A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals Series #1) by Alyssa Cole
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 Series #1) 4.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Fun, funny and surprisingly layered with depth the story focuses on Naledi (Ledi) a grad student in epidemiology, and her single-minded determination to succeed in school, support herself and lock down her summer internship all by herself. For alone is how she thinks it needs to be: promises from others lead to expectations, and a childhood spent in state care and too many foster homes to count have given her plenty of history on which to base that decision. Strangely enough, the one person she considers her best friend is her polar opposite: rich, unfocused, rather careless with her words and life, and while she’s always ‘sorry’ after the fact, her behavior often makes her a friend that Ledi finds exhausting.
Thabaso, with his personal assistant Likotsi are in New York for a series of events, and his determination to meet Ledi and convince her of her history and her connection to him. He’s headstrong, occasionally tone deaf to the wishes of those around him, the only child of the King and Queen and a real determination to do the best or his country, all while being touted in the tabloids and feeling as if no one wants to know him, once they know he’s the prince. He devises a way (with plenty of cash and an unenthusiastic Likotsi) to infiltrate Ledi’s life and the two begin a tentative friendship.
From a gala to the lab, a chance to investigate and solve a mysterious illness that could claim the lives of her grandparents, a more than bitchy Queen whose husband finds Ledi’s responses and spunkiness amusing and a villain causing the illness that is not difficult to discover, Ledi finds herself with family, history and a new friend who finds Thabaso’s ‘princely’ moments just as annoying in his assistant Likotsi. Clever and quick reading, the story holds plenty of emotion, heart and heat to please many with the romance and Thabaso’s determination to see Ledi cared for and happy no matter what.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
4 months ago
Loved this book!
10 months ago
I was excited to see a new romance set in modern times from Alyssa Cole. She gave me a vividly written romance that took its time to worm in. A prince, Thabiso of privilege and convictions and one lost future princess, Naledi, with pride, determination, and a closed off heart. I was intrigued by their connection even when she had no idea who he was. Even when she meets him for the first time and he almost sets her afire. Even when he becomes the creepy man next door. Even when thing took a turn for the worse. I found that I very much liked them both and the secondary characters were vital piece that helped moved the story along in both the US and in Africa. The introduction of characters on both continents made for a more detailed story. The queen and king had some making up to do. The uncle was just idk and the cousin was just sweet and more. There was much here to enjoy. I look forward to the next step in the Reluctant Royals series.
11 months ago
I just finished my first book by Alyssa Cole and I am hooked. Loved this book. It’s always a breath of fresh air when the heroine has a STEM job – as an engineer graduate it’s just something that I appreciate! I love Ledi. She starts off with a lot of mental sass, but doesn’t really start to stick up for herself until later in the book. I enjoy reading about heroines who experience this kind of character arc as I was definitely one of those people. Thebeso, who is an African prince incognito, is just yummy. Yes please. In the words of Ledi, “Damn, he fine.” He and Ledi have an instant connection, but he is hiding his true identity, something that ends up getting between them. Good storytelling, smart characters and interesting plot. Definitely a must-read and I’m excited to try another one of Cole’s books! Happy reading ☺
More than 1 year ago
Ledi is a struggling Grad Student. Who, as of late, has been receiving these strange emails about an African Country she had never heard of.
Thabiso, is soon to be King of Thesolo, and is in need of a wife. He has come to New York to find the girl who was betrothed to him when they were children.
I really enjoyed this twist on a fairy tale. The writing was fresh. The characters were well developed and interesting. The ending came a little too fast, but otherwise, Ms. Cole wrote a wonderful story.
More than 1 year ago
I loved the concept of this story and the fact that when Prince Thabiso meets Naledi for the first time at her place of employment, she mistakes him for her new co-worker and puts him to work. Can you imagine a Prince catering an event himself? Picture dropped dishes, spilled drinks, and fondue a la blaze. Needless to say, he does not make a great first impression on Naledi. However, when he moves in next door to her, she finds herself warming up to him. She has no idea that his name isn’t really Jamal (the kid who was supposed to show up for work that day) or the fact that he is the Prince that those annoying emails keep mentioning.
I found both of the characters both strong and annoying. You see, Naledi is always at the ready to write someone off. She has this hang-up from being a foster kid that everyone will leave you. So, she continues to hold Thabiso at arm’s length. Prince Thabiso goes to New York with good intentions but quickly takes a turn into creepersville. I mean, instead of correcting Naledi when she mistakes him for someone else, or even later when they are neighbors, he continues on with the ruse. He even goes so far as to sleep with her when she has no idea what his real name is. That really bothered me. So, I wasn’t overly upset when Naledi freaked out and gave him the boot.
A Princess in Theory was a delightful read. I thought the story would just be the two of them building a connection under false pretenses but that was only half the story. I loved that the author took us on an adventure and made the story more than it seemed.
More than 1 year ago
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.
More than 1 year ago
As an introduction to Alyssa Cole, this does the job! I love a good Cinderella story where the woman doesn't NEED the man to save her because she's busy saving herself. I love a prince who knows what the woman can accomplish and stays out of her way while she gets it done, but is there with food and a nap when she needs it. So, yea, Cinderella + Coming to America in the hands of Alyssa Cole is a total win.
Super excited for the next book. And would ADORE a story about a certain royal assistant. :D Dapper ladies are one of my things.