A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)
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?

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1) Details

TitleA Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 27th, 2018
PublisherAvon
ISBN-139780062685544
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Adult

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1) Review

  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “One can never read too many fairy tales” A Princess in Theory was nothing short of an absolute treat to read. I easily fell in love with Alyssa Cole’s writing and her characters. And I completely believe she is a genius with her perfect portrayal of the “far away country prince email spam” trope. This book was funny, heartwarming, important, and completely captivating. ➽ Prince Thabiso - An actual African Prince, ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “One can never read too many fairy tales” A Princess in Theory was nothing short of an absolute treat to read. I easily fell in love with Alyssa Cole’s writing and her characters. And I completely believe she is a genius with her perfect portrayal of the “far away country prince email spam” trope. This book was funny, heartwarming, important, and completely captivating. ➽ Prince Thabiso - An actual African Prince, and the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, and his parents (the king and queen) are on him about settling down and starting a family. But he has never been able to forget the girl who he was promised to marry one day, who has been missing for most of his life. ➽ Naledi Smith - Ledi has grown up in foster care, barely remembering her family that passed away, but she has overcome it all and has a very promising life in New York. She is also in grad school studying epidemiology, and working nonstop between the lab, different jobs and studying. (Also, give me all the books with STEM girls, please!) “I know you’re very busy, Ledi. If you can fit me in, I’d be honored to be one of the many things that take up your time.” And these two amazing characters come together, once Thabiso finally decides to come to New York to find Ledi, who he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about his entire life. I mean, it’s not like she’s answering his emails in the nicest of manners. And the chemistry between these two? Honestly, it’s off any chart. Not only is this an amazing romance, it has so many important themes. I said above how much I loved that Ledi was part of the STEM field, but this book also talks about the racism and sexism she has to face every single day for just pursuing her dream. Ledi has to constantly convince the white male supervisor in the lab how she is a “team player” while being forced to pick up other white dudes’ slack. I am not sure I’ve ever read this in any book, God forbid a romance book, and I was honestly living for every second of it. Ledi also has to experience what it is like to grow up apart from a culture she has never known. And she has to think about the power imbalances of her and Thabiso’s different family backgrounds, different wealth and economic situations, and just the difference in power of him knowing more of the story than she knows. And all of it is done expertly. And this is an ownvoices novel, because the two characters and most all the side characters are black. Seriously, this book has so much good in the pages. On top of an amazing and swoon worthy romance. Oh, and it’s so damn funny, too. Thabiso experiencing New York for the first time had my sides hurting from giggling. Seriously. “Why is it so hot down here? What is that strange smell? Are those cats frolicking on the tracks? Dear goddess, they’re rats!” And the sex scenes in this book were the perfect amount of sexy and fade to black, in my opinion. Also, Alyssa Cole puts consent at the forefront of this story, and proves again that there is nothing sexier than well established consent. Also, my pan self wants to date both Ledi and Thabiso, so praise this author and her magical writing.Overall, I recommend this with my entire heart and soul. This is so intelligently written, expertly crafted, and this story is honestly romantic perfection. And I know I’ve gushed a lot about Ledi and Thabiso throughout this entire review, but I also fell so damn in love with Portia! Ledi and her friendship was so realistic, and I absolutely cannot wait to start her story immediately in A Duke by Default!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Trigger and content warnings for loss of a loved one in the past, abandonment, talk of animal death vaguely, and talk of disease epidemics.
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  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest💙 I read this for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2018 Reading Challenge, for the category of: African American Romance. For more info on this challenge, click here. 💙As soon as I stopped screaming over the cover for this book, I immediately started screaming over the synopsis. Princess Diaries all grown up, featuring a smart black lady in STEM? Oh, YOU KNOW I was going to be all over that like cute baby goat pics on Tessa Dare' Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest💙 I read this for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2018 Reading Challenge, for the category of: African American Romance. For more info on this challenge, click here. 💙As soon as I stopped screaming over the cover for this book, I immediately started screaming over the synopsis. Princess Diaries all grown up, featuring a smart black lady in STEM? Oh, YOU KNOW I was going to be all over that like cute baby goat pics on Tessa Dare's Twitter feed. (And then I saw the cover for the sequel, A DUKE BY DEFAULT, and the screaming began anew.) Hoarse, exhausted, and delirious with joy, there was nothing to do, post-scream fest, except patiently await the 2018 release date.The precious arrived for me yesterday at the library and I finally was able to sit down and read it. It was a quick read, and I finished it in just under a day, but deciding on a rating for this one was really difficult because there were things I liked & things I didn't.Positives first. The story is fluffier than pancakes and has great rep. The heroine, Ledi, is studying to be an epidemiologist and we get to see her at work, interacting with coworkers, showing off her smarts. She's sex positive and has a not-exactly-healthy friendship with her BFF, Portia, but a big part of the story isn't just about her development with the male lead, it's also about learning to make her relationship with her BFF healthier, while also setting up boundaries and learning how to say "No."Thabiso, the hero, is also great. He's a spoiled prince, which is one of my favorite tropes, but he's not an a-hole. He's just hilariously entitled and out-of-touch. We get to see him at work, too, which is great, because a lot of stories about royalty kind of just feel like they're royal in title only, and more about the glitz and glam - more like A-list celebs, in other words, than heads of state. His interactions with his (GAY!) personal assistant, Likotsi, were great and I loved their relationship so much.The Cinderella storyline really mirrors Princess Diaries, except instead of a made-up European country (Genovia), Thabiso hails from a made-up country in Africa, Thesolo. Ledi is his betrothed, who disappeared with her parents when they mysteriously fled, only to die inconveniently in the U.S., dumping poor Ledi into the foster system. When Thabiso tracks her down to the restaurant where she works to pay off rent and grad debt, she mistakes him for the server who's supposed to be hired that day. Thabiso allows this case of mistaken identity to continue, because it's refreshing to get to know someone and have someone be attracted to him without the burden of his crown.The downsides are that this story felt really unrealistic at times, and I think that's because Thesolo just wasn't very developed. I would have liked to have learned more about Thesolo. This book came out pretty close in time to Black Panther, and the country of Wakanda in that movie is basically a character in and of itself. I feel like Alyssa Cole had the opportunity to do that with Thesolo, and didn't. It ended up feeling like more of a very weak backdrop. The "intrigue" about Ledi's parents also felt glossed over, and the "plague" kind of ended up being a last-act bit of drama (like Lisa Kleypas's half-assed attempted murder plots that occur in 9/10 of her books' finales).That said, I still enjoyed A PRINCESS IN THEORY. It had some really hot kissing scenes and the chemistry between the hero and the heroine was fun. As far as light, fluffy reads go, this one does the trick. Did it live up to my expectations? No. But I felt so lukewarm about this author's first couple works (mostly really short stories), and she has come a long way since then. I went from just kind of feeling "meh" about her work, to having her become one of my favorite authors. She is improving so quickly, and I'm very excited to see what she churns out next (AKA, DUKE BY DEFAULT).P.S. I did my mental casting for this movie and came up with Sterling K. Brown as Thabiso, Anika Noni Rose as Likotsi, and Teyonah Parris as Ledi. All I ask is partial credit as asst. casting director.3 stars
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  • Rincey
    January 1, 1970
    I spent a Saturday listening to the entire audiobook of this soooo I guess I've figured out what kind of romance novels work for me. See me talk about it briefly: https://youtu.be/ymb11Zcb248?t=1m17s
  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This was mega cute. It felt a little long at times, but other than that this was a perfect romance. HIGHLY recommend.
