Redonk Nutshell: A legendary beauty disguises herself in a hideous costume to deter suitors in a competition for her hand, and inadvertently falls in love with one of them

Fairest of them All  is the story of Holly, the legendary beauty who’s father wants her wed and holds a tournament to find her a husband. Never one to back down from a challenge, Holly decides to adorn herself as a hideous frump of a woman.

Sir Austyn of Gavenmore is on the hunt for a plain and simple bride, preferably one with a decent dowry. He travels to compete in the tournament for Holly’s hand.  He has heard tales of the woman’s beauty, and when she is revealed to be…er…lacking…it doesn’t deter him in the least.  In fact, his family is rumored to be cursed by beautiful women, so Holly fits his needs perfectly.

Austyn wins the tournament easily, and when he takes Holly back to his home in Wales, Holly is determined to keep him at bay through desperate theatrical shows she think will make him regret his winnings.  What she doesn’t count on is being drawn to Austyn simply for him being him, and when her hag costume beings to weigh heavily on her, Holly realizes she needs to come clean. When Austyn learns of her deception (and believe me, he does), he locks her in the highest tower of his fortress.  Regardless of the distance between them, both physically and emotionally, the connection that had been made between them in the few weeks they had together bound them, and Austyn can’t keep himself away from her.

I enjoyed Fairest of them All. It was a sweet fairy tale spin set in an early English time period.  I’m pretty sure I tore through this baby in a day or so.  An easy, fluffy read that left me with a happy smile on my face.

Fairest of them All by Teresa Medeiros, 372 pgs, 1993

Rating: B-

Romance: 3/5          Raunch: 3/5

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