Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Princess in Theory

(Reluctant Royals #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  6,835 ratings  ·  1,588 reviews
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 de
Mass Market Paperback, 360 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Avon
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Princess in Theory, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Katelyn Attanasio It depends on the high school student. There is sexual content--but it's only 3-4 scenes. I'd say it's about on par with most contemporary romance.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,835 ratings  ·  1,588 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a lot of fun, sexy, with a compelling story. I really enjoyed the romance as it developed between Ledi and Thabioso, both interesting characters together and as individuals. Lots of erotic tension and a deeply satisfying ending. Definitely dive into this one.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

“One can never read too many fairy tales”

A Princess in Theory was nothing short of an absolute treat to read. I easily fell in love with Alyssa Cole’s writing and her characters. And I completely believe she is a genius with her perfect portrayal of the “far away country prince email spam” trope. This book was funny, heartwarming, important, and completely captivating.

Prince Thabiso - An actual African Prince,
Nenia ⭐ Literary Garbage Can ⭐ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

💙 I read this for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2018 Reading Challenge, for the category of: African American Romance. For more info on this challenge, click here. 💙

As soon as I stopped screaming over the cover for this book, I immediately started screaming over the synopsis. Princess Diaries all grown up, featuring a smart black lady in STEM? Oh, YOU KNOW I was going to be all over that like cute baby goat pics on Tessa Dare'
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was mega cute. It felt a little long at times, but other than that this was a perfect romance. HIGHLY recommend.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author, favorites
I spent a Saturday listening to the entire audiobook of this soooo I guess I've figured out what kind of romance novels work for me. See me talk about it briefly:
Whitney Atkinson
4.5 Stars

Throughout the first half of this book, I was nervous that I wouldn't like it that much because it started using the trope i dont like of two people being romantically involved while one of them is lying about their identity. Alongside that, the pace of it was a bit slow and I found I relied on the audiobook to get through it.

But then the last half of this book hit, and I read it all in one sitting devouring every word. Although I was nervous this would just be an okay book based on it
Geri Reads
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Princess in Theory was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018, for good reasons. One. It has a fairy tale like premise: a royal prince looking for his long-lost betrothed who happens to have no idea of who he is and thinks he’s just out to scam her. Two. I’ve seen and read countless of “royal romance” stories in the past year or so featuring princes and princesses from fictional European countries but zero stories from non-Euro fictional kingdoms. A Princess in Theory gives us the fictional ...more
Trina (Between Chapters)
I really liked this! Thanks to everyone who recommended it to me. I can't wait to start the next one.

Audiobook: 4 stars.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

A Princess in Theory was a book I knew I would love. When I heard of it I was basically anxiously waiting for it to come out in order to read it. I read it in one day completely and it was amazing. It was honestly one of the best romance books I have read. It was swoon-worthy, it had education, it had steamy scenes and it had diversity. It was also incredibly well written and I think that covers everything a good book
I have mixed feelings about this one. It's looking like Alyssa Cole is going to be a hit or miss author for me. I didn't fully enjoy An Extraordinary Union for the same reasons I didn't fully enjoy this one, I think, but I loved A Hope Divided. So I will keep reading her stuff and just know that going in the chemistry between her leads doesn't always work for me. Really, I didn't NOT like this book, it just didn't work the way it was meant to.

So, once again, I find myself in the position of lovi
✨    jamieson   ✨
“Everybody wants something from you, but sometimes there’s a person you want to give to. Sometimes what you give them makes you better for having given it. And it makes having to give to everyone else not so bad.”


look, I'm going to say straight out this isn't a bad book and this is the biggest, its me, not you, moment ever. If you follow my blog you might know I'm using 2019 as the year to read from all the genres I don't read from and try new things. Everyone I know who
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I've been meaning to try this book for some time (I mean, THAT COVER!), and with Book Lovers Con rapidly approaching, I thought it was an apt time to finally purchase this one. And I even got it in paperback to get signed by Ms. Cole herself, natch.

