Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Jen's Review: A Princess in Theory + GIVEAWAYS!

We've got another AMAZING giveaway today, all thanks to Jen! Details after the review, but there are multiple prizes and yes, one is open to INT readers, too. Good luck! :)

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on February 22nd for another chance to win an ecopy of your own!

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Publisher: Avon (February 27, 2018)
Series: Reluctant Royals, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Jen's Review:

You know what I kept thinking about as I read A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole? That it’s downright astonishing how this romance manages to be both perfectly grounded in reality and also a completely believable fairy tale. I mean, did Alyssa Cole actually discover the secrets of alchemy in all her historical research? She must have, because there is more than a little magic and fairy dust in this delightful novel.

Our heroine is Naledi Smith, a hard-working epidemiology grad student. She’s an orphan, having been raised in foster homes throughout New York. She is determined to be a success in her chosen field, despite the difficult sexist and racist colleagues and the way that deck always seemed stacked against her. She’s content with the life she’s made for herself, but that doesn’t keep her from feeling lonely. Ledi does have a best friend, Portia, but she has her own troubles and isn’t always the friend Ledi needs or deserves. (I actually wish I had more backstory about how these two became friends, and I hope that will happen in the sequel, which tells Portia’s story.) Ledi’s focus is on her career, and since she’s working part time to finance grad student, she isn’t interested in serious dating.

Even though I wouldn’t call it a romantic comedy, there is so much humor and joy in this book. The entire story kicks off with Ledi receiving these super-dramatic emails, informing her that she is a princess and could she please just verify her identity by providing her passport and social security number? She thinks she’s being targeted by classic Nigerian scammers, when in fact, they are legitimate emails from the assistant to Prince Thabiso. It turns out that Ledi and Thabiso were betrothed in childhood, but her family left the small African kingdom of Thesolo under mysterious circumstances. He’s determined to find her and discover what made her parents flee, and to restore Ledi to her rightful place as his fiancee.

I won’t say much about the plot of this book, because all of it is in service to some stellar character development from Alyssa Cole. Thabiso pretends to be someone else to get close to her, which isn’t my favorite trope, but it really works here. He has to live the life of a commoner in order to see how his life is steeped in privilege; Ledi is so prickly, so determined to protect her fragile heart, that she needs a regular guy to fall in love with. It’s a pleasure to see each one of them changing, growing, and becoming who the other one needs. I loved that Thabiso is a confident, strong man but he’s not a domineering jerk. He cares profoundly for her, for those around him, and for the people of his country. Is it even possible to dislike a hero who loves and respects his parents as much as he does?

The romance between Ledi and Thabiso is sweet and sexy, but the role of family and friends in their lives is just as important. There is so much going on in A Princess in Theory, but it doesn’t feel overstuffed; it’s rich, complex, layered and all of it is lovingly crafted. This is a perfect romance, and I’m going to tell EVERYBODY.


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Jen received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss.

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Since Jen is going to the Chicago signing next week for Alyssa Cole, Beverly Jenkins, and Sonali Dev, she's got a bunch of prizes to share with you guys. Most are US only, one is INT.

US Only Prizes:
3 US winners will each receive a signed print copy of A PRINCESS IN THEORY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US Only Grand Prizes:
2 US winners will each receive a grand prize pack: signed print copies of A PRINCESS IN THEORY as well as signed copies from Beverly Jenkins and Sonali Dev (titles unknown; probably their newest, though?).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

INT Prize:
1 INT winner will receive an ebook copy of A PRINCESS IN THEORY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All three of these giveaways will end on February 28th. Jen will be providing the prizes. Good luck!

Thanks for the review, Jen! I still can't stop staring at this cover. Or even the cover for book 2. SO PRETTY.

Have you read Alyssa Cole?

Or how about royalty romances that are not, ah, all white?


Until Next Time,

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