A Prince on Paper
by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
The Reluctant Royals series returns with a good girl searching for the life that’s not too big, and not too small, and the bad boy prince who might be just right for her…
Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.
For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother’s future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.
Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after.
The bed suddenly shifted, the tilt of the mattress jarring, and Nya was pulled into a strong, solid embrace. Her nose tickled at the smell of lemon and lavender, citrus and almost abrasive floral, as far from the smell of the eng flower of Thesolo—her father’s poison of choice—as she could get. The arms that clamped around her were lean and muscular, and the body it pulled her against was just as fit. The body was warm—so warm and cradling her so perfectly that she relaxed and sighed at how . . . right it felt before her fear and common sense kicked in.
She was alone on the plane. But someone was in the bed behind her. Holding her. Had her distress been so acute that it had reached Ingoka’s ears? Had she conjured this sudden comfort? She knew the folklore of the lesser gods, of those who gave humans what they wanted but always took more than they gave. No, this is no time for fairy tale silliness. She tried to tug herself free from the stranger’s arm because, be they god or man, something really fucking weird was going on.
The hold tightened. “Reste bei mir.”
The sleep-slurred words came out in an exhalation that tickled Nya’s ear and made her belly jolt. She pushed at one of the arms from below and the hold loosened as the stranger snorted and began to move. A large hand patted her arm, paused, then pulled away.
“What have we here?” The voice was deep and smooth, a European, judging from the strangely accented English. So definitely not a lesser god of Thesolo, and more likely a human—one who might be dangerous.
She jumped up off the bed, listing a bit as the plane hit dipped and tilted, fumbling with her phone as her hands began to tremble slightly. She was on the plane usually reserved for the royal family of Thesolo. Ledi had made her listen to those true crime podcasts so Nya knew that this could be some depraved assassin. What kind of assassin snuggles people to death? Stranger things had happened.
“Who are you and what do you want?” She tried to access the flashlight app, but her thumb was wet from the tears she’d pressed into submission and the fingerprint reader wouldn’t work. She pressed the button along the phone’s side to take photos instead, no unlocking required, and the bright bursts of the camera’s automatic flash revealed the outline of a man stretched out on the bed.
The bed she had just sought out for safety and comfort. A jolt of anger and fear sliced through her as her thumb repetitively pressed the button.
“What do you want?” she asked again, stepping back toward the door.
“Hmm. Biscuits?” The lazy response was punctuated by the sound of shuffling on the sheets. “Biscuits would be super. I missed the in-flight meal.”
Wait. That voice is familiar. And the language . . . A light suddenly flicked on, and Nya blinked several times, and then kept on blinking even after her eyes had adjusted. Her ears hadn’t lied. Oh! It’s him.
Probably my favorite of the series!
Ms. Cole gave us plenty of clues in the other series books that there was more to Johan and Nya than appeared on the surface, but even so–I was not prepared! I loved seeing things from their POVs at last and finally understanding why they did the things they did and what their hopes and dreams were.
And I loved, loved, loved Crown Prinxe Lukas 🙂
Ms. Cole’s writing made this one a delight to read. Besides the great characters, the bits at the beginning at the chapters were a lot of fun–articles, blurbs, the One True Prince video game segments, and especially the legend of Phokojoe–they all complimented the story nicely. And OMG, Bulgom Pamplemousse von Bearstein–loved!
Technically this probably could be read as a standalone, though the characters from all of the other series books play roles here too so if not knowing who all those people are at the beginning of a book bothers you, you might want to start at the beginning. I can’t deny that seeing Johan’s story all the way through isn’t immensely satisfying and definitely worth the wait!
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
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.
To celebrate the release of A PRINCE ON PAPER by Alyssa Cole, we’re giving away one paperback set of the first three full-length books in the series!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of A Princess in Theory, A Duke By Default, & A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 5/16/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly.