I love authors who do their own thing and just do it really, REALLY well. Alisha Rai, Courtney Milan, and Kit Rocha come to mind. This is admittedly probably because these authors are friends and I see them having intelligent discussions on Twitter, but also because in their respective books they are doing representation incredibly well and I am so *here* for it. I can definitely include Alyssa Cole in the group!
My love for striking covers knows no bounds and I will pick up a book purely based on the cover – and this solidly would be one of those! Look at that dress! Look at those models! They are both gorgeous, and seriously – the guy looks like Idris Elba when he has facial hair to me, so what’s not to love here? And that vaguely purple/pink background just really stands out to me. Extreme bonus points that the cover matches the plot beyond belief – I love that so much. The plot itself was one that made me take notice but the cover stands out on its own as well which I love.
Speaking of the plot…it’s absurdly good. Cole takes an everyday common occurrence that annoys everyone – getting a spam email – and turns it into a plot point where an African Prince waiting for you is something that could actually happen. Even after reading the book I’m not clear how she did that but she did it well. I absolutely love Naledi. She is a full time graduate student who is incredibly busy, earning her degree in Epidemiology but also working as both a lab assistant and a waitress. She grew up in the foster system and has no one to rely on but herself and is tired of dealing with being a minority female in the STEM field where people take advantage of her. But, she deals with it because she is a strong, driven, fierce woman.
“She was fine on her own. She always had been. And if no good guy ever made it past her barriers? Well, that’d be fine, too. Just fine.”
Then we have the African Prince, Thabiso. I love him, I do. I just love Naledi more. Thabiso has his own journey in the book – in the beginning he is what one might consider more of a typical royal, thinking of himself as deserving, not thinking others. But I did like how he develops as the plot expands. He grew up with people catering to his every need and we get to see him coming to America and try to step out of the boundaries others has set for him. Watching him and Naledi together was wonderful as the relationship gave them both such a rich character development on their own but also together.
I adored the humor and the intelligence in this book as well. I’ve really enjoyed Alyssa Cole over the last 2 years or so with her earlier books and last year I clearly loved An Extraordinary Union and A Hope Divided like everyone else who read them. She’s shot to the top of my watch for every single book ever written by this author list with this book though. I can’t wait for more from her. I love authors with such diverse genres. She’s written historical, contemporaries, and dystopian that I’ve loved. That takes major talent in my opinion!
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Title: A Princess in Theory
Author: Alyssa Cole
Release Date: February 27, 2018
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