Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Honour by A.F. Henley

Reviewed by Fehu
Honour by A.F. Henley
Less Than 3 Press
3.75 Pants Off

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.

This is the second book from this author that I'm reading and I have to say, that there are improvements! The writing is more fluid, for one and the editing is better this time as well, which were some of my main complains with the last book. Also, I got through this book pretty fast, a good indicator that it's not a bad read and actually keeps the reader interested till the end. So what is it all about?

Well at the beginning there is Emmett, the son of a wealthy merchant, whose father owns a fleet of ships and does business with the royal family in England and it's precisely that business that brought them to the shores of England once more. Emmett meets the current prince, without recognising him, when he defends his young charge and is fascinated by the man, by their visit in the palace; Emmett is officially introduced to Prince Andrewe, who proceeds very fast to seduce Emmett. Soon Emmett's father tells him that the king would like for Emmett to stay in the castle as the princes First Gentleman (which is valet, minder, protector and well bedmate, at least in this book). From that moment Emmett’s life is changed and his and Andrewe's relationship is the focus of the story.

I really liked the Emmett I first met at the beginning of this book. He was outspoken, protective of his young charge, who serves as a cabin boy. He actually says that the royals are not better than anyone else, they didn't have to work hard like everyone else but reap all the rewards and just because of their blood. He sounds, in this aspect like a Democrat, when he meets the prince, whom he doesn't recognise and oppose at first, go Emmett! So imagine my surprise, when Emmett gets a new and different personality, after being introduced to the prince. Ok so he finds him  attractive and caution would probably serve one well in the presence of whimsical princes, like Andrewe, but still, I was wondering where that guy went, who told his charge that royals were not one iota better than the rest of humanity? I wanted that guy back, since it was he whom I liked and wanted to read more about, he was honest and brave and headstrong, sadly he didn't make an appearance, just maybe in some glimpses but mostly now there was this mostly timid impostor, who was doing everything to please the prince.

Emmett had actually the choice to decline the offer to stay at the palace and when he went enraged to the king (yes that was the old Emmett) I had thought he would decline or have at least some pride and tell the prince that he couldn't be bought, that he was a free man and make that stupid brat of a prince realise that he couldn't have everything. Sadly Emmett’s protest was at best superficial. Andrewe is a brat, who is bemoaning his fate that he is a prince and has to marry and produce children that he cannot do everything what he wants, I disliked his spoiled attitude quite a bit and I have come to dislike Emmett cow towing to him.

I had hoped he would just escape Andrewe on a ship and leave the plot and the prince behind, no I wasn't that lucky. He got fully involved in a plot to assassinate the royal family, after Andrewe isolated him from his friend and forbade him to see his father. I did mention that I strongly disliked Andrewe, yes well, him doing nothing, when Emmett was punished with 40 lashes and by the way that's could be deadly for a human, not that it was described here as such, but I thought I should mention it, since it was treated a minor injury and not something a person could die from, especially if not treated right and I haven't seen a healer there so really, how there was no infection is a mystery. Of course the fast healing was quite a miracle in my humble opinion, especially since this is not the first historical I've read and one usually don't get that fast after being whipped to the flesh. Oh did I mention that Emmett was punished after he saved the prince’s life? He also wanted to warn the king of a plot against them, not that the king gave him the chance!

Anyone who would expect Andrewe to be a good lover, apologize and care for Emmett would be quite disappointed; he didn't visit him at all!!!  The ending well I didn't think it was very satisfying, there is a wedding and that's as much as I will say about it, you will have to read the book to know more. What I missed was the court life in general; we meet the royal family but not the nobles and the court. I haven't seen the prince interact in the court or do any of his duties. I wanted to know how Emmett was introduced to the court, he couldn't have been all that popular, since he got the ear of the future monarch, did some courtiers plot against him, and was he opposed at court?? So yes, I missed some interactions with other people, besides Andrewe and his charge.

Should you read this? Hm, I got through the book pretty fast, so it's not boring and it's not sex - driven, which makes for a nice change. Also you can see that the plot is quite engaging and it certainly didn't leave me cold. If you don't mind the change in character, then this would make a good read.

1 comment:

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