  • Geri Reads
    January 1, 1970
    A Princess in Theory was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018, for good reasons. One. It has a fairy tale like premise: a royal prince looking for his long-lost betrothed who happens to have no idea of who he is and thinks he’s just out to scam her. Two. I’ve seen and read countless of “royal romance” stories in the past year or so featuring princes and princesses from fictional European countries but zero stories from non-Euro fictional kingdoms. A Princess in Theory gives us the fictional A Princess in Theory was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018, for good reasons. One. It has a fairy tale like premise: a royal prince looking for his long-lost betrothed who happens to have no idea of who he is and thinks he’s just out to scam her. Two. I’ve seen and read countless of “royal romance” stories in the past year or so featuring princes and princesses from fictional European countries but zero stories from non-Euro fictional kingdoms. A Princess in Theory gives us the fictional African kingdom of Thesolo. And let me tell you right now, after reading the book, I am so ready to book a one-way ticket to Thesolo. Three. The book features a STEM heroine and a prince. I mean, come on. That’s like peak OTP for me. So yes, I have high expectations for this book and fortunately, all of it were not just met, but were exceeded by this book. Alyssa Cole created a very colorful and exciting world filled with complex and interesting characters. “She was fine on her own. She always had been. And if no good guy ever made it past her barriers? Well, that’d be fine, too. Just fine.” Naledi is right up there as being one of my favorite heroines ever. She’s smart, driven, and a little bit broken. She hides her emotions behind a tough exterior but she’s all gooey on the inside. Her backstory was heartbreaking and explains why she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Prince Thabiso’s arrival challenges Ledi’s boundaries and forces her to change in so many ways. I love where the author took this character. The emotional character journey Ledi went through was so amazing and so worth it. Ledi isn’t the only thing that made me love this book though. Everyone, meet the Crown Prince of Thesolo, Prince Thabiso. “But instead of a peeved researcher standing in the doorway, there was the finest man Ledi had ever seen outside of a social media thirst trap pic.” Sorry. I didn’t mean to show my thirst like that but oh-em-gee, Jamal aka Prince Thabiso was amazing. And I don’t just say that because he’s hot and he’s a prince. Like Ledi, he went through his own emotional journey. Thabiso is a prince—the Prince. He’s loyal and he loves his people, but he was also arrogant, privileged and can be dismissive of other people’s feelings. He grew up surrounded by people who’re there to accommodate his whims and desires. He was in for a rude awakening with Ledi though because here was a woman who he thought would fall over herself because he’s a prince. Instead he found someone who not only didn’t know who he is but mistakes him for a hired help. I loved how he changed from this arrogant prince to someone worthy of Ledi’s love and affection. Their romance just builds off of that initial meeting and went to some really interesting places. “Her mouth curved up into a smile and something in his chest moved out of alignment. He loved seeing her smile. He loved being the cause of it.” The romance between Ledi and Thabiso wasn’t all rainbows and roses. Ledi has her own issues while Thabiso wasn’t really being honest. And I admit I was nervous because there’s a chance that Thabiso’s deception would be swept under a rug just because he’s the hero of the story and that the reader and the heroine are supposed to forgive him immediately. Rest assured, Ledi did not make it easy for him. And I liked that so much. Thabiso had to work for her forgiveness and nothing warms my heart more than a hero that grovels. “Fuckboyism is a fairly common disease in men aged eighteen to thirty-five.”“What’s the cure?” he asked.“You’ll have to ask your doctor about that. But I can tell you right now that it’s not me.” And oh, did I mention that this book was funny? Not slapstick funny but understated-but-still-makes-you-laugh-out-loud funny. Ledi’s Ledisms are hilarious and Thabiso’s stint as a lowly waiter had me rolling. I also loved the secondary cast of characters from Thabiso’s parents to Ledi’s family and friends. Speaking of friends, Portia, Ledi’s best friend was very interesting. There were moments where I really didn’t like what she did, but I couldn’t help but root for her to find redemption. Her story is next and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to read it. A Princess in Theory is a breath of fresh air. If you’re looking for a swoon-worthy read, I highly recommend this. This book made laugh and gave me characters I could relate and really root for. I finished this book with a huge smile on my face. I was soooo good, you guys! I highly recommend it. And Alyssa Cole, take a bow, because A Princess in Theory is one of those books that readers will be recommending and talking about in the weeks to come. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just gonna run out and one-click more Alyssa Cole books. Kthnxbye. An ARC was provided by Avon Books for review purposes.
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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    MY REVIEW FOR A PRINCESS IN THEORY BY ALYSSA COLE CAN ALSO BE VIEWED ON MY BLOGA Princess in Theory was a book I knew I would love. When I heard of it I was basically anxiously waiting for it to come out in order to read it. I read it in one day completely and it was amazing. It was honestly one of the best romance books I have read. It was swoon-worthy, it had education, it had steamy scenes and it had diversity. It was also incredibly well written and I think that covers everything a good book MY REVIEW FOR A PRINCESS IN THEORY BY ALYSSA COLE CAN ALSO BE VIEWED ON MY BLOGA Princess in Theory was a book I knew I would love. When I heard of it I was basically anxiously waiting for it to come out in order to read it. I read it in one day completely and it was amazing. It was honestly one of the best romance books I have read. It was swoon-worthy, it had education, it had steamy scenes and it had diversity. It was also incredibly well written and I think that covers everything a good book needs honestly. It was one of those books that lived up to the hype I created for it and that is a hard thing to do – I think the only books that live up to the level of hype I had on A Princess in Theory are Cassandra Clare books.A Princess in Theory is told in two perspectives. There is Naledi Smith who is studying in grad school and keeps everyone at an arms length due to her orphan past. Then there is Thabiso who is the heir of the throne in Thesolo, an African country. They are two different people in two different worlds, Ledi however doesn’t know that she was betrothed to Thabiso when she was a toddler. This all fell through because her parents took her to America and later died in a car accident. The story is the classic royal story where Thabiso pretends to be someone else in order to get close to Ledi and know her. There is a lot of drama and there is a lot of sweet moments. The drama goes on for a while and the large problem which is happening in Thesolo is solved so quickly that I was shocked. This book had a beautiful inclusion of culture and community though and was overall, just amazing to read.Anyway, lets jump into my likes and dislikes before I spoil too much of the plot, oops.L I K E S✗ SUCH A SWOON WORTHY LOVE STORYThis is the big thing. This story is swoon worthy as heck. It was incredible. A lot of romances don’t feel too swoon worthy to me, unfortunately, but A Princess in Theory ticked all my boxes. It was sweet, but obviously had some issues such as communication and did have clichés but I am such a sucker for royalty stories. It’s a little problem since I don’t read a lot (which I need to find more of).✗ SMART MC’SThis is a quick point. The MC’s aren’t only smart, they’re sex smart. I really appreciate when books promote smart sex and are just overall are intelligent. I know some people learn things from romance books and I don’t know, it was just good to see there be mention of condoms and have the MC pee after sex.✗ FRIENDSHIPS ARE MESSY Friendships are messy in real life. You have moments where you drift apart and you have moments where you hate the. You have moments where you’re jealous. I think maybe this book struggled with showing this sometimes and presenting a strong front for Ledi (whereas Thabiso has a great friend/advisor). I did completely get the point, considering it also showed addiction and is leading into book two. It was a very interesting dynamic to watch play out in A Princess in Theory.