I read this story very, very quickly, which is always an excellent sign for me. It was an easy, entertaining, fluffy read, which is just what I needed at the time. I was li-ving for the secret princess, secret prince vibes, and I got a very strong Th
✨ Gramy ✨
Although profanity, swear words, and taking the Lord's name in vain has become more commonplace, I definitely prefer to avoid filling my world with the unnecessary outpouring of such disrespectful verbiage (garbage). I refuse to allow music with such nonsense in my presence either.

Therefore, including it in my literary adventures is avoided whenever possible. I prefer situations where everyone minds their manners. I feel you should be able to articulate your thoughts, show emotion, pump up ot
Naledi Smith, former foster child and current epidemiology student in New York, keeps getting scammer emails from a small African country insisting that she is the long-lost fiancee of the crown prince (apparently they were betrothed when she was 4). Her response? Delete, delete, delete.

Meanwhile, when Prince Thabiso of Wakanda Thesolo, a socialist-democratic monarchy paradise tucked high in the mountains of Southern Africa, is called to New York on business, he sees the opportunity get a peek
✩ Ashley ✩
4.5 Stars

I just found a new favorite series!! Talk about a fun, smart, and oh-so-sexy contemporary romance!

For those of you who remember my former cynical self who got hives in the contemporary and romance sections of every bookstore and library: Ya girl is now swooning on cloud nine! It’s all because of my contemporary romance reading experiment in August. I highly recommend committing a month to a genre that’s outside of your comfort zone. It’s ruined me and I’m in love love love. It’s ok
Sam (AMNReader)
Mar 04, 2018 marked it as life-is-too-short
*Sobs* DNF @ 31% Not rated.
Alyssa Cole writes smart heroines. I could not believe I was going to see an epidemiologist heroine. I also want to read more romances written by authors of color about people of color. So when this wasn't clicking for me, particularly a cinderella story (probably my favorite of the fairy tale tropes), I was bummed. When I finished two other contemporaries (one great, one meh) a couple historicals, and a sci fi novella since I've started this book, it's just time to ca
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
What I Liked
• The story was so good! I loved this. It felt like an updated version of Coming to America with a little bit of Wakanda thrown in.
• The romance was one of my favorites. One of my biggest pet peeves in romance is when the love interest is underdeveloped, but the dual perspective allowed both Naledi and Thabiso to be fleshed out.
• There was the right amount of sex scenes and details - I usually complain there's not enough but I think this story balanced the smut and storytelling ver
K.J. Charles
Good Lord, the cover is magnificent. The premise and opening are fantastic—Ledi’s struggle to keep afloat, the double whammy of being a black woman in STEM, constantly put down or pushed around by men but called mouthy or angry if she stands up for herself, the endless strain of trying to do two jobs and look after a flaky friend and be responsible for everything. It’s really powerful, which made me slightly regret the entire princess turn of events just because it took us away from that storyli ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm a real sucker for the "lost royal" trope and I think this book executed it well.
Decent adult contemporary with characters i couldn't help but like
Miranda Kenneally
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is like Coming to America meets all the science and girl power of Black Panther.
Rebekah Weatherspoon
The updated version of Coming To America we all secretly wanted Black Panther to be.
Amy | Foxy Blogs
A fantastic story about an African prince, Thabiso, who as a child was betrothed to Naledi. Her parents took her away from there when she was a child to live in America. Now both of them are adults and the time has come for Thabiso to get married.

Prince Thabiso’s staff have found his betrothed through one of those ancestry DNA testings. What they’ve figured out so far is she is living in NYC where she is working and going to college. Since Prince Thabiso has work to attend to in NYC he sets ou
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m in class writing this review- priorities! 😂 Anywho; I’ve been reading this on the ebook on my phone for the past 1-3 days and it has been a great break amidst stressful school stuff
This was SO entertaining and there were a lot of elements that really just made me smile.
First off- My goodness, I found the emails HILARIOUS. Because we all know how spam emails go and know that anyone who received the emails that our main character receives would just roll their eyes and think, “who would fall f
Lover of Romance
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I had been hearing about Alyssa Cole for quite some time, and I was really intrigued by her historical's however when I was offered the ARC, I knew I couldn't resist trying out this sexy royalty romance and what a cover right? I mean, how can you resist such a fun romantic cover. I love the brigh
DNF. Skimmed and skipped all the way to the end.

