Reluctant Royals #1
A case of mistaken identity allows Prince Thabiso of Thesolo to finally be around someone as himself and not the Prince. But keeping his identity from Naledi Smith is risky because she has no idea she’s his long-lost betrothed.
I was very conflicted about my decision to DNF A Princess in Theory and I pushed myself to halfway through the book before letting go. I’ve read two other books by Alyssa Cole but wasn’t overly impressed. But from the moment I saw this book I was so excited and I fell in love with the absolutely gorgeous cover! So I tried really hard to like this one but in the end, I just couldn’t. As an idea, this story had everything that should have been cute, funny, and entertaining but just like the other books, I read by this author I struggled with her writing style. Though her dialogue is good, I found the rest of her writing incredibly wordy overly long. There were also way too many science-themed metaphors and analogies; I get that Naledi is this nerdy scientist but it got to the point where it was just trying too hard.
I did love the representation of not just women in STEM, but black women in STEM and I appreciated that Cole created this character but at the same time she made Naledi such a pushover at work and even with her friends. I’m sure if I continued reading I would have seen more growth in Naledi but it wasn’t there in the first half. The side characters were either 2 dimensional and flat (Likotsi) or terribly unlikeable (Portia).
But my biggest issue was our hero, Thabiso, who I went back and forth on really hating to finding somewhat charming and for my personal preferences, that was not a fun roller coaster to be on. In the beginning, he comes across as snobbish and stuck up, completely separated from the real world but I expected this, he’s after all a Prince and he’s lived with privilege his whole life. But the first meeting between Thabiso and Naledi where she mistakes him for the new waiter, Jamal, was very problematic for me. Thabiso spends most of the night messing up because he’s never worked as a waiter and of course Naledi is getting frustrated and angry at him. After the final straw, Naledi fires him and Thabiso completely goes off on her. He yells at her while she’s at work, he demeans her, and then he claims that serving people makes her no better than a Saint Bernard. That’s right Thabiso compares Naledi to a subservient dog. The next day he realizes his mistake but as the reader, I just couldn’t forget this scene and his later charm just didn’t have the same sincerity.
I tried my hardest with this book but it just didn’t work out for me.
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?
Published by Avon on February 27, 2018