✗ LOVE INTEREST IS A GREAT PRINCEThe thing with some of the books that feature royalty is that they’re not always that involved with their country. They’re typically a partier or just more a figurehead on the throne. I found Thabiso different to this typical stereotype. He really cared for his country and was distressed by the problems that were occurring. There was the fact he was a playboy, but honestly this didn’t translate through any of his actions so I was a little shocked every time it was brought up – because it was really easy to forget. Thabiso wants to do his best to fix the problem in Thesolo. He cares for his people and the sense of community in this book was really beautiful, I thought.✗ GREAT TO SEE ROYALTY NOT IN EUROPE + CULTUREI haven’t read a lot of royal books, I think A Princess in Theory marks my fourth, but I have noticed the trend of the royals being from a country in Europe. There is usually no difference in this and it was really great to see something different in this book. I feel with Black Panther doing so well in box offices people are searching for a POC royalty book that shows that Africa isn’t just a struggling country, that there is more. I really feel like this book has come at the right time and I sincerely hope it does well and gets really high reviews, because it is amazing and the writing is incredibly.Not only this though, it was really enjoyable to see the culture throughout the book through Thabiso. Ledi is unknowing to the customs of her people, having grown up in America and been unaware of what her life could have been. So seeing the customs of Thesolo introduced to her was really interesting and heart warming. I obviously can’t say if these things were done well, but I really enjoyed the way they were written and am interested in doing my own research on African customs.D I S L I K E S✗ ALL HAPPENED SO FAST WHICH MADE THE ENDING FEEL RUSHEDNow, I have a few big problems which kept A Princess in Theory from being a five star read unfortunately. The main part was the ending happened so fast. I feel an epilogue or an extra chapter would have really helped the book feel like a more complete finish, but I was simply left feeling shocked and unsure if my Kindle had sneakily deleted some chapters. I also just wanted more. I feel like this book could have been an extra fifty pages and I wouldn’t have been mad at all. I really wanted more of Ledi and Thabiso too, hopefully in the second book we get that.✗ WAS AN EASY GUESS OF THE PROBLEMOkay, look. There was kind of a mystery element in the book but it was so damn easy to work out. Hints are dropped throughout the entire book and I was really a bit disappointed when it was revealed. I was happy to have been correct, but, man, was it way too easy. I wanted it to be someone I wasn’t expecting but it seems I wanted too much. A friend who also read the book said she guessed who was behind the mystery as well. So I don’t think it’s just me who thinks this was too easy to solve.✗ COMMUNICATION ISSUESThabiso was the worst at this. Like, man, just talk, bloody hell. I wanted to slam him up the head at how many chances he had to tell Ledi who he was and he didn’t. I wasn’t mad about the romance cliché that occurred after but I was just mad at Thabiso not sharing who he was with Ledi. It was honestly really infuriating considering the fact we got to read both their perspectives.Overall, A Princess in Theory lived up to the hype I had placed on it. It was shocking and oh so nice to read about. I am looking forward to the second book in the series – it honestly sounds really interesting! I highly recommend this to, like, everyone!
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  • Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**
    January 1, 1970
    ***IT'S LIVE!!!***https://www.amazon.com/Princess-Theor...Can we just take a minute to talk about how gorgeous that cover is?!!? LOOOVE!! Can't wait for this book. Gimme! Gimme!
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feelings about this one. It's looking like Alyssa Cole is going to be a hit or miss author for me. I didn't fully enjoy An Extraordinary Union for the same reasons I didn't fully enjoy this one, I think, but I loved A Hope Divided. So I will keep reading her stuff and just know that going in the chemistry between her leads doesn't always work for me. Really, I didn't NOT like this book, it just didn't work the way it was meant to.So, once again, I find myself in the position of lovi I have mixed feelings about this one. It's looking like Alyssa Cole is going to be a hit or miss author for me. I didn't fully enjoy An Extraordinary Union for the same reasons I didn't fully enjoy this one, I think, but I loved A Hope Divided. So I will keep reading her stuff and just know that going in the chemistry between her leads doesn't always work for me. Really, I didn't NOT like this book, it just didn't work the way it was meant to.So, once again, I find myself in the position of loving her heroine, but not being fully on board the relationship said heroine is involved in. Naledi is *awesome*. She's smart and funny and kind, and she loves science, and she's lonely and isolated and has her emotional walls up. But she's capable! And ambitious. Her parents died in a car accident when she was four years old and no relatives could be identified, so she grew up in the system in New York City. Now she's a graduate student in epidemiology, and she's respected and good at what she does. She's also a little bit of a nerd. Her favorite website is Girls With Glasses (a website I'm thinking will be important in future sequels, considering it's run by the sister of Naledi's best friend). Her life immediately felt very real to me. And I was charmed by this book at first, largely because of her. She starts receiving these emails that sound like the most glorified phishing/social engineering scam known to man, telling her she's the lost betrothed of the prince of Thesolo, and she gets so frustrated by them she ends up sending off a colorful two word reply that kick starts the plot.The problem for me is the prince in question. He felt so cliché and underdeveloped, especially compared to Naledi, who has a rich inner life, and interesting emotional conflicts running through her mind. I found Thabiso's story to be predictable, and not in the fun way. Every time a trope was deployed, I found myself being pulled out of the story, rather than becoming excited. When he decided to pretend to be someone else, I was intrigued at first to see how it would play out. I rolled my eyes when she started playing the trope that he was so sheltered he had no idea how to do a job capably, at the same time I appreciated seeing him fail (he fails HARD). But when he arranged to move in across the hall from Naledi, and kept not telling her who he was, and Cole kept playing the "he just wants to see what it's like to live a normal life" trope, I had to fight past my discomfort at it. He was acting like a stalker! Not to mention, he freely admits (as Jamal) to Naledi that he is rich and sheltered, and she never once questions why he was working a service job that first night. And if he's so rich, why is he staying in such a shitty apartment? I suppose it could have been worked around, but neither character ever even mentioned it, and it bothered me.Mostly all of that is me pointing fingers and trying to figure out why it didn't work for me, but really the short answer is it just didn't. It felt constructed to me, rather than natural. Like, maybe it's because the rest of the novel was so carefully put together that Thabiso as a character just felt a little empty to me? I don't know. I wanted to like it!I'm definitely going to read the rest of the series, though. Even though this wasn't a great read for me, I still enjoyed myself, and it was a fast read. I'm also intrigued to see what future books in the series have in store. The next book is about Naledi's best friend Portia falling in love with a secret Scottish laird, so. Yes, please, hope that works out! I would also bet money that future candidates for romance also include Thabiso's personal assistant, Lakotsi (who is an out lesbian) and Portia's sister (she of the website, and who is also in a wheelchair).I did like how the book ended. It seemed realistic. And I was happy for Ledi, that she seems to get to have the best of both worlds going forward.Read Harder Challenge 2018: A romance novel by or about a person of color.
