Stevie Carroll's Reviews > A Prince on Paper

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole
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it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed-elsewhere

Previouslyreviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

I’ve been enjoying this series, my gripes with the plot of the second full-length novel notwithstanding. However, I’ve so far been disappointed that the stories tackling diversity beyond race and culture have so far been confined to novella length. This novel goes some way to tackling that concern, with its bisexual hero and the introduction of a non-binary secondary character who is pivotal to the resolution of several plot threads.

Johan is the older half-brother of the heir to the throne of a small European kingdom. Since his mother’s early death, he has gone out of his way to court publicity – the more scandalous, the better – in order to keep the press from harassing his sibling. Growing up, Johan was picked on by bullies for anything that made him stand out, including his mother’s non-royal background, and so he is keen that his sibling do nothing that might lead to the same issues Johan faced. Since his friend Prince Thabiso found his missing betrothed, Johan has been taking an interest in their shy friend Nya, daughter of a disgraced former advisor to the king of Thesolo. Now both Johan and Nya are travelling on the same plane to attend Thabiso and Naledi’s wedding and are about to get reacquainted in rather embarrassing circumstances.

Nya has been living in New York since her father’s fall from grace allowed her to escape his emotional abuse and manipulation and is not looking forward to returning to her home country, even for such a happy occasion as a wedding. Feeling the onset of a headache, she makes her way to the plane’s bedroom, only to find the bed already occupied by Johan.

Johan has worries of his own. His country is holding a referendum regarding the abolition of the monarchy, and he fears the consequences for his family should the vote not go in their favour. Although he is attracted to Nya, and enjoys her company, he is convinced that romance only ever leads to heartbreak. And so the pair agree to be friends, which soon turns into friends with benefits, and then into a fake engagement when Johan is accused of compromising Nya. Th deception suits the pair of them well. Johan gets to generate some positive publicity in the run-up to the referendum, and Nya gains a purpose and a chance to see more of the world, first a former colony and then Johan’s home country itself.

I was very taken with Johan’s family. While initially perplexed by what was going on with his heir, Lukas, the king was very accepting when Nya figured everything out. Johan himself was overprotective for obvious reasons, but even he learned that not everyone reacts to adversity the way he did as a child. I also loved the teddy bear with his impossibly long name, but shan’t spoiler people for where he fits in. It was good to see Nya continue to break free of her father too, despite his attempts to drag her back into his influence.

Definitely my favourite of the series so far.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 8, 2019 – Shelved
August 8, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-elsewhere
August 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

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