Book Review: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

a prince on paperA Prince on Paper

Author: Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals, book 3
Publisher: Avon Books (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Goodreads     |     Amazon

Summary
The Reluctant Royals series returns with a good girl searching for the life that’s not too big, and not too small, and the bad boy prince who might be just right for her…

Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother’s future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.

Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after.

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Rating: 5 stars

Review
She plays dating sims and he’s obsessed with fairy tales – how am Inot going to love this book?! A Prince on Paper is my absolute favorite in a series of amazing books. I feel like I’ve loved each subsequent book more than the last, and I loved this one so much it was physically painful (to my heart).

I was so excited to finally get Nya’s book. She’s been an intriguing character to me every since A Princess in Theory, and then I loved her emerging and finding herself in bits and pieces (as seen via group text chats) in A Duke by Default. I don’t always slate people into Hogwarts houses while I read, but every so often a character comes along and beats you over the head with how VERY MUCH the epitome of a Hufflepuff they are, and that is Nya. She has been so hurt, but despite that she goes on being honest and open and loving, and I JUST WANT TO HUG HER ALL UP.

And then there’s Johan, who’s also been hurt and is fascinated by Nya because she is so open and honest, and free with her heart while he’s locked himself away. He’s so obsessed with fairy tales and doesn’t seem to realize that he’s made himself the princess locked away in a tower of his own making.

This is the kind of book I want to throw at people’s heads when they say romance novels are trash or guilty pleasures or shallow. There are SO MANY complicated issues and deep themes at play in this book, I can’t even begin to touch on them all in a review let alone do them justice. I want to carry copies of this book around and when people make disparaging comments about romance I want to thrust a copy ofA Prince on Paper into their hands and say “Shut your mouth, open your mind, read this book, and then we can talk about whether or not romance novels are shallow trash.” In this book Alyssa Cole not only focuses on the romantic relationship between two people (which is fantastic, and their chemistry is BAM BOOM POW!), but also on the relationship between Johan and his step-father and half-sibling and how Johan deals with the death of his mother, Nya dealing with the fallout of the emotional and physical abuse the suffered at the hands of her father and finding her own way forward, a non-binary character struggling with how to let their family know about their identity (also, WTG Nya being super the most awesome best), focus on toxic and abusive relationships… Also, the sex scenes are hot and the romance between Nya and Johan is amazing – alternatingly adorable and butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing and heartbreaking, because there is nothing wrong with that and it’s also a great element of romance. 😉

This is the third book in the Reluctant Royals series, and while it can technically can be read as a stand alone, this series is really best if read in order. To get the full impact of Nya’s story, you really do need to read the first book, A Princess in Theory, and there are MAJOR SPOILERS for book 1 in this book. I highly recommend you read this series in order – and don’t miss the novella, book #2.5, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy! There’s also a final novella coming out about Portia’s sister Reggie, which looks like it will be the final book/novella in the series,Can’t Escape Love, and if the series continues on trend it will somehow manage to be EVEN BETTER than all the books that have come before. 😉

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review.

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