cover image Lady of Disguise

Lady of Disguise

Melanie Dickerson. Thomas Nelson, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8407-0867-0

Set in 14th-century England, this lighthearted romance by Dickerson (The Warrior Maiden) centers the Chaucer-like plight of orphaned 18-year-old Louisa Lenton of Maydestone. Determined to keep her guardian and greedy uncle from marrying off both her and her younger sister, Louisa disguises herself as a boy named Jack and sets off seeking the Viking treasure that her father believed was hidden on a mountaintop in Yorkshire. Quickly realizing the dangers of traveling alone, incognito Louisa meets valiant (and handsome) Sir Charles, a knight who vows to accompany her on her quest. But with each passing day, Louisa questions having undertaken the journey in the first place, even as romantic feelings for her chivalrous escort grow. Though her vacillations between damsel in distress and fearless heroine are somewhat predictable, her compassion and grace immediately endear her to the reader, as well as to fairy tale gallant Sir Charles. Purple prose and plentiful religious allegory combined with steadily crescendoing romantic tension, easily vanquished dangers, and innumerable foes and red herrings results in an amiable love-conquers-all tale. Central characters present as white. Ages 13–up. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary. (Feb.)