#BookReview: A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole | @AlyssaColeLit #RoyalRomance #AfricanPrince

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

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?


The first thing that attracted me to this book was the gorgeous cover! A close second was the title. This is my first Alyssa Cole book, and let me just say wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

In this Cinderella-story, a case of mistaken identity thrusts a prince in a situation where he gets to live as a commoner while wooing the woman he’s destined (by royal and religious decree) to marry. This is a good thing because said woman, Naledi, has no knowledge of this betrothal.

Though naturally caged, Naledi finds herself opening up to Thabiso and their attraction soon leads to some very steamy encounters. The romance between them is sweet and they each learn to step outside their comfort zones. From their affair in New York, the story takes us to Thesolo where we get to see Naledi as the princess she was always meant to be.

I’ve always thought, of all the fairytales, Cinderella is the one you can’t really do a whole lot with. Ms Cole shakes this position with her story.

I really liked the strong female characters and the general celebration of femininity in the story – particularly when they arrive in Thesolo. The secondary characters were well-rounded and added flavor to the story. I am thrilled to know that all those who made an impression on me get their own stories too!

All of that said, I should mention that Thabiso’s cluelessness in some parts was a little odd for me especially since 1) he was already exposed to world outside the continent and 2) his country wasn’t some backward underdeveloped nation. That was a little too Coming To America-y for my liking. The other thing is purely me being critical as an African. There were one too many West African references for a country that’s nestled in the tail end of Southern Africa. I noticed them, because I’m West African; most readers would probably not notice.

Overall, this is an excellent read whether you believe in fairytales or not. Highly recommended!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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