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A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals Mass Market Paperback – February 27, 2018
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“Alyssa Cole is the newly coronated queen of contemporary royal romance! A Princess in Theory is delicious fun... a smart, funny heroine; a sweetly sexy prince; swoon-worthy romance; and an epic happily-ever-after. Long live the queen!” (Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries)
“A delightful and sexy take on love between a suave African prince and a nerdy epidemiology student.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Attention-grabbing from page one, this first book in the Reluctant Royals series will absolutely warm your heart. A Princess in Theory is a delightful love story that introduces a princess — with attitude! — who readers will enjoy rooting for. Naledi is skeptical about modern royalty, but her ambition and tough demeanor shine. Cultural differences aside, this is a simple and heartfelt story to be savored.” (RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars- TOP PICK))
“a funny, fast-moving, smart-alecky romance... A PRINCESS IN THEORY is pure fun. It will have you laughing, cringing and hooked from the start!” (Romance Junkies)
“the best new romance I’ve read in a while...” (New York Times Book Review)
“This is a fun, fanciful romance perfect for readers dreaming of royal weddings.” (BookPage)
“In Cole’s world, royalty and romance go hand in hand with compassion, open-heartedness, and intelligence, as well as a clear-eyed sense of real-world politics. A Princess in Theory is a fairy tale, yes, but one consistently grounded in reality, which makes the happily-ever-after all the more satisfying.” (Entertainment Weekly)
From the Back Cover
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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Of course, this all backfires spectacularly…and actually there IS a fire, because Prince Thabiso is the worst waiter ever. Not that he can explain why he has no skills in this area. Undeterred by his knack for catastrophe and Naledi’s complete lack of interest in him, Prince Thabiso finds other ways to be in her immediate area of residency, and slowly but surely, he begins to win her over with his own charm. Except now he realizes he still hasn’t told her who he really is—and she’s going to be ticked when she finds out.
This is not a new storyline, and we all know what’s going to happen, but the way Alyssa Cole is able to tell the story, this trope feels fresh, new, and believable. The characters are multi-dimensional, smart, sexy, and human. If you’re looking at this book, you likely read romances—and I read a lot of them. I’m telling you: this was well-executed on many levels in terms of character, plot, dialogue, setting, and sizzle.
Speaking of, I now want to learn more about Kelly, Portia's sister, because I sense she has an interesting background. In a way I'll get my wish with the next book, but I also got the definite sense that she and Portia aren't close the way twins are supposed to be. As for Portia herself, she has struck me, thus far, as being a little flaky, only acting in her own self-interest more often than not even while proclaiming a deep friendship with Naledi. Of course, Naledi extracted a promise from Portia near the end of this story to change her ways. So let's hope a change for the better is in the works and will stick.
As for Thabiso, he seemed very full of himself in the beginning of the book, although that must be a prerequisite of all royalty. But this was explained because he was uncertain of what Naledi knew of him, her background, and why her parents up and left Thesolo when he was a mere toddler. The romantic relationship that developed between him and Naledi grew from his curiosity about her in the present day, exploding eventually into a love that could not be denied by the end of the story. And they eventually figure out why her parents departed, stealing her away from him. Although I won't divulge that secret here.
The only thing I would have liked to have seen was Naledi speaking with her maternal grandparents after they woke up from their disease-ridden comas, just to give Naledi a better sense of closure in her life. But other than that, I had fun reading this book and can't wait to read of her and Thabiso's further adventures. Even if they'll be delegated to background character status since Portia and some Scottish blacksmith are on tap next.
Graduate student Ledi, who grew up in foster care but is doing just fine, thanks, keeps getting annoying emails claiming she's betrothed to an African prince. Not having anytime for that nonsense, Ledi tries to keep up with her studies and her part-time job all while trying to figure out why her summer fellowship hasn't followed through with her yet.
Well, turns out the Prince is no joke, and his people have finally found Ledi after years of searching.
After travelling to NYC to meet Ledi, Prince Thabiso finds himself mistaken for the new hire at her job. Entranced by Ledi but hoping to get to know her before she realizes he is a Prince, Thabiso keeps up the charade until a disastrous run-in at a charity gala.
Ledi, overwhelmed with the truth of her heritage and Thabiso's lies, still finds herself drawn back to the country of her birth, tasked with helping an expedition discover the root of a terrible disease striking the population.
Funny, brilliantly written, and so sexy, this is a perfect start to a promising new series. I cannot wait for Ledi's BFF Portia's story in A Duke by Default.
Thank you to Avon for the ARC!