Saturday, August 1, 2020

Audiobook Review: A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole

Author: Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #1
Narrator: Karen Chliton
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
Release Date: April 12th 2018 (first published February 27th 2018)
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Spotify
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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!
This was my very first Alyssa Cole book, but since a ton of my bookstagram friends and book blogger friends loved it, I knew I was going to love it as well. What I didn't expect was how much I would end up loving this book. Let me tell you all about why you should read this book!

A Princess In Theory starts off with a series of emails that honestly sound like spam. You know the ones I mean, the ones that no matter how many times you flag as spam they seem to never stop from getting into your inbox. so it's no wonder that Naledi is tired of them. And one day, after a particularly bad day, she finally cracks and answers with a giant "Fuck you" to whomever is spamming her. And that was enough for me to love Naledi totally and completely. And forever. Quickest book girlfriend crush EVER.

Naledi is such a beautiful character. She's had some really bad cards dealt by life, but she's made the best of what she has. She's a brilliant scientist, she's managing both school and two jobs, and researching for her final paper... She's awesome! At the same time, Naledi is used to pushing people away. She's so used to being rejected, either because of the color of her skin, or because she's a woman, or because she wasn't "the perfect" child to adopt, that she's using every chance to push people away. I liked seeing her go from strong, to fragile, to strong again in this book. Throughout the book she learns to stand up for herself, but most importantly to forgive. Because even though I totally agreed with her in her anger at Thabiso, and I totally applauded her for what she told him at the palace about how he should have told her the truth, it would have been a shame to let her anger and fear keep her from true love. Because that's what she has with Thabiso.

Thabiso is an equally interesting character. Since he is a prince, the heir to the throne of Thesolo, he's used to certain comforts. Being in New York teaches him something very valuable about being a commoner. He's having to face the fact that he may not be the guy he thought he was. At one point he realizes that he doesn't know if he ever thanked his servers at the palace, and I adored that scene. He also tries to pretend to be a regular person, but after a few mishaps Naledi figures out he's probably very rich, which takes the pressure off of Thabiso from having to fully pretend to be someone else. I enjoyed seeing Thabiso grovel. Even though he didn't lie to Naledi out of cruelty, he still lied to her, even after he knew she hated being lied to. But I loved that he saw the potential in Naledi as a scientist, which is why he asks her to join him to Thesolo, at least for a while.

The plot was awesome. It went from Naledi and Thabiso getting to know each other and falling in love, to them working together to discover what is making the people of Thesolo sick. I adored the pacing, and I swear I didn't even think once about needing to speed up the narration.

Speaking of the narration. A Princess In Theory was also my first book narrated by Karen Chliton. I loved her narration style. Not only did she flow easily between accents and characters, but the way she narrated made me enjoy the regular speed with which one listens to on Spotify. I didn't for one minute think it dragged out, which was a first for me (on audible I usually listen at 2.5 speed).

All in all, I just discovered a favorite author and I can't wait to read more books from Alyssa Cole.

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