My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Swan Lake" meets Robin Hood when the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant by day becomes the region's most notorious poacher by night, and falls in love with the forester.
Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave's game. When he meets the lovely and refined Odette at the festival and shares a connection during a dance, he has no idea she is the one who has been poaching the margrave's game.
Odette justifies her crime of poaching because she thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. But will the discovery of a local poaching ring reveal a terrible secret? Has the meat she thought she was providing for the poor actually been sold on the black market, profiting no one except the ring of black market sellers?
The one person Odette knows can help her could also find out her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the dangerous poaching ring . . . and fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester is protecting a notorious poacher?
An easy to read story about a girl who thinks she is doing good by helping to feed the poor starving children of the village. I must say, I wasn't real impressed with her character at first. Even though she feels the nudging that she's doing wrong by killing the Margrave's deer (basically stealing) she single-mindedly and naively continues. However, her compassion, sweet nature, and the lessons she learns along the way make her a likable heroine.
I liked Jorgen much better. He's honorable, handsome, hardworking and also compassionate. He's also been on the streets so he feels for the poor children that Odette is trying to help. He works hard to find the poacher not knowing that the woman he is falling in love with is the one he is hunting.
Overall this is an easy read with themes of faith, loyalty, compassion, trusting God, and learning to do the right thing as well as some mystery with twists and a fairy-tale romance.
*Thanks to Thomas Nelson & Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own.*
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