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  • Lover of Romance
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I had been hearing about Alyssa Cole for quite some time, and I was really intrigued by her historical's however when I was offered the ARC, I knew I couldn't resist trying out this sexy royalty romance and what a cover right? I mean, how can you resist such a fun romantic cover. I love the brigh This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I had been hearing about Alyssa Cole for quite some time, and I was really intrigued by her historical's however when I was offered the ARC, I knew I couldn't resist trying out this sexy royalty romance and what a cover right? I mean, how can you resist such a fun romantic cover. I love the bright colors and how happy they look together. So my first impression on this book was WOW!! I had so much fun with this story, I can't even express how much joy and happy feels this book gave me. And it didn't turn out the way that I expected it too either, which only leads the reader into a story that has some twists and turns for sure.Our story starts off when Naledi Smith, is our heroine. Naledi is attempting to finish grad school and working multiple jobs. She has a pretty busy life, and has no time for distractions, let alone annoying emails claiming she is some african princess.....right??!!! Prince Thabiso has never forgotten the young girl that was his friend and disappear, the girl that he was supposed to marry and rule a kingdom with. Now its time for him to marry and they were betrothed and he means to find her. But from the moment that he meets her, he knows he wants to know more. But he also knows that she needs to know the truth about who he really is. Thus begins a game of flirting and chemistry between Thabisco and Naledi. But will our prince be able to find the right time to tell Naledi the truth and win her love or lose her forever...I was hesitant to tell you about my wealth and my background because I wanted you to see me for me. I'm used to people judging me for everything I own and represent, and not me as a person. What a fantastic romance and such a whirlwind of a love story that I fell in love with. Seeing two people who were separated as children only to find each other again. And add in the mix of a royalty romance, plus a bit of amnesia a bit. Our heroine was just a child when her parents fled the country but were killed and she ended up an orphan and forget her heritage and where she came from. Our hero has always had to deal with some difficult responsibilities, but for most of his life he has devoted his time and energy to his people. But when pressure is put on him to get married, he knows that he wants Naledi. Even though she doesn't know who he really is, she sees the real man, the man who no one else sees.I know who you are. You're the guy who learned to cook for me. the guy who's made me laugh harder than I have maybe ever, who made me come so hard I thought I'd peed myself. What I found most interesting and an aspect of the story that I truly loved was the "secret" wasn't dragged out through the whole story. I love the way it unravels and seeing these two overcome the challenge of mistrust and find unity in each other and in their dreams of the future. And boy learning more about Naledi's parents and the reason they left blew me away. Honestly I never expected the outcome that ends up being revealed. The romance that builds between the two here are simply wonderful. I have found that their story is not your average royalty set up. It has its dramatic elements of course, some mistrust and secrets, so we see them have to learn to overcome certain issues in their relationship, but we also see how strong their connection is to each other. I think that is what I loved the most. Was seeing the way that they learn to trust again and that is where the intimacy they have just grows deeper and as a reader you just fall for them even more completely. The humor that is introduced is witty and fun and leaves you with a smile.Overall I found A Princess In Theory to be a sexy and lively romance that I won't ever forget....a true gem of diverse romance that is a full of mystery, hidden truths and a stunning whirlwind of emotion and passion!!
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  • K.J. Charles
    January 1, 1970
    Good Lord, the cover is magnificent. The premise and opening are fantastic—Ledi’s struggle to keep afloat, the double whammy of being a black woman in STEM, constantly put down or pushed around by men but called mouthy or angry if she stands up for herself, the endless strain of trying to do two jobs and look after a flaky friend and be responsible for everything. It’s really powerful, which made me slightly regret the entire princess turn of events just because it took us away from that storyli Good Lord, the cover is magnificent. The premise and opening are fantastic—Ledi’s struggle to keep afloat, the double whammy of being a black woman in STEM, constantly put down or pushed around by men but called mouthy or angry if she stands up for herself, the endless strain of trying to do two jobs and look after a flaky friend and be responsible for everything. It’s really powerful, which made me slightly regret the entire princess turn of events just because it took us away from that storyline. However, the opening, with her being barraged by Nigerian-spam style emails telling her she’s betrothed to a prince, is hilarious, and the book absolutely commits to its fairytale, so. Ledi is a great heroine, stubborn, flawed, full of very legitimate resentments and fears but needing to let go of them, and her STEM background and thinking aren’t window dressing, as so often, but thoroughly inform the character. I really liked Thabiso but felt his characterisation was a bit uncertain at points—his arrogance and rudeness in the hilarious first scene don’t really fit with the thoughtful and considerate man of most of the book, and I was never quite clear on how Westernised he actually was, though the awkward balance between the demands of tradition and modernity, Thesolo and international life, came across well. I’m still mulling the ending, which was definitely not what I expected. It’s an intriguing way to end a princess book, given the expectations of the genre, but I felt it left some important issues up in the air. (view spoiler)[eg if she thinks she might be able to handle the princess life, if she’s going to have to keep waitressing and scraping for pennies or if he’s going to give her money to live on, if she is going to finish her grad studies (hide spoiler)]. I wanted to know all those things because I was super invested in Ledi and they don’t go without saying in the way the actual wedding does. Or should I accept that life is going to be a series of bumps and compromises and decisions, but Ledi has made the crucial one when she can admit to herself she loves Thabiso, and the rest will follow? Cole is a really smart writer who likes to play with genre conventions and it’s possible I’m just being greedy for a bit more of a wallow because I liked the characters so much.
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  • Miranda Kenneally
    January 1, 1970
    This is like Coming to America meets all the science and girl power of Black Panther.
