Cover Image: How to Find a Princess

How to Find a Princess

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Member Reviews

Always always always always always impressed and stunned by Alyssa Cole's books, and this was obviously no exception to that rule.
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I didn't think the ending was well explained but I did like the twist and how it honored each character's motivation and background. A perfectly suitable vacation read.
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While I usually love this series, this one felt really oddly paced and out of character for the author, and I struggled to finish it. It did help me to understand the protagonists motivations and needs to be of help to others, but often their methods to do so were really upsetting to me and I kept having to take breaks.
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Unfortunately I could not get in to this one. I think my reading tastes are changing. I will update my review if I try and read again.
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As expected of Alyssa Cole, this is a super-cute romance with lots of winks to a genre-savvy audience and a strong theme of accepting how your own brain works rather than trying to conform to what’s “normal”. Despite the fact that both heroines are concealing important information from each other for a significant chunk of the book, I didn’t personally feel that the lying/miscommunication was egregious or that the plot was overly dependent on it. I was actually surprised by the twist at the end! There was less denouement than I would expect from a romance novel, but I’m sure we’ll encounter Bez and Makeda in another book in the series. I’m assuming AK’s book is next!
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This book was not a complete win for me. I liked the characters, but the plot didn't fully come together for me. The pacing felt off and I just couldn't get into it as much as I wanted to.
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Honestly I was a little disappointed in this read. I feel like there was a lot of pages with very little plot and limited character development. I will say, per usual, I did enjoy the writine, and Cole has a very strong authorial voice, but there wasn't actually much of a STORY here and it showed.
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Alyssa Cole is one of my favorite writers and I know, going in, that I'm going to come out the other side a happy reader. And this sapphic retelling of Anastasia fed me for days. 

Several of my favorite tropes are featured in this slow burn romance including opposites attract, grumpy/sunshine except grumpy is actually a disappointed idealist, which is it's own character trope. There's also fake romance and only one bed, which, yes, thank you.

Makeda is a bit of a people pleaser who loses her job and her girlfriend all on the same day. Her grandmother is pressuring her to claim her title as princess of a small kingdom, something she absolutely does not want. She gives and gives so much without receiving and she's tired of being emptied emotionally by everyone else. Bez is a detective sent to track down the missing heir. Fantastically energetic, full of flirtatious energy, Bez is the very definition of chaotic, a woman who does and says what she wants without the minimum concern for what other people think.

The interactions between Makeda and Bez are the best part of the book, the way their sniping covers up their attraction, snark becomes flirtation that leads, eventually (and very, very slowly) to love. The last 20% of the book really picks up speed and becomes a whirlwind of action, affecting the pace but otherwise, it was a fun, low-angst, entertaining read. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Alyssa Cole can do no wrong in my book. This story was just so freaking good. I really love Alyssa's take on the modern royal trope.
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I thought this book was a really cute spin on the "She is secretly a princess" trope. Really cute and queer. Also a tiny bit of enemies to lovers. I really liked it. Definitely a must buy for me. Thanks to Netgalley for giving me an ARC in return for my honest review.
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I didn’t know Alyssa Cole could write a boring book, but I am very sad to be proven wrong with HOW TO BE A PRINCESS. Now, I love her, but no author is perfect, and this book just didn’t work for me – it might work for someone else! As always, Cole’s main characters were fun and easy to root for. Unfortunately, the plot was a total slog, and the ending made no sense.

An Anastasia reimagining, the book follows Makeda, a woman with unfortunate doormat, people-pleasing tendencies scraping by after another failed relationship. Her life is turned upside down when Beznaria, a sexy, blunt royal investigator, barges into her life, claiming Makeda is a long-lost princess who needs to go to Ibarania to claim her crown – something Makeda has no interest in doing.

It took me a while to warm up to Makeda, but I liked Beznaria right off the bat; she’s funny, determined, and way too blunt for her own good sometimes. Her Ibarania phrases and attitude were the highlights of the story. I thought Makeda and Beznaria had decent chemistry; it just wasn’t explored even a little bit until way too late in the book. By the time they actually start to develop and work through real feelings, the book’s plot is a mess, and I didn’t care about them as a couple like I wanted to.

So let’s get into the plot, Makeda meets Beznaria in New Jersey, and they spend a good amount of time going round and round about Makeda not wanting to take the trip to Ibarania – that’s all fine. When she is finally convinced to