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!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A royal fantasy, a richly imagined fictional African nation, and an independent heroine making her mark in a STEM field—we love the unique elements that make up Alyssa Cole’s take on the Cinderella story. Orphaned as a child, graduate student Naledi Smith has no idea her past is tied to the royal family of Thesolo. So when she learns she’s been betrothed to the distant country’s Prince Thabiso, Naledi dismisses it as a scam … until Thabiso shows up at her doorstep. Cole does a wonderful job of weaving a poignant story of self-discovery and homecoming into her swoon-worthy romance.
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.