  • Lexxi Kitty
    January 1, 1970
    Didn't like either main character (or any of the characters, for that matter). One was a weird mix of stubborn push-over; other was a stuck up lying asshole who did everything he could to do creepy things (keep touching the female lead, despite Ledi not wanting anything to do with him at the time; it was a constant and incredibly off-putting thing - he just wouldn't stop touching her, at every opportunity, gripping her, caressing her, etc.; it was 'okay' because 'she liked it' even though she wa Didn't like either main character (or any of the characters, for that matter). One was a weird mix of stubborn push-over; other was a stuck up lying asshole who did everything he could to do creepy things (keep touching the female lead, despite Ledi not wanting anything to do with him at the time; it was a constant and incredibly off-putting thing - he just wouldn't stop touching her, at every opportunity, gripping her, caressing her, etc.; it was 'okay' because 'she liked it' even though she was in the middle of her 'I hate him and I've told him not to touch me' phase; and what the fuck was up with taking a donkey up the mountain - one donkey? Obviously SUV's could get up there, they had to dodge around one when they got to the village; and he admitted that he could have gotten another donkey but . . . fuck I hate this fucking asshole. I loath being touched and this guy . . fuck him). A lot of culture clash here - between the characters, and between the characters and me. I felt no connection to the Prince, and the only thing similar to me and the female lead was instantly rejecting the emails from Africa from 'a Prince' (seriously, though, why the fuck did she not block the email address? She gave some lame reason in her brain, but shesh). Culture clash is okay - I've met up with it a lot in reading - expands the mind and all that crap. My problem was that I just couldn't figure out the lead female character. She was all over the place. A stubborn push-over, who had walls around her heart, but let everyone in and push her around, and abuse her. Um, wha? I'd a better understanding of the Prince - he has a rich, spoiled life, but also great pressure (both from being the 'sole-heir' (seriously? You know who is 18th in line for the British throne? David Armstrong-Jones - and why do I mention him? Because he is the Queen's sister's son; point being, kingdoms never have just one heir, hell, most of the conflict, if you look at history - especially the part where the Kings/queens/princes/etc. had actual power, was because heirs to the throne were fighting each other, and with the current holder of the throne). I completely forgot where I was going in the last paragraph. *rereads*Right - I understood the Prince's character better than Ledi's character. And he's literally from a completely foreign alien culture in more ways than one. While Ledi's grew up in and is currently living in the city I currently live in - New York.Bah.Rating: 2.4March 12 2018
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  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), car accident (in the past), (view spoiler)[attempted murder (hide spoiler)]I've been anticipating this book for months now. The cover is stunning, the premise is utterly delightful, and it features a woman of colour working in STEM. So, like, HELL YES. Let's bullet point things, shall we?The Good- The characters were great- I loved the split narration- WOC in STEM- Super cute- Feels- Frequent hilarity (e.g. "She wondered if this was some new spe Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), car accident (in the past), (view spoiler)[attempted murder (hide spoiler)]I've been anticipating this book for months now. The cover is stunning, the premise is utterly delightful, and it features a woman of colour working in STEM. So, like, HELL YES. Let's bullet point things, shall we?The Good- The characters were great- I loved the split narration- WOC in STEM- Super cute- Feels- Frequent hilarity (e.g. "She wondered if this was some new species of fuckboy, an evolved version that was more effective at luring women into its trap before showing its true nature. If that was the case, it was working.")The Not So Great- The big reveal was predictable af- The ending was super abrupt and I wasn't mad keen on it- Portia is a terrible friend and I didn't like her (that said, I read the sample of the next book and........I am kind of here for it??)- The sexy times were...kind of cringy? I mean, YMMV. But oral sex shouldn't involve the word "tornado" in any way. Look, on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed it, and Alyssa Cole definitely writes one hell of an enjoyable story. And it included hilarious lines like "He wore a forest green t-shirt and straight-legged black jeans that fit snuggly, but not snuggly enough to advertise his eggplant emoji." So overall, I'm calling it a win.
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  • Sam (AMNReader)
    January 1, 1970
    *Sobs* DNF @ 31% Not rated.Alyssa Cole writes smart heroines. I could not believe I was going to see an epidemiologist heroine. I also want to read more romances written by authors of color about people of color. So when this wasn't clicking for me, particularly a cinderella story (probably my favorite of the fairy tale tropes), I was bummed. When I finished two other contemporaries (one great, one meh) a couple historicals, and a sci fi novella since I've started this book, it's just time to ca *Sobs* DNF @ 31% Not rated.Alyssa Cole writes smart heroines. I could not believe I was going to see an epidemiologist heroine. I also want to read more romances written by authors of color about people of color. So when this wasn't clicking for me, particularly a cinderella story (probably my favorite of the fairy tale tropes), I was bummed. When I finished two other contemporaries (one great, one meh) a couple historicals, and a sci fi novella since I've started this book, it's just time to call it. Could I come back to it? Maybe...But something in this book made the pacing weird. I couldn't identify with the hero or heroine. It was funny and sexy, but I think Cole uses far too much exposition in her style for me. And to be perfectly honest, I am not a big fan of the hidden identity. I'm racking my brain for a time it worked ok for me and I just can't find it. (Oh, maybe kinda sorta Neanderthal Seeks Human)I just wasn't invested, and wasn't really excited about where this was going with the hidden identity/mistaken identity thing.
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  • Rebekah Weatherspoon
    January 1, 1970
    The updated version of Coming To America we all secretly wanted Black Panther to be.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Okay so this is a solid 3.5 because like 75-80% of this book is totally delicious and smart and utterly delightful and 15% is questionably silly and about 5% is outright poor writing. The good:The hook for this contemporary romance is brilliant. Naledi Smith is our heroine. She's a beautiful grad student trying to forge a path in the sciences as an epidemiologist. Orphaned at a young age and forced to wander unwanted through the foster system she's used to relying on herself, and only herself fo Okay so this is a solid 3.5 because like 75-80% of this book is totally delicious and smart and utterly delightful and 15% is questionably silly and about 5% is outright poor writing. The good:The hook for this contemporary romance is brilliant. Naledi Smith is our heroine. She's a beautiful grad student trying to forge a path in the sciences as an epidemiologist. Orphaned at a young age and forced to wander unwanted through the foster system she's used to relying on herself, and only herself for everything. She struggles to balance two jobs, studying, and trying maintain at least a semblance of a social life with her best friend Portia and a series of lame dates and uninspiring boyfriends. Lately she's been receiving an increasingly bizarre string of emails that have a distinct 419 scam air about them. Instead of asking her to help transfer funds from a displaced king's bank account in Nigeria however they're insisting that she is the long lost betrothed of an African prince.The hitch of course is that the emails aren't a scam at all, they're very real.Also good is our hero Prince Thabiso. Though he's somewhat stereotypical at the outset as an out of touch royal who can't do things like figure out how stoves work he actually has a wonderful arc from a somewhat self centered guy who just assumes Naledi will fall blissfully into his arms to a competent future leader of his country who becomes a better person because of what he learns about himself in falling in love with her.Also good is their relationship which playfully mimics the mistaken identity hijinks of "Coming to America" at least at first with Thabiso taking on the identity of "Jamal" in an effort to get to know Naledi without all the royal trappings of his usual life. Alyssa Cole actually takes the trouble to examine how stupid of an idea that actually is which I really appreciated. Aside from that they have lovely dates and conversation, actual foundations for a relationship as opposed to blind, mindless sex.Not that I'm complaining about the sex. Which is amazing. Dear god is it amazing. I know I'm a newbie with this genre still but holy hell was this stuff hot. What's cool here is it mainly focuses on Naledi and it feels really right that it was written that way because she's established so early as a character without much love in her life who we really want to see loved. She's a beautiful, strong person and its not fair that she has to work so hard with basically no support. What Thabiso offers her isn't just love, its a shoulder to lean on sometimes and someone to surrender to emotionally and physically. I don't say "surrender" to imply that she subjugates herself to him I mean more of a surrender of the responsibility to take care of everything. He makes it safe for her to relax. Its really lovely. And very, very, very hot.Did I mention it was hot? Because it was. Scalding, molten lava hot. Sooooo hot.Also good were their lives outside the romance/sex stuff. Cole really did her homework into the life of a young woman of color trying to be taken seriously in the scientific community. Naledi is shit on by her postdoc and treated like a secretary and has to fight like hell for every opportunity. She's not a natural fighter, she has to learn to stand up for herself and its cool to watch it happen. She also has cause throughout the story to flex her smarts which is pretty cool. Thabiso is also a solid politician/ruler who's really struggling to do what he needs to do for his people in the face of strong political opposition from home where opportunistic members of his father's court want to move the country into the "modern world" at the expense of the country's natural resources. Its serious stuff and it feels serious. Not so good:The supporting cast. The biggest problem is Portia, Naledi's gal pal. She's a trust fund baby who's also a screaming alcoholic who frequently starts awful fights with Naledi via nightly drunk texting. I'm not just saying that either, like its established that her drinking is a huge issue and she's a real jerk to Naledi. She's pretty clearly being set up as the next heroine in this series which is fine, but I couldn't help feeling like her addiction was treated very informally. She's not exactly irredeemably rotten, but its pretty close. She's also not given a ton of personality beyond "rich friend who gets drunk" and she ends up being more of a plot device than a person.The same goes for Thabiso's assistant Likotsi the sassy lesbian who I'm guessing might also get her own book? She's basically the sassy lesbian who's the only who stands up to Thabiso yadda yadda standard side kick who's usually smarter than the hero role blah blah blah. I get it.The reallllyyyy not good:The story behind why Naledi is the long lost future princess gets COMPLETELY dropped. I can't tell you how much this bothered me because it seemed like a HUGE plot point. I mean Cole's character development is so solid with her leads and I really had high hopes that we'd get into the reasons Naledi was taken from the country she was born in, what the whole back story was, what happened to her family. I had all these questions and it all just peters out in a very meaningless way. Hugely, hugely disappointing.Overall: This was fun and hot and this princess and prince are delightful together but what could have been a solid 4.5 or even a 5 for me gets downgraded thanks to forgotten plot points and not so spectacular sidekicks. I'm still planning to check out A Duke by Default if only to see if Portia dries out...
