Do you like romance books?
I personally don’t but I was recommended No Man Can Tame by Miranda Honfleur on Twitter and the premise sounded good (not to mention the title). This is an indie book of great quality in terms of writing and editing so I certainly didn’t regret purchasing it.
Cover from Amazon.
⭐⭐⭐/5: liked it
This book was recommended to me on Twitter. I picked it up eventually because it seemed to be an adult fantasy book and I figured it would be a nice change from all the YA that is advertised.
Reading the blurb I expected a lot of political intrigues and either a slow-burn or an enemies-to-lovers kind of romance because it seemed like the two main characters weren’t supposed to like each other and the title of the book is literally called, “No Man Can Tame.” Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when Veron and Aless began to feel attracted to each other after 5 chapters or so.
I’ll start with the things I didn’t enjoy so I can end this review on a positive note.
I think the characters are two-dimensional and quite frankly, hard to relate to. There is a war brewing in the background, and Aless is preoccupied with building a library for commoners when those are literally in danger and starving. Veron is incredibly obedient and diplomatic and the only thorn in his side seems to be the fact no one can make proper boots for him… (???) I mean, it ends up being funny, but I wish there was more character development so that the whole, “Will they be able to set aside their differences?” thing was more pronounced. For me, the setup part of the novel was lacking. There was also a lot of name-dumping in the beginning as if every character needed a name even when they had maybe 3 lines total in the book.
The confrontation was better but still a little underwhelming. I don’t want to write down too many spoilers but the “villains” were nonexistent. It’s all a big misunderstanding, with an action scene that lasts two paragraphs at best and the battle is pretty one-sided thanks to the mage.
The book ends with no losses, which is honestly a big surprise to me. Aless even manages to rekindle her toxic relationship with her father in the blink of an eye.
Now, is it a fantasy romance? Yes. For those who love the genre, they will love this book:
a) The fantasy part: The author excels at world-building. I liked what she did with the Italian references, the vocabulary, and the elvish culture. It was a nice change from all the fantasy books that just use the same concepts and the same wording as every other novel without giving any clue to the reader as to whether said concepts mean the same as in other books or not.
b) The romance part: I’m not a fan of this type of romance. I was expecting something else since Veron is a dark-elf, but he behaves very much like a human in every aspect, and the whole relationship and the so-called “not clean” scenes are so romanticized that I may have gotten diabetes every time they had an intimate moment. That was just a big no for me.
To conclude this review, I’d say No Man Can Tame is a fairytale for grownups. A literal fairytale with unicorns, pixies, and all kinds of creatures ready to save the day. Again, it’s not for me, but for those who like this kind of story, I don’t think they will be disappointed. Another thing that is certainly positive is the fact that the editing and formatting were on point and handled better than in most traditionally published books.
Good editing is a refresher
I still think Honfleur’s style is polished and good. This book was written and edited with care, and that’s something I always appreciate. The world-building wasn’t overdone, although I wonder how it felt to readers who don’t speak a word of Italian to see so many Italian words and references. I still believe the blurb was a little misleading and the romance quite cheesy and unrealistic but I know there are people out there who like this kind of “fluff” so it’s not a 100% negative aspect. There’s also one character that I didn’t mention in my review and that’s Noc, Veron’s horse. I don’t why, but that horse had a lot of personality and was honestly one of my favorite telepathic characters!
Not my jam.
It crossed my mind to go ahead and read the second book in this series but what’s keeping me from doing so is definitely the over-romanticized part. Honfleur’s characters are interesting and promising but ultimately, I know this isn’t right up my alley. However, the fact I’ve considered picking up the second book is a clear indication that despite the differences in taste, Honfleur is a skilled writer who makes you want to know what happens to her characters. Perhaps one day!