Book 9 A Princess in Theory

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole fulfills the
“Book by a Woman of
Color” category for the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. The novel seemed like
a fantastic choice to end Black History Month, for everything Ms. Cole has done
for Romance Writers of America over the years and especially the past two
months. I won’t get into all the details. See Ms. Cole’s Twitter account to
witness her brave posts that called out RWA for its racist and political
nonsense. And it matches nicely with Kathryn R. Biel’s Queen of Hearts.
Ever get one of those emails about a prince in a
foreign country looking for your help? Alyssa Cole takes this spammy idea and
turns it into a wonderful, exciting, scientific romance. In A Princess in
, Ledi gets several emails from a small African nation requesting personal information to verify her identity. She assumes it some scam to get her
data and blows them off. Little does she know, the assistant to his royal
highness, Prince Thabiso of Thesolo, an African country in the mountains sent
the letters. The prince is desperate to find her as she is his betrothed from
their childhood. Ledi knows nothing about the marriage agreement because her
parents fled to America when she was a child and died in a car crash soon after.
OMG, all the stuff! The novel has all the best romance
tropes: Prince in Disguise, Arranged Marriage, Princess in Disguise. Add on to
that a Woman in STEM, a Reluctant Prince, Mysterious Diseases, and so much
more. This book had it all. Both main characters were full, breathing people. I
could feel for both of them in the plights of their lives. Both had much to
deal with and I was relieved when they discovered they could lean on each other
for help. (And spoiler, the tale ended with a “Happy for Now” ending, which I found very satisfying. I
think both, but Ledi, had more to overcome before that HEA could happen.)
The book also tied together with my choice for a
Valentine’s Day post
Kathryn R. Biel’s Queen of Hearts. Both stories dealt with royalty and
the reality of living that life. No Disney endings here. These royals had to
deal with actually ruling the country: the social, the economic, the political,
etc. It’s a good time to read such books to understand the situation in England
and Prince Harry. We all love our Disney Princesses, but I’m glad I found two
romances that didn’t water down the royal experience.
And in an ugly self-centered brag (which you can all chastise
me for my arrogance), I want to mention that the first half of the story
sounded much like my book, The Bar Scene. I’m not saying I write as well as Alyssa Cole, or that I
should be put in her league or anything like that. But the tale starts off with
our “prince” lying to his beloved to get her to like him. He wines and dines
her until she’s in love. It sounded so familiar. Also to everyone who complains
about plot premises that “a simple conversation” could fix, it’s not so easy to
say those truths. Ms. Cole made me feel validated about my plot choices. Okay,
I’ve said too much…
Originally, I had A Princess in Theory listed
for the “Women in STEM”
category for PopSugar 2020. I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for
that category, but A Princess, in Theory, kept calling to me. Ledi is a grad
student working in epidemiology, a woman of color become a scientist to save
the world from disease. Even her screen name on the forums was HeLAhoop (as in HeLa=Henrietta
Lacks). Ledi is a great protagonist, hardworking, smart, down to earth, and she
takes no shit. Who wouldn’t want to read her story?
     I give A Princess in Theory Five Perfect Grad School

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