I 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.How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole
Series: Runaway Royals #1
Published by Avon on December 1, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Royalty
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.
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
How To Catch A Queen is the first book in a NEW spinoff series called “Runaway Royals” and I have to say when this cover was released months ago I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book ….literally, I was leaping for joy. Because y’all know how the covers work me in all the good ways and this one…..dang ….did AVON did good or what? I know there was some criticism on the cover (I think due to the gal’s hair)–which is relevant to the story, but I love it and I have no shame in that. Its very interesting to see Cole start a new series that is loosely connected to her “Reluctant Royals” series.
How To Catch A Queen is a story that begins with our hero Prince Sanyu. Who has always rebelled against being the future king of Njaza. And in a way he has been running away from his destiny and much of it is due to the strict childhood he had with little love or affection like he envied in many others. But with his father on the death bed, his destiny to be king is about to become very real and another last request from his father…he needs to be wed at the same time and to a stranger, a woman they found on a royal dating app of all things. Shanti has always dreamed of becoming Queen. She was inspired by so many great women who served their countries diligently and she wanted to be just like them….making a difference in the world. So now that she is queen she is determined to do just that…but there is one problem….no one wants her in Njaza. They practically ignore her and shut her in the queen’s chambers. But when a few months go by, Shanti speaks her mind more, and draws the attention of her husband, and together they begin anew and their passion for each other and for the country of Njaza will embolden them in ways they won’t quite expect…
How To Catch A Queen is a story that I was so drawn into so very quickly and what a page turner, I read this in one morning because I was so hooked into this book here. I couldn’t seem to get enough of this romance and what is revealed. Not to say I didn’t have some issues with this story, because there was some but overall this was superb. First I adored the setting, set in a country in Africa, so we get to see a whole different culture and traditions which was unique and eye opening. Alyssa Cole really did a tremendous job in showcasing this side of the story.
Now as for the characters….I loved them in unique ways and struggled with them at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I adored their depths and strengths and what they overcame. The hero didn’t have the best childhood, and never saw “love” as being acceptable in a marriage. So he has to work his way out from the false education and realize that love is power and not weakness but it takes time and lots of pain on both sides because of it. Shanty….I liked her a LOT but I think she sometimes got too caught up in the title of “queen” and sometimes I felt that she viewed Sanya as a way to get the title and keep it and not a human being and a husband. They both have their flaws but its their journey in discovering what love and marriage is all about that is the real kicker. And while I was reading this the song “Love and Marriage” by the great Frank Sinatra was in my brain the WHOLE time. Like they needed to know that song LOL
I did admire seeing their interactions together and seeing them learn to let go of what they thought to expect in a royal marriage, and find their way through the marriage and ruling the country as a partnership. They have their ups and downs but seeing them discover each other was the beauty of this book and realizing what true love is capable of is what made this book such a gem of a read!! I definitely couldn’t get enough of seeing this romance develop in such vibrant ways.
Overall I found How To Catch A Queen to be a story of delights, journeys, and gems to delight in the intricate layers that Alyssa Cole delivers in!