June 23, 2022 11:02 AM Posted by juliannadouglas
During May, I read four full-length novels, one novella, and one novelette. All but the novella rated four stars or higher, but there was only one book that received the full five-stars from me to be featured here. It’s a contemporary, royalty romance that is a beautiful fairy tale melding of Wakanda, Cinderella, and The Prince and the Pauper. Years ago, when they were very young children, the goddess decreed that Prince Thabiso of Thesolo and Naledi were to be betrothed, but not long after, Naledi’s parents fled the country, leaving everyone thinking that they’d betrayed the throne. Thabiso still remembers Naledi and has never quite given up on finding her. When his assistant gets a hit from a genetics testing site, it looks like they’ve finally succeeded. What they don’t know, though, is that Ledi’s parents died in a car accident shortly after they moved to America and she was raised in a series of foster homes. She’s now working two jobs while attending grad school, studying epidemiology. When Thabiso shows up at the restaurant where Ledi works and she mistakes him for the new waiter, he decides to play along, hoping to get to know her as a commoner before dropping a bombshell on her about her heritage and her being a future princess. However, the longer he plays the game, the more guilty he feels and the more he fears how she’ll react. But every time he tries to tell her the truth, they keep getting interrupted, until she finds out in the worst possible way. Ledi no longer wants anything to do with Thabiso, but when he offers her the opportunity to study a potential novel illness that has broken out in Thesolo, she can’t resist. The more she learns about her home country, the more she falls in love with it, but although a part of her still cares for Thabiso, forgiving him for his deception and trusting him again are another matter. Not to mention, the mystery illness may also prove a threat to their burgeoning love.
I loved and related to Naledi so well. Her geek-girl-ness was the bomb, and the way she’s always doing for others in part because she knows she can do those things well is a very familiar refrain to me. Sometimes, when heroines are a bit stubborn about accepting the hero’s love, I can get annoyed with them, but not Ledi. I totally understood where she was coming from. Because of her background, she has trust issues and feels like no one ever chooses her, so Thabiso’s initial deception, coupled with her having to learn to be independent in life, make her wary of his overtures. I also like that when she arrives in Thesolo and is being treated like a princess, deep down, she’s still just ordinary Ledi, the wicked-smart grad student, who lives in a crummy apartment back in New York and works as a waitress. She simply doesn’t let any of it go to her head. I also like that she makes Thabiso grovel a bit, but ultimately she can’t resist him.
I adored Prince Thabiso. He may have made the wrong decision in the way he initially handled the situation with Ledi, but I fully understood why he did things that way. The crown is a heavy burden at times and he just wanted a small respite to get to know Ledi as a normal guy. At least he felt bad about it and tried to make things right, even though in classic rom-com fashion, everything blows up in his face. I love that he’s a romantic, though, and that he doesn’t want to give up on Ledi. Even though the situation seems rather hopeless, he keeps showing up, romancing her, and intuitively understands her reluctance, given all that she went through growing up. I loved the way he always takes care of her with such tenderness, as well as his enthusiastic embrace of consent, checking in with her several times to make sure she’s fully on board with any physical intimacies. I think the most swoon-worthy moment, though, is when this prince quite literally bows at Ledi’s feet. That alone would have won me over. Although not perfect, Prince Thabiso is an all-around great guy who I totally fell for. It didn’t hurt either that he reminded me in some ways of King T’Challa (minus the superhero persona), because I’m a huge Black Panther fan.
I loved both Thabiso and Naledi and think they fit together well as a couple. I’m crazy about the fact that Naledi is studying in a STEM field. I personally think we need more heroes and heroines like this. When it comes to business and running a country Thabiso is an intelligent man in his own right, and I very much enjoyed how he could exhibit the confidence of an alpha male while also being sweet and kindhearted. I’m sure it might not work for everyone, but all the geeky references were so much fun for a geek girl like me. But beyond that, I thoroughly appreciated just how incredibly well-written the book was. The descriptive prose really brings the settings of both New York and the fictional Thesolo to life, and there are simply a lot of rich, intelligent word choices with minimal errors which was a refreshing change of pace from some other books I’ve read. I’m a total sucker for fairy tale reimaginings, so that combined with the Wakanda-style fictional country was just the bee’s knees for me. It was all woven together beautifully into a fun story that also had emotional depth. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the humor. Some books can occasionally make me smile or chuckle, but I honestly can’t recall the last time a book made me LOL. And that’s exactly what the scenes of Prince Thabiso trying to be a waiter did. This book was just an all-around delightful read that hit all the right notes for me and left me with a smile on my face. That’s why I’m naming Alyssa Cole’s A Princess in Theory as my May Book of the Month. If you enjoy contemporary romance with a handsome prince hero and a smart, geeky heroine in a fun, emotional, fairy-tale romance, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .
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?
Read my complete review of A Princess in Theory.
If you would like to win a copy of A Princess in Theory to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon offers an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Alyssa Cole