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  • Maria Rose
    January 1, 1970
    A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole is the first story in her Reluctant Royals series. It’s a sexy contemporary romance about a hard working scientist heroine and a prince looking for his dream girl.When Naledi Smith’s inbox keeps getting emails from an ‘African Prince looking for his long lost bride’ she does what any forward thinking woman does – sends them to the recycle bin. She’s a full time graduate student in epidemiology, working two jobs as a lab assistant and a waitress and she has no A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole is the first story in her Reluctant Royals series. It’s a sexy contemporary romance about a hard working scientist heroine and a prince looking for his dream girl.When Naledi Smith’s inbox keeps getting emails from an ‘African Prince looking for his long lost bride’ she does what any forward thinking woman does – sends them to the recycle bin. She’s a full time graduate student in epidemiology, working two jobs as a lab assistant and a waitress and she has no time for fairy tales. A child of the foster system, she’s learned to rely on herself and doesn’t hold out for any kind of prince charming.Prince Thabiso of Thesolo has been looking for his childhood betrothed for years. When she’s tracked down in New York, an innocent mixup has her believing he’s the new hire at the restaurant, a comedy of errors that ends with him being fired. But now that he’s found her, he’s not going to give up so easily He arranges to stay in an apartment in her building, a ‘coincidence’ Naledi finds somewhat suspicious but takes in good faith and they develop a friendship with an undercurrent of desire that leads to some steamy nights together. But when Naledi finds out the truth about Thabiso will their fledgling romance end in a not so happy ever after?For more of this review please visit Harlequin Junkie: https://harlequinjunkie.com/review-a-...A copy of this story was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.
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  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    Review also on my blog • Twitter • BookstagramRep: black mc'sContent warnings: explicit sexual content, parent deaths I received an arc from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.A Princess in Theory follows Naledi, known as Ledi. She is a grad student in a STEM field and is trying to balance that and her job as a waitress. She never knew her parents as they both died in a car accident when she was a baby, leading her to grow up in foster care where she never found a famil Review also on my blog • Twitter • BookstagramRep: black mc'sContent warnings: explicit sexual content, parent deaths I received an arc from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.A Princess in Theory follows Naledi, known as Ledi. She is a grad student in a STEM field and is trying to balance that and her job as a waitress. She never knew her parents as they both died in a car accident when she was a baby, leading her to grow up in foster care where she never found a family she clicked with enough to be adopted. She's also been receiving spam emails saying she is the princess an African country had been looking for. She does end up responding to one of these emails, after deleting each one, with a resounding 'fuck off'. The emails are actually not a scam, and her parents had connection to an African royal family where she was betrothed of sorts to the Prince, Thabiso. An illness has also spread in his country, and it is theorised it is because he is unwed. This leads him to travel to New York, where Ledi lives, to court her and take her back to his country. When they meet, Ledi mistakes him for a new coworker, and this leads Thabiso to use this as a way to get closer to her.I really liked this book. I found both of the main characters to be engaging and nuanced. I loved Ledi's passion for the STEM field and that she was a very outspoken person. She is a very driven person as well, and doesn't give her time to men who treat her badly. Her personality is also something Thabiso liked. He is drawn to her bold personality and tells her he loves that she speaks as freely as she does. I really enjoyed him as the hero of the story. One thing I really loved about him is how much he respected Ledi's boundaries and always asked for consent before kissing her or touching her. This was an aspect I really loved about the book. I will say that for me, this dropped the ball a little after Ledi's finds out Thabiso is a prince. I really liked the development of their relationship before that point but the plot did drag a little. I still really enjoyed the book as a whole though. This was an overall delightful romance putting this kind of trope to good use.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I lurved it. Smart, streetwise heroine (who is in school for infectious disease epidemiology, natch, high-five) and a literal Prince who gets his life turned upside down when he determines she’s his long-lost fiancé. Some great commentary about colonialism, big-government jacking around with global disease prevention funding, and the foster system. And some steamy sexytimes. I know Alyssa probably didn’t intend the juxtaposition, but when she described Thabiso’s beard as being trimmed to accentu I lurved it. Smart, streetwise heroine (who is in school for infectious disease epidemiology, natch, high-five) and a literal Prince who gets his life turned upside down when he determines she’s his long-lost fiancé. Some great commentary about colonialism, big-government jacking around with global disease prevention funding, and the foster system. And some steamy sexytimes. I know Alyssa probably didn’t intend the juxtaposition, but when she described Thabiso’s beard as being trimmed to accentuate his sharp jaw my brain went immediately to all the pictures of Chadwick Boseman dressed in his T’challa costumes. Sorry not sorry? (I mean, there are worse people you can resemble, I’m just saying, and Instagram keeps parking ads with his gorgeous face all over my feed.)I would like to ask the Romancelandia Fairy-godmother for a book for Likotsi - she quickly went from enigmatic flunky to awesomesauce lady frand and she needs a story of her own.
