A Princess In Theory
by Alyssa Cole
Series Reluctant Royals
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date February 27, 2018
From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .
Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.
Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.
The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?
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“I need to tell you,” Prince Thabiso said between kisses, “who I am.”
Who I really am, he added silently.
“I know who you are,” Ledi said. She pulled off her t- shirt, revealing a soft, worn-looking gray bra cupping her silky brown breasts. “You’re the guy who learned to cook for me. The guy who’s made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. The guy who— ” She whispered the rest in his ear.
He chuckled and ran a fingertip over the lace that edged her bra. “I love that you speak so freely.”
“Only with you. I feel like my entire life has been me trying to keep everything to-gether, but right now I want to fall apart.”
He could see the want in her eyes. “I must tell you something, Ledi.”
But how could he?
I’ve been dying to read this book since the episode of Smart Podcasts, Trashy Books where author Alyssa Cole talked about creating the gorgeous cover for this book (and of course, gave teasers for the book itself), and am happy to report that it did not disappoint! I loved Ledi and the fact that she is a graduate student in epidemiology–and that she actually does epidemiology-type-stuff throughout the book. Gotta love dedicated, brainy heroines, amirite? 🙂 And (Prince) Thabiso? OMG, that first trip to a bodega–and on the subway–had me giggling. And don’t even get me started on his adorableness and princely behavior throughout (checking Ledi for consent whenever things heat up *almost* makes up for the whole pretending-to-be-Jamal thing).
The mysterious illness/villain portion of the story wasn’t the strongest–it wasn’t too hard to guess who the “bad guy” was, their motivation, or even (at least a basic idea of) how they were attempting to accomplish their goals. Still, the romance between Thabiso and Ledi more than made up for any weakness that might have existed in other parts of the story.
This modern twist on Cinderella was a great start to Ms. Cole’s new series, Reluctant Royals, and I can’t wait for book two! Portia wasn’t my favorite character throughout much of the book–she’s got some major issues to work through–but I’m looking forward to seeing how Ms. Cole will make her a more sympathetic character.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
Alyssa Cole is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who lives in the Caribbean and occasionally returns to her fast-paced NYC life. In addition to writing, she founded and hosted the Jefferson Market Library Romance Book Club and taught Romance Writing for Beginners. She speaks on topics such as writing erotic romance, writing multicultural romance, and self-editing. She has contributed romance-related articles to publications including RT Book Reviews, Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance at Random, and The Toast. She has also started a bi-monthly column in the Romance Writer’s Report, Romancing the Globe, in which she chats with romance writers from around the world. When she’s not busy writing, traveling, and learning French, she can be found watching anime with her husband or tending to her herd of animals.