The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
By Melanie Dickerson
Published by Thomas Nelson
Back Cover: A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor.
A handsome forester on a mission to catch her.
Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.
The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.
For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.
When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.
The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?
REVIEW: The beautiful cover first drew me to look inside; then author whisked me into the forest where Odette Menkels and her team are hunting. By day Odette teaches poor children to read and by night she poaches deer to feed these children. She knows what it’s like to be an orphan begging on the streets for food.
Odette is the niece of a prosperous merchant named Rutger, who found her on the streets and placed her in a life of privilege. Her uncle has not forced her to marry but has treated her to a tutor so teaches Odette different languages and allows her read the scriptures.
Odette hears a familiar love ballad and thinks, “The words made Odette wrinkle her nose. She did not like to admit, but she did hope someday she might want to “lock someone away in her heart” and lose the key. But unless he was wealthy and willing to help the poor, she feared she might be destined to go on poaching deer until she grew too old to stretch a bowstring.”
Jorgen Hartman is the new forester. He’s honorable, handsome and hardworking. He tells Odette, “Poaching cannot be tolerated. The king’s land, forests, and game in this region are entrusted to me and it is my duty to see that they are maintained and protected.”
This author is skilled in storytelling and brings this Robin Hood like adventure to life in a unique way. I adored her strong female character and Jorgen the Forester trying hard to do the right thing when it seemed impossible for them to do it. This author does a great job in having you not like a few characters in the story too; like Mathis Papendrop who is a wealthy, respectable young man who adores Odette. He says he’ll give her breathing room to make up her mind about marrying him but nothing is beyond his scope of doing in order to get his way. Odette wants to marry for love! Was that a wrong thing to hope for?
Another thing she struggled with was her justification in breaking the law to feed the poor. “She knows her actions might hurt the people around her but what about the hungry children?” I enjoyed Odette’s journey in discovering how important it was to live a life of integrity all the way around. Not just in one part of life!
As the story unfolds you’ll shake your head and smirk as you wonder who was betraying whom. This is a story with rich characters with themes of faith, loyalty, trusting God, integrity, loss, doing the right thing. The author weaves in suspense, drama, a mystery and a splash of romance along with a mascaraed ball. She has it all!! It’s a fun and delightful read.
This would make a good book club pick there is a lot going on. The author has included 14 discussion questions to help keep the discussion lively. This book makes for a fun escape too!
I would love to see this on the big screen!! Just saying! Can’t wait to read this author’s next book titled The Golden Braid the caption reads, “The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.” Release date is November 2015 mark your calendars. I’m marking mine!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complementary copy of this book from the Publisher I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.
Nora St Laurent
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