RogerBW's Blog

A Princess in Theory, Alyssa Cole 08 February 2020

2018 romance. Naledi Smith is studying epidemiology in New York while waitressing to pay the bills, and really doesn't have time for those emails claiming to be from an African prince to whom she was betrothed as a child. But Prince Thabiso is real…

Well now. Much as I enjoyed Vision in White, this is a romance not only of a different colour (one does rather get the impression that many romance writers are determined not to offend those of their readers who still feel bitter about the end of segregation in the USA, not to say the Civil War) but several steps closer to reality.

Not that Thabiso knows that. He's rich and important enough to have been been insulated from the idea that actions in his personal life have consequences, and while he's certainly not a bad person, he's got a lot of growing up to do. So what to him is a small amusing romantic gesture turns into a major disruption in Naledi's life that might jeopardise her entire career, and that difference of viewpoint is the major gulf that the couple will have to bridge.

She had exams and a possibly fucked-up practicum to worry about. There was no time for a handsome, bearded foreign man who wanted to cook for her.

Wait, when you put it like that…

Ledi's used to facing casual racism and sexism (indeed there's no real distinction in her experience of the two, simply an assumption of inferior status) while working in a scientific field, and Cole's done her research on how smart technical people often think and talk.

Being outwardly friendly while keeping people at a distance was second nature to Ledi. She thought of it as her social phospholipid bilayer: flexible, dynamic, and designed to keep the important parts of herself separate from a possibly dangerous outside environment. It had been working for the prokaryotes for eons, and it would suffice for a broke grad school student, which was only slightly higher on the evolutionary scale.

It all gets a bit sketched-in towards the end, with multiple strands of plot getting only cursory resolutions and even the main romance ending on a "we probably will" much more than a "yes". Thabiso's country of Thesolo obviously couldn't have worked if it had been a real place, but feels a bit too thoroughly set up to provide what the author needs it to. (Which any place would be, of course, but it shouldn't show.)

It's not perfect, and suffers somewhat from having to follow the romance templates, but there are enough individual touches that I enjoyed it and I'll read more in the series.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

See also:
Vision in White, Nora Roberts

Series: Reluctant Royals | Next in series: A Duke by Default

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread humour in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux lovecraftiana mecha men with beards museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1