Cover artist: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Amazon: Buy Link Honour
Genre: historical fantasy/pseudohistorical/ mm romance
Length: 45500 words
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: This is not a historical romance, but I disliked it even when I thought of it as a historical fantasy because IMO one character acted as a spoiled brat and another one as a complete moron.
Recently docked after a voyage abroad, Emmett wants only to find a warm bed and good food, for himself and the cabin boy he’s taken into his care. Those plans are impeded, however, by an altercation in the streets—with a man he realizes too late is England’s heir to the throne, Prince Andrewe.
When the encounter unexpectedly leads to a position in the royal household attending the prince, Emmett is not certain what to think. On one hand, it’s a reliable income and ensures the safety of his charge. On the other, it’s neither the life Emmett knows, nor an environment that he’s comfortable in. Left to learn his lessons the hard way, Emmett spends his days contending with a spoiled, infuriating prince who leaves him in a constant tangle of emotions.
Then he begins to hear whispers of treason and must make a choice: defend Prince Andrewe, or betray him.
When I see that a book belongs to the historical genre, that is what I expect to read. I do not know about you, but I often adjust my mm subgenre expectations accordingly depending on whether it is classified as a mystery/fantasy/historical fantasy/ historical or contemporary. This book was supposedly a historical romance. I checked and this is how the writer classifies it on her site, so this is what I have to go with. I do see that the publisher put it under historical and fantasy. If this is a historical, I at least want to know in what century the book takes place.
I am still not sure about this one. It is not Twentieth Century, that’s for sure. And America is mentioned once by one of the characters, so I guess we can cut anything before that date, but that still leaves me with 400-500 years where I am left with guessing and I did not like that. The setting was way too vague for my taste than what I expect when I pick up an alleged historical and the mentality of the characters was way too anachronistic (no matter what century you choose as a setting). The fathers of the main characters seem to be quite okay with their sons preferring men, as long as they do not advertise it of course (then they are not okay). Considering that one of those fathers was a King of England, I hope you can see my problem with that. I do not see the wealthy owner of the merchant ship being that fine and dandy with his son, his only heir, being a lover of man either.
As an aside, Prince Andrewe, with *e* at the end, the heir of the British Throne? That name grated on me so very much.
But often when I am not happy with a book which claims to be a historical, I will still like it as an anachronistic romp, when the characters are delightful and the plot is fun. Unfortunately this did not happen here either. If it was a historical fantasy, I guess I could see Andrewe at least being somewhat believable character as a completely spoiled brat acting as a selfish, immature child with disregard for anybody and anything around him.
Emmett… well, Emmett for me was not believable no matter what genre the book would belong to. He acted as a complete moron as far as I am concerned. The blurb hints that he may (or may not) betray Prince Andrewe, but do not worry as I will not tell you whether he did or not. What I will tell you is that I did not see convincing reasons for the vast majority of his decisions and actions throughout the book. He decides one thing, then in midair he changes his mind and decides to do another thing; he comes to a completely irrational conclusion, then changes his mind again and *truly expects that other people would change their plans too just because he did no matter how irrational that conclusion was*. He is 26 years old, and note if this is a historical, he should be not just a mature adult, but somebody who has at least some sort of wisdom to know what to expect and how to communicate with other people. Unfortunately he did not. Please note that I do not necessarily have a problem with some of Emmett’s actions – I love flawed heroes. What I have a huge problem with is that I did not see convincing reasons for those actions in the story and instead of coming off as flawed, the majority of his actions just made absolutely no sense.
Oh and there is a sweet kid/teenager in this story who I thought acted with more maturity than any of the two main characters.