Review: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Contemporary romance released by Avon on February 27, 2018

A Princess in Theory CoverBetween 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?

I have to say that I wanted to review A Princess in Theory based on how much I enjoyed An Extraordinary Union and the really gorgeous cover. I had no doubt that it would be a good book and I was not disappointed. The premise is simple, Ledi is the long lost betrothed to the Thesolo prince Thabiso. When he comes to the US to meet her there is simple mix up of identity, and they start to fall for each other.

A story that’s been told many times, the book reminded me of both The Princess Diaries and the film Coming to America on some levels, but overall was fresh and really funny.

The chemistry between Ledi and Thabiso is shimmering from the moment they meet, and Ledi’s internal musings on his looks and behaviour made me laugh out loud at times.

Balancing humour in a romance is a very hard thing, and is often very heavy handed but here it’s a joy.

Ledi is such a great woman, due to her upbringing she is cautious and wary of all relationships. Being a woman of color she’s had to fight twice as hard as others to get respect, and is still patronised. Yet, her joy in what she’s doing and desire to help people, not just through her research in epidemics, but personally- shines through. I found her a really well rounded and incredibly sympathetic character. A really enjoyed how her relationship with Portia, her best friend And it was not at all surprising that Thabiso fell in love with her.

I found Thabiso to be less rounded, and a little stereotypical as a character, and I think that was in part to his arc of change, which seemed at times a little too simple and formulaic. Having said that as the book progressed I liked him more, especially in how he supported Ledi.

While this was a relatively light read, but a combination of the intent behind the writing and the quality of the writing itself really lifted this for me. And that cover – wonderful!

Grade: B+

You can read an excerpt here or buy a copy here.

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