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  • Anna Banana
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThis was such a great read! I don't typically feel drawn to books about royalty and bachelor princes but from the moment I saw this cover and heard that the heroine was a science nerd, I knew I had to check it out. I don't really have much else to say since it's 2 am and I'm exhausted but this book was really sweet and I loved the romance between the two main characters. I also felt the author did such a great job with details and making the world she created so real. I'm a born and rai 4.5 starsThis was such a great read! I don't typically feel drawn to books about royalty and bachelor princes but from the moment I saw this cover and heard that the heroine was a science nerd, I knew I had to check it out. I don't really have much else to say since it's 2 am and I'm exhausted but this book was really sweet and I loved the romance between the two main characters. I also felt the author did such a great job with details and making the world she created so real. I'm a born and raised New Yorker and she got the details about my city so perfectly that I could literally see what she was describing in my head. Same for when she explained Thesolo. I also loved how intelligent the language was and especially the heroine. The reason for my rating is that I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and I would've liked an epilogue or a little bit something more because while most questions were answered, I felt they were tied up too quickly and I feel the book could've used another 50 or so pages to wrap up the ending more nicely. But overall I really loved this and I look forward to reading more from this author!
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  • Treena
    January 1, 1970
    DNF. Skimmed and skipped all the way to the end.First of all, what a fantastic cover! It's freaking gorgeous. That's what drew me in. AND then there was that awesome blurb. I've never read anything by Alyssa Cole before; so these 2 things (cover and blurb) made me go out and get this book. Plus, it's a royal romance and I'm a sucker for that trope.But I didn't like this book. I think I'm going to be the first 1-star review for this book. And it's a DNF at that. Oh well. Sorry to the fans. I just DNF. Skimmed and skipped all the way to the end.First of all, what a fantastic cover! It's freaking gorgeous. That's what drew me in. AND then there was that awesome blurb. I've never read anything by Alyssa Cole before; so these 2 things (cover and blurb) made me go out and get this book. Plus, it's a royal romance and I'm a sucker for that trope.But I didn't like this book. I think I'm going to be the first 1-star review for this book. And it's a DNF at that. Oh well. Sorry to the fans. I just couldn't get into the story. Here's why:(1) As I settled in last night to read, I found myself getting lost. I think it's the style of writing. I found myself trying to figure out what was being described/said. Ms Cole uses a lot of big words and though I know it's supposed to be in keeping with the h's character, but I was like: "Whoa! Say what??!" For instance:"Being outwardly friendly while keeping people at a distance was second nature to Ledi. She thought of it as her social phospholipid bilayer: flexible, dynamic, and designed to keep the important parts of herself separate from a possibly dangerous outside environment. It had been working for the prokaryotes for eons, and it would suffice for a broke grad school student, which was only slightly higher on the evolutionary scale.'Phospholipid? Prokaryotes? WTH? What's she trying to say? I had no clue. It's bedtime. I'm winding down. Supposed to be winding down anyway. Instead, I was not. I was trying to figure out what was happening and ended up reading paragraphs over and over. Not my ideal bedtime relaxing routine.(2) Everything is so freaking wordy. Sentences run on and on. As a blogger, I know that you can have your posts checked for ease of readability. And if this book were to be checked, I think it would definitely fail. Because... Come on! Look at this:Thabiso shifted in the ridiculous and uncomfortable chair in the fancy restaurant where his lunch meeting was being held. The chair was composed of various parts of animals you’d see on safari in Kenya—the legs were those of a zebra’s, the back a lion’s hide stretched across two large horns that curved up and back—an unironic display of how, when it came to Africa, foreigners had no qualms about taking the pieces they wanted and rearranging them as they saw fit.The two representatives of Omega Corp who sat across the table from him were just such men. They stared at him with smiles on their faces that were as contrived as the “nouveau Africaine” meal they’d just shared. Thabiso had tried to maintain his composure, but the backing track to their conversation had been that first conversation he’d had with Ledi. Not the kale plating confusion, but about power and what one did with it. As he listened to the men hash out the details of the deal to begin excavating in Thesolo, he’d been acutely aware that though he hadn’t asked for it, he had the power to change the world—or to change his kingdom. Was this how he wanted to use it?Thabiso took a sip of his bitter coffee and placed it down in the asymmetrical saucer with what he supposed was someone’s idea of a kente cloth pattern.I repeat. The descriptions are so long, so wordy. I found it hard to read. But then, maybe this is just me.Dammit, when I'm reading to relax and enjoy myself, I don't want it to feel like I'm taking a test on reading comprehension for MENSA or something. Like who talks/thinks this way? Certainly not me, or no one I know.(3) This heroine, Naledi, is just a strange bird. She's super insecure and ugh, she's a pushover. I was hoping that her background would make her tough and independent and badass. But to convey that street-toughness, she just cusses a lot. There are MF's and F-bombs AND she refers to men as "fuckboys", which I really didn't like. I guess it boils down to this: I don't think you need to be swearing up a storm to be kickass. And girl, that also means you stand up for yourself!!!! Her best friend treats her horribly. Her colleagues take advantage of her. SMH. For me, Ledi's personality was a turn-off. And if I can't engage or like one of the MC's, I'm going to probably DNF the book.(4) (view spoiler)[She doesn't find out he's the prince until ch20. That's beyond 50% of the book; so the deception carries on for a while. And then, somehow, next thing we know, she is flying to Africa, meets the King and Queen, etc. She's being introduced as Thabiso's bethrothed, yadda yadda. Everything moves far too quickly, and somewhat strangely, for the next half of the book. This after I found the first half of the book to be slow.Sigh. I wish she put up more of a fight, gave him a harder time about the deception. I wish that this stupid plot twist about an epidemic/plague wasn't thrown into the picture. Her beloved grandparents, her DNA, are sick and dying from the plague and she, she!!! will be the one to save them so she feverishly researches for a cure to the bloody epidemic. Then, then! she gets poisoned in the 2nd to the last chapter of the book! Talk about b-movie, soap-opera level plot twists! And, AND! the book ends one chapter after that!!!! What an abrupt and rushed ending! I hated it.And so the book ends with me not believing in the longevity of their HEA. UGH. Dammit. And to think I freaking loved the cover and the blurb. Instead of the fun, funny, swoony read I thought this would be, it was more of a pain and a waste of what could've been pleasurable reading time. Sorry. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Maida
    January 1, 1970
    4+ stars ✨ I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Princess in Theory. A modern fairytale, it has engaging major characters in Naledi and Thabiso and a fascinating storyline in that of a (financially) struggling graduate student and her Prince Charming. Their chemistry is electric and you can tell from the beginning that they're meant for each other. I loved the dual locations of New York and Thesolo. Alyssa wrote these settings in such a way that the reader feels as if they were there.What stopped me fr 4+ stars ✨ I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Princess in Theory. A modern fairytale, it has engaging major characters in Naledi and Thabiso and a fascinating storyline in that of a (financially) struggling graduate student and her Prince Charming. Their chemistry is electric and you can tell from the beginning that they're meant for each other. I loved the dual locations of New York and Thesolo. Alyssa wrote these settings in such a way that the reader feels as if they were there.What stopped me from giving this five stars are a couple of things: 1. The deception went a tad too long for my taste. I wish the revelation came sooner. 2. Portia is such a strong character, she started to become more interesting than Ledi. I'm really looking forward to reading her book. Brown girl and white guy is totally my jam. Overall, A Princess in Theory is a good book with a smart heroine and charismatic hero.
