The Crownless Prince: A Maid Maleen Retelling by Selina R. Gonzalez (Once Upon a Prince book 10)
Prince Marcus wanted two things: to avoid war between the three regions and to marry Princess Adriana. His father agreed with neither of those things, so threw Marcus and his friend/servant/bodyguard into a dark tower. Four years later, the curse keeping him in the tower breaks, and Marcus emerges to a new reality. His family is dead, Adriana’s father wants him dead, and she’s betrothed to another.
Princess Adriana held out hope for four years that Marcus would return to her, but now the war is over, her father has crowned himself king and needs to refill the treasury. Adriana’s hand in marriage is the cost.
When she discovers that Marcus is still alive and hasn’t stopped loving her either, the pair have three days to stop the wedding and maintain the fragile peace.
“Wanting something isn’t enough if I don’t take risks to pursue it.”
I love these two characters! I appreciate that we got to see flashbacks of their relationship prior to the start of the story and how they fell in love. Marcus is a cinnamon roll, and how he grows throughout is amazing to watch. And Edwin is just the best sidekick.
This was my first Maid Maleen retelling, and I love how Gonzalez twisted the original story to fit the gender-swapped roles. (And honestly made the whole thing more plausible than the original.)
A fantastic fantasy retelling set in the world of Gonzalez’s main series.
Injuries: non-graphic, but includes confinement, assassination attempts, and beatings
Only a couple of sweet kisses, but there are repeated mentions of “consummating the marriage,” with a very mild fade-to-black scene between a married couple. One reference to “making love.” This was part of the plot.
(Thank you to the author for the ARC of this book. This is my honest review.)