Title: No Man Can Tame
Author: Miranda Honfleur
Pub. Date: December 26, 2018
A human princess. A dark-elf prince. A kiss of fire and powder.
After a failed courtship in an ally kingdom, twenty-one-year-old Princess Alessandra returns home to a land torn apart by mutual hatred between the humans and the dark-elves. The “Beast Princess,” as Aless is known by courtiers, confidently sets her mind to ways of making peace, but her father has already decided for her: she is to marry one of the mysterious and monstrous dark-elves to forge a treaty, and go on a Royal Progress across the kingdom to flaunt their harmonious union. While she intends to preserve the peace, the Beast Princess has plans of her own.
Prince Veron has been raised knowing his life is not his own, but to be bargained away by his mother, the queen of Nozva Rozkveta, to strengthen the dark-elf queendom. When his mother tells him he is to marry a self-absorbed, vile human, he is determined to do his duty regardless of his personal feelings. After arriving at the human capital, he finds the “Beast Princess” rebellious and untamed—and not to be trusted.
Aless and Veron face opposition at every turn, with humans and dark-elves alike opposing the union violently, as well as their own feelings of dissonance toward each other. Can two people from cultures that despise one another fall in love? Can a marriage between them bond two opposing worlds together, or will it tear them apart for good?
This will be a spoiler free review.
I already wanted to read this, since I’m a Miranda Honfleur fan and it was already on my July/August/September TBR. I instantly moved it up when I realized that it takes place in the Blade and Rose universe. I’d just finished Queen of the Shining Sea and was desperate for more.
So, I downloaded the audiobook for it and inhaled it.
Enemies to lovers, forced marriage, loosely Beauty and the Beast and just wholly enjoyable? Hell. Yes.
I’m here for it.
I almost think that if you’re reading the Blade and Rose series, you should read this before diving into Queen of the Shining Sea. It introduces some characters, provides some backstory and information that is definitely beneficial. It’s obviously not necessary, but it’s so good.
Aless is feisty, petty and loyal and I really liked her character. She’s strong and admirable and her relationship with her sister was one of my favorite things – only to be topped by her relationship with Veron.
I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers, especially when they’re forced to marry. Both are forced into a marriage that neither want – Aless is doing it to save her sister, her people. Veron is doing it because his Queen commands and for the survival of his people. The world is quickly changing, and humans aren’t the only ones at risk.
I love male characters who are ruthless, with fight tooth and claw for those they love, but are big gooey softies for the love of their lives. But if you come after the love of their life, you’d better run, because all bets are off. I know I’m not the only one.
Aless is just as fiercely protective and I loved watching her feelings change towards Veron. She was definitely the more unwilling participant. But as their relationship changes and their feelings become stronger, I loved how Veron willingly made sacrifices, because hurting Aless is the worst thing he can imagine doing.
Oh, and if you like betrayal and distrust before things get better – then this is the book for you. I mean, it has everything you could possibly want.
The only thing I would change about this book if I could, would be to make it longer. I know it’s the first in a series/trilogy (I’m not sure how many books) but I would have liked the plot to be a little more drawn out. A little slower burn. I still very much loved this book and was so excited for Veron and Aless to truly admit their feelings, but that build up, the animosity, the fear…it’s so enjoyable to read. I wish we’d seen more of Aless’s open defiance, unwillingness and pettiness towards the choices that were made for her. It would have made the moment where they came together, so much better.
It’s the same with Veron. While he never came across as opposed, he clearly didn’t envision his life playing out that way. And since we got his POV, it would have been interesting to see his feelings and opinions change a little more gradually.
All in all, I really liked this book and I really need the next one. Miranda just further confirmed that I will forever be a fan and will read any book she writes. I hate that I have some books that I agreed to read and review, because I just want to inhale everything she currently has published. I’m on such a high fantasy kick and she fills that need so expertly. So, I definitely recommend this book, and if you haven’t yet, pick up the Blade and Rose series. I promise you won’t be disappointed.