated on, etc. Annabel and Ranulf both take their concerns to God in prayer throughout the book as well.
Recommendation Scale: 4.5/5
1 Peter 3:3-4 – Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.