Cover image for A princess in theory
Title:
A princess in theory
ISBN:
9780062685544
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
373 pages ; 17 cm.
Summary:
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.
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Summary

Summary

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?

Selected as one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018!


Author Notes

Alyssa Cole is a science editor and romance junkie who lives in the Caribbean. She founded the Jefferson Market Library Romance Book Club and has contributed romance-related articles to publications including RT Book Reviews, Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance at Random, and The Toast.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

A delightful premise enlivens this opener of Cole's Reluctant Royals series. Naledi Smith, a New Yorker and epidemiology grad student, is busy with her lab work, her numerous jobs, her lazy boss, and her drunken best friend. She has no time to entertain the ramblings of an email stalker who keeps claiming Naledi is the missing betrothed to the prince of a country she's never heard of. When Prince Thabiso of Thesolo learns the whereabouts of Naledi-thanks to his charming, intelligent assistant, Likotsi, who steals the show more than once-he sets out to bring her back to their homeland, but is surprised to learn that she has no memory of him or her life in Thesolo. He's spent years dreaming about reuniting with her, so when she mistakes him for a new hire, he slides into the role, seeing it as the perfect cover so he can get to know her. Soon they build a strong emotional bond and intense physical attraction. Naledi has trust issues, so when she finds out the truth of Thabiso's identity, the betrayal cuts deep. After a strong start, the ending falters, but the chemistry between the lovers makes up for that slight disappointment. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


New York Review of Books Review

THE HEART IS A SHIFTING SEA: Love and Marriage in Mumbai, by Elizabeth Flock. (Harper, $27.99.) Flock focuses on three very different couples as a way of examining domestic arrangements in modern India. Marriage, she finds, is hard for them in ways that are universal, and in ways that are culturally specific. VIBRATOR NATION: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure, by Lynn Cornelia. (Duke University, $25.95.) One of the factors fueling second wave feminism was women's sexual liberation, a process of self-discovery and advocacy that included toys. Cornelia tells the story of the feminist sex-toy shops that led the way. MY LAST LOVE STORY, by Falguni Kothari. (Graydon House, paper, $15.99.) The narrator of this unconventional love story lives with her dying husband and his best friend, who has come to help out. Caught between her attachment to the men, she asks why it's unacceptable "for three people to openly love each other." GETTING OFF: One Woman's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction, by Erica Garza. (Simon & Schuster, $26.) Reading the 35-year-old essayist's insight into her own experience - the lonely (if impressively multi-orgasmic) world of a woman who binges on hookups - we begin to better understand ourselves. SOME HELL, by Patrick Nathan. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) In the opening pages, Nathan's evil-soaked novel about an adolescent grappling with his father's suicide and his own sexuality reads like a tragic coming-of-age tale. Then it peels that mask off like a replicant to reveal the more sinister creature beneath. FIRE SERMON, by Jamie Quatro. (Grove, $24.) This fantastic debut novel (Quatro is also the author of a highly original story collection, "I Want to Show You More") centers on both religious and sexual passion. The plot is simple: A married woman is trying to forget her lover. The book itself - erotic, spiritual, poetic - is anything but. A PRINCESS IN THEORY, by Alyssa Cole. (Avon.) Cole's main character, a young epidemiologist pursuing her Ph.D. in New York, is refreshingly down-to-earth, and her love affair with a young African prince develops at a satisfying slow burn. This novel checks a lot of boxes: STEM girls, gaslighting, sexual consent. SUNBURN, by Laura Lippman. (Morrow, $26.99.) This thriller may be set in a small town in Delaware in the mid-1990s, but it draws its inspiration from the noir romances of the 1940s: Two strangers with secrets meet in a town where nobody goes. Cool and twisty, with more heart than expected. STRAYING, by Molly McCloskey. (Scribner, $24.) In this wise, discomfiting novel, a feckless American travels to the west of Ireland, marries into a local family, then looks for love elsewhere. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books


Kirkus Review

Cole makes her Avon debut with a romance that draws on familiar genre tropes only to upend them.An arranged marriage, a mistaken identity, and a handsome prince from an imaginary country are just a few common tropes in the first book in Cole's (An Extraordinary Union, 2017, etc.) Reluctant Royals series. But with ironic nods to Disney and Mills Boon, Cole gives 21st-century twists. Naledi, a graduate student in epidemiology, juggles lab work, a waitressing job, and a drunken mess of a best friend. Being raised in foster homes has given her the toughness she needs to succeed as a black woman in an often hostile world but also a vulnerability. Naledi hasn't been lucky in love, and she wonders whether she's "like a faulty piece of Velcro; people tried to stick to her, but there was something intrinsically wrong in her design." When she gets an email addressing her as the long-lost betrothed of Prince Thabiso of the small (fictional) African country of Thesolo, Naledi hits delete. Little does she realize that the incompetent new waiter she's been trying to train is, in fact, the "Playboy PanAfrique," come to New York to check out his intended. Thabiso insinuates himself into Naledi's life, and they become friends and, soon after, lovers. Thabiso's big ego and sense of entitlement are tempered by his exposure to working-class realities, while Naledi discovers how wonderful it can be to open up and connect. Of course, catastrophe is just around the corner, and its resolution comes only after they journey to Thesolo, where Naledi can discover her roots while at the same time working to stop an outbreak of a mysterious disease.A delightful and sexy take on love between a suave African prince and a nerdy epidemiology student. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

There is no way that savvy public health grad student Naledi Smith is going to fall for an email stating that she is the long-lost fiancée of a prince from some remote African nation. But it's not a scam, and Thabiso, the crown prince of Thesolo, is in dire need of his mate. So when he comes to New York to confront Ledi, and she mistakes him for an ordinary guy (aka Jamal), he seizes the opportunity to get to know her on nonroyal terms-a decision that has a surfeit of unexpected and not always welcome results. Well-drawn, likable protagonists clash beautifully in a story enhanced by old antagonisms, a mysterious epidemic, a jealous villain, and descriptions of a fictitious country so vivid that readers will be tempted to book reservations. -VERDICT Upbeat, sexy, and totally engrossing, this fast-paced modern romp puts an intriguing spin on the classic long-lost-heiress plot and launches the series in style. Cole (A Hope Divided) divides her time between the Caribbean and New York City. [Previewed in Joyce Sparrow's "Love Is All Around," LJ 10/15/17.] © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.