Myron has a plan. Find the runaway prince, gain his trust, and take him willingly back to Rishaw, to his brother, the king. He was under the impression that Tamsen is a spoiled brat and not well versed in magic. But when Myron finds Tamsen in a seemingly rundown cottage in the middle of nowhere, he discovers that not only is he not totally spoiled, his magical abilities far exceed Myron’s own… and then some. Though Myron’s abilities are beginner at best, for reasons he doesn’t want to discuss. The cold demeanor Tamsen puts up is… cute, but Myron plans on softening one tease at a time. Myron wants to know why Tamsen ran away, but in order to find out, he’ll have to tell Tamsen his own secrets.
At first Tamsen is annoyed by the guardsman who is camped out on his lawn. Then he’s curious. Spending time with Myron, teaching him magic, brings a whole new light into Tamsen’s lonely world. When Tamsen makes the decision to go home, he is glad Myron will be at his side. Because the man Tamsen ran from is still at the castle.
Facing his past is daunting, but Tamsen knows the only way to get on with his life is to do it. But when he’s facing not only a possible forced marriage to the princess of Sumira and a proposal from the last man he wants to see, Tamsen turns to the man who is comfort to him. Myron. Working through all the problems in their way, Tamsen and Myron face one more. The worst of all. When all is said and done, Tamsen plans to go back home to his cottage and while Myron would love to go with him, he is one of the King’s Guard and must stay put at the castle.
I really enjoyed this story. Not only is it incredibly sweet, but the fantasy world is quite charming. The Errant Prince was an unexpected surprise, mostly good, but I’ll explain more later. It’s a story of a man who found himself only to be pulled back into family drama, while finding unexpected love and safety in the process. A combination of the author, the title, and the cover attracted me to the book. The story was what kept me interested though.
For this author, this story was fairly tame—in a good way, don’t get me wrong. The level of angst that usually accompanies her stories is not found here, though there are several surprises that caught me off guard. I’ll start with my dear Tamsen because he is, of course, the errant prince. I liked Tamsen for his contrast to the perception. Where he was a bit spoiled and bratty, he’s more independent and stubborn than anything. He left for a reason and that reason comes back around in this story. There are a few times where Tamsen says something to Myron like “Well, if I didn’t want you here, I wouldn’t have asked you to come in.” When in fact he didn’t ask, he demanded and expected Myron to follow in true royal fashion. He’s all-around well molded into a complexly sweet and difficult character. I loved him.
Now Myron is the first character we’re introduced to in the story as the book is basically split up into two sections: The Improper Soldier and The Errant Prince. I liked Myron a lot, but I felt that the important parts of his character building were skipped over. Namely, the fact that he is trans and the parts in which he does talk about it are pretty much glanced over.
I was… a spirited child, so my parents started me a year early in the hopes it would settle me down. Then a few months in, I told them I wasn’t their daughter but their son.
His breasts were bound, and the cloth strip—and his skin— were soaked with sweat.
These are the only two instances in which the author actually speaks of Myron being trans and to be honest, he never comes out and says “I was born female” or any such, so for a while I was on the fence about whether he was or wasn’t. There’s also a comment about a “novelty bedding” that had me wondering, but to be honest, it was all so unclear. It was the breasts comment and the ever present binding that was never really explained other than to say it was not for a wound until way later in the book that finally had me convinced. Nothing in the blurb had me expecting trans, which isn’t a problem, but it did catch me off guard and my confusion keep me distracted while I should have been focused on the story.
The plot itself is good, fairly solid. A runaway prince is found and goes home to face the music, finds out that he may have to be married to an unknown prince, oh, and by the way, his ex—the one who broke his heart and was the reason from running—he’s proposing marriage. It’s all very entertaining. Mostly, I was entranced with the connection formed between Myron and Tamsen and how they worked around everything else together. There’s also Tamsen’s family and his role as prince/abdicated prince to deal with. I have to say I kind of adore his meddling brother, although he seems a bit fickle as a king to me.
The whole thing with Tamsen’s ex, I wish it would have come to a bigger head. Maybe with some fireworks or a big to do. I mean, after the buildup—this guy being the supposed love of Tamsen’s old life and then with Whitwood (the ex) spying on him—to have it fizzle so unceremoniously was a disappointment. There’s also the subject of Myron’s parents. For all the bad credit they’re given throughout this book, they never have to see any punishment for the treatment of their son. It’s, again, disappointing. I may have even liked to see them come to their senses, but that didn’t happen either.
Overall, I liked this story for the sweetness of the characters and the storyline, but I had several issues that were impossible to see past. I liked the book, but I’m hoping for a sequel to clear up most of the quibbles I have.