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  • Giedre
    January 1, 1970
    I wish the hero fessed up earlier, but overall A Princess in Theory is a delight from start to finish.
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Cute "rags to riches" love story, with some steamy scenes. This is not a clean read. The "f" word is used quite a lot, indicating that royalty needs to have it's mouth washed out with soap just like us commoners. The h also drops the "f" word quite a bit, which is sad, as she is a student of epidemiology, so it would be assumed that she was educated enough to use other words to express herself. The plot itself was interesting and I loved that the h had such an intellectually demanding career and Cute "rags to riches" love story, with some steamy scenes. This is not a clean read. The "f" word is used quite a lot, indicating that royalty needs to have it's mouth washed out with soap just like us commoners. The h also drops the "f" word quite a bit, which is sad, as she is a student of epidemiology, so it would be assumed that she was educated enough to use other words to express herself. The plot itself was interesting and I loved that the h had such an intellectually demanding career and how by getting to know her, the H became a better man because he was learning and growing. He wanted to do well by his people, but he didn't really UNDERSTAND his people. By getting to know the h, he started to understand his people and to be more thoughtful and conscientious in how he treated them. The characters seemed realistic, the plot was an oldie, but a goodie and the writing was pretty good, except for the foul language. It really wasn't necessary IMHO and it brought me out of the story each time it popped up. Naughty scenes, but the use of protection was consistent, so points for that. Safety first! 3 solid stars. The snippet in the back of the next book that follows the best friend Portia has me looking forward to the next book in the series. From what I understand, it's coming out soon, yay!
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  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic book! Cole's premise is pretty out there and silly: a young woman in the US is getting those "you are betrothed to an African prince and only need to send us your credit card details to seal the deal" emails and they turn out to be actually true! But she totally makes it work, especially with the careful characterization of Ledi, a hard-working woman with some serious walls up after growing up an orphan. She also masterfully weaves in consent, safe sex, microaggressions black wo What a fantastic book! Cole's premise is pretty out there and silly: a young woman in the US is getting those "you are betrothed to an African prince and only need to send us your credit card details to seal the deal" emails and they turn out to be actually true! But she totally makes it work, especially with the careful characterization of Ledi, a hard-working woman with some serious walls up after growing up an orphan. She also masterfully weaves in consent, safe sex, microaggressions black women deal with, and queer and disabled characters that don't feel like tokens. I also really liked how Cole dealt with Ledi's relationship with her BFF and how there were some things they needed to work on in their friendship. This is a great slow burn contemporary erotic romance. Highly recommended! I liked it even more than the first book of hers I read (An Extraordinary Union).
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  • Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
    January 1, 1970
    Alyssa puts the bar high for the next contemporary royalty romance novels I read. A PRINCESS IN THEORY was fun, entertaining, sweet and romantic with a side of sexy. It's about a scientist that suddenly gets emails from a prince claiming she is his fiancee. There is mistaken identity, friendship, falling in love, and much more. I adored this book so much.
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  • ShoSho
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the idea of it but not the writing. I thought it was disjointed. Actions and reactions didn't go together and sometimes the dialogues didn't make sense at all. It could have been fantastic but it didn't work for me.
  • Jessie
    January 1, 1970
    The first Romance novel I’ve read that I had little to no complaints about. It was a little slow at times! But I enjoyed the characters and plot. It was SO STINKING CUTE.
  • Sunny
    January 1, 1970
    ARC ReviewNaledi is a self-made graduate student. Having grown up in the foster system, the lessons of self-reliance has stuck with her. So, imagine her surprise when she learns that she is betrothed to Prince Thabiso from Thesolo. Given the blurb, I expected this to be a remake of the movie, Coming to America and the first part of the book is a familiar storyline. The prince masquerades as a regular guy who sublets the apartment across from hers. She helps him because he is a fish out of water. ARC ReviewNaledi is a self-made graduate student. Having grown up in the foster system, the lessons of self-reliance has stuck with her. So, imagine her surprise when she learns that she is betrothed to Prince Thabiso from Thesolo. Given the blurb, I expected this to be a remake of the movie, Coming to America and the first part of the book is a familiar storyline. The prince masquerades as a regular guy who sublets the apartment across from hers. She helps him because he is a fish out of water. It is charming, but quite frankly, predictable. What really makes this story is the second half of the book when they are in Thesolo. This visit is unexpected and a nice role reversal. Now Naledi is the fish out of water, but watching her learn about her history and her home country, is really beautiful. I felt her joy in connecting with her past, finding her roots, and knowing she belong somewhere. It is an empowering story of claiming identity. And the love story is good too. All in all, the second half saved the story for me and I loved it that much more.
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  • nick
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not a romance reader that veers towards royalty romance. A lot of times, they wind up being cheesy to read. But I took one glance at the cover of A Princess In Theory, and I knew I had to read it. This was my first romance novel by Alyssa Cole, and I’m hitting my head against the wall for not having picked up a book from her before this. But better late than never, right?For me, what takes romance novels to the next level are the characters. In A Princess In Theory, every single character is I’m not a romance reader that veers towards royalty romance. A lot of times, they wind up being cheesy to read. But I took one glance at the cover of A Princess In Theory, and I knew I had to read it. This was my first romance novel by Alyssa Cole, and I’m hitting my head against the wall for not having picked up a book from her before this. But better late than never, right?For me, what takes romance novels to the next level are the characters. In A Princess In Theory, every single character is phenomenal. Alyssa Cole takes her time to not only give each and everyone individual personalities, but she also spends her time fleshing them out. I adored Ledi. She’s mouthy, no-nonsense and absolutely the kind of heroines I gravitate towards. She’s finishing up her graduate program in Epidemiology – heck, yes for a STEM heroine – and is busy also juggling a side-job. I loved what huge parts of Ledi her education and her career were. Alyssa Cole doesn’t just mention that Ledi is an epidemiologist, but she actually has Ledi working for a majority of the book, which was pleasantly surprising. Often times, I wonder how some romance heroines are living that NYC life, when we barely get to see them work, so it was nice to see something different here. Besides her hard-working personality, I also adored how funny and authentic she was. Ledi was not a girl to mess around with, and I loved that about her.Thabiso, crown prince of Thesolo, was a swoony adorable bean. I loved this guy so so much. I don’t think I quite realized how much I loved soft heroes until I met Thabiso. Now, I was a bit mad at him in the beginning of the book for lying to Ledi about who he really was, but he is such a lovely guy, that it was hard to stay mad at him. He is kind, and hardworking, just like Ledi. I loved how devoted he was to his people and to his country. The romance between the two was quite unconventional – the two were betrothed as children before Ledi’s parents ran away with her. It was a really sweet romance that developed between the two. All the banter, the swoony kisses and steamy scenes had me grinning all throughout. Besides the romance, there’s a great depiction of friendship between Ledi and Portia, whose book I can’t wait to read next. I loved the scenes set in Thesolo too. It’s a fictional country, but it felt so real with the way Alyssa Cole developed it.A Princess In Theory was an absolute knock-out of a book for me. It’s most definitely THE BEST royalty romance I’ve read. While you guys go read this one, I’ll be off trying to catch up on Alyssa Cole’s backlist.
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