Review: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Review: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa ColeA Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Published by HarperCollins on February 27th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 384
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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?

Most of us have gotten, and rolled our eyes, at the emails stating we’ve won a large lump sum of money or some other seemingly enticing reward. We know it’s fake so we immediately delete it. However, I know I’m not the only one who has entertained the idea that one of them could be true. A grad school student receiving emails saying she’s betrothed to an African prince, and it’s true? I’m all in! This is the premise of Alyssa Cole’s latest novel, A Princess in Theory.

Naledi Smith is swamped with grad school and multiple jobs, the last thing she needs to be concerned with are emails claiming she’s betrothed to an African Prince. However, what she’s assumed is a scam is actually true. She has been betrothed to Prince Thabiso, heir to the throne of Thesolo. In order for the Prince to achieve all that he must, he tracks down his betrothed to New York City. For a while, Ledi is not aware of his true identity and it allows Thabiso to live life unrestricted in a way he hasn’t before. Things take a turn when the truth is revealed and new secrets about Naledi’s life, unbeknownst to her, are unearthed.

A Princess in Theory is a fun and charming novel. After recently watching Shuri in Black Panther, I was happy that the next book in my queue featured another black girl in STEM. Thabiso and Ledi had an easy and flirty relationship at first that evolved into something more passionate. Despite the half steps and mistruths though, readers feel a genuine friendship at the core of their relationship that was refreshing. Their relationship wasn’t perfect and I appreciated the fact that Thabiso’s initial deception wasn’t easily forgiven or quickly swept under the rug just because he was our hero.

Alyssa Cole once again gives us multi-dimensional characters; I was invested in both Ledi and Thabiso while maintaining my curiosity about the secondary characters.  Readers are made to care about the plot all the way through and we received enough backstory to keep us satisfied. I liked how we got to experience the fast pace New York and Thabiso’s homeland, Thesolo, through both characters’ eyes.

Admittedly I haven’t been a fan of too many royal romances but Cole may have changed my mind, or at least gotten me to give them another shot.


A Princess in Theory was a fun and enjoyable read, and I will be patiently waiting for the next book in the series.


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