First of all, what a fantastic cover! It's freaking gorgeous. That's what drew me in. AND then there was that awesome blurb. I've never read anything by Alyssa Cole before; so these 2 things (cover and blurb) made me go out and get this book. Plus, it's a royal romance and I'm a sucker for that trope.

But I didn't like this book. I think I'm going to be the first 1-star review for this book. And it's a DNF at that. Oh well. Sorry to the fans. I just
Lexxi Kitty
Didn't like either main character (or any of the characters, for that matter). One was a weird mix of stubborn push-over; other was a stuck up lying asshole who did everything he could to do creepy things (keep touching the female lead, despite Ledi not wanting anything to do with him at the time; it was a constant and incredibly off-putting thing - he just wouldn't stop touching her, at every opportunity, gripping her, caressing her, etc.; it was 'okay' because 'she liked it' even though she wa ...more
Trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past), car accident (in the past), (view spoiler)

I've been anticipating this book for months now. The cover is stunning, the premise is utterly delightful, and it features a woman of colour working in STEM. So, like, HELL YES.

Let's bullet point things, shall we?

The Good
- The characters were great
- I loved the split narration
- Super cute
- Feels
- Frequent hilarity (e.g. "She wondered if this was some new spe
Ivy Deluca
Naledi Smith, epidemiologist, is in grad school, working as a waitress, lab assistant, and trying to get her practicum set up, all while helping all of those around her (whether she wants to or not). She’s used to taking care of herself, since she was raised in the foster care system since she was four. She’s learned to make herself useful and above all, to not let anyone in, because she thinks she’s “defective velcro” - no one sticks. Life hasn’t been easy for Ledi, but she doesn’t let it get h ...more
Okay so this is a solid 3.5 because like 75-80% of this book is totally delicious and smart and utterly delightful and 15% is questionably silly and about 5% is outright poor writing.

The good:

The hook for this contemporary romance is brilliant. Naledi Smith is our heroine. She's a beautiful grad student trying to forge a path in the sciences as an epidemiologist. Orphaned at a young age and forced to wander unwanted through the foster system she's used to relying on herself, and only herself fo
Lea (drumsofautumn)
THIS WAS SO GOOD!!!! I expected to enjoy this but I didn't expect to have such a god damn good time while reading it! This so funny and sexy and romantic and all the things, I am in HEAVEN right now!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Worst Bestsel...: Episode 96 - A Princess in Theory 4 44 May 23, 2018 04:46PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts, #2)
  • Hold Me (Cyclone, #2)
  • Tempest (Old West, #3)
  • Take the Lead (Dance Off, #1)
  • Making Up (London Celebrities, #3)
  • Unmasked by the Marquess (Regency Imposters, #1)
  • Level Up (Fandom Hearts #1)
  • Tikka Chance on Me
  • If The Dress Fits
  • Acting on Impulse (Love on Cue, #1)
  • Back to the Good Fortune Diner
  • Love On My Mind (Shades of Love, #1)
  • The Princess Trap (Dirty British Romance, #1)
  • Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions
  • The First Time at Firelight Falls (Hellcat Canyon, #4)
See similar books…
Alyssa Cole is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who splits her time between fast-paced NYC and island-paced life in the Caribbean.

In addition to writing, she has hosted a romance book club and taught romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. When she’s not busy writing, traveling, and learning French, she can be found watching cat videos on the Internet with he

Other books in the series

Reluctant Royals (3 books)
  • A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2)
  • A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals, #3)
“people who called instead of texting were a plague on humanity—” 2 likes
“Your Highness. While I admit that you are a fine specimen of a man, being a lesbian is not the only possible reason a woman wouldn’t respond to your attentions.” 2 likes
More quotes…