Alysssa Cole returns to the blog with the first in her Runaway Royals series, a sort of spin-off from her Reluctant Royals series with
How to Catch a Queen
Not quite sure where this book would lead, but loving her Reluctant Royals series, this book follows the story of Shanti and Sanyu, and their rocky and often combative path to love. Shanti decided as a child that she would be a Queen. All of her energy and not inconsiderable brain power was dedicated to that goal: from a notebook of “queenly sayings” from her idol, the queen of her own country. Even going so far as to place herself on a tinder-like app for royals.
Sanyu always felt ‘not enough’, and the stress and pressure of his upbringing and the requirements of the King of Njaza rode heavily on him. With his father’s health ailing and his ‘second in command’ both engendering anxieties, a queen has been chosen for him – one that will be ‘gone in 4 months’ like all the others. With his country in isolationist mode, the people struggling, and Sanyu feeling like every choice has been stolen, he marries Shanti: even knowing that protecting his heart and staying away from her is best.
I have to say that the reluctance of the two (and Shanti’s well-deserved anger at being shunted aside and unheard) were well played and had us cheering for them both. Her determination to be heard and ‘make a difference” and Sanyu’s reluctance to attach himself to anyone because of his history of everyone leaving, even as he’s drawn to Shanti and other ‘royals’ in the circle that he knew from school refuse to let him be a total recluse. With her determination, his realization that he is King and can make changes to benefit his people and himself – the two converse, battle, struggle and finally come to recognize their ‘match of convenience’ for one that is pure and meaningful. A wonderful story with plenty of twists, turns and a few moments where characters from the Reluctant Royals series pop in to add comic (and other relief) the story is engaging and one of my favorites for the turnabout and growth for both characters.
Title: How to Catch a Queen
Author: Alyssa Cole
Series: Runaway Royals #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dual Narration, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Multi-Cultural, Political commentary, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Africa
Published by: Avon
Published on: 1 December, 2020
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 53 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
An arranged marriage leads to unexpected desire, in the first book of Alyssa Cole’s Runaway Royals series…
When Shanti Mohapi weds the king of Njaza, her dream of becoming a queen finally comes true. But it’s nothing like she imagined. Shanti and her husband may share an immediate and powerful attraction, but her subjects see her as an outsider, and everything she was taught about being the perfect wife goes disastrously wrong.
A king must rule with an iron fist, and newly crowned King Sanyu was born perfectly fitted for the gauntlet, even if he wishes he weren’t. He agrees to take a wife as is required of him, though he doesn’t expect to actually fall in love. Even more vexing? His beguiling new queen seems to have the answers to his country’s problems—except no one will listen to her.
By day, they lead separate lives. By night, she wears the crown, and he bows to her demands in matters of politics and passion. When turmoil erupts in their kingdom and their marriage, Shanti goes on the run, and Sanyu must learn whether he has what it takes both to lead his people and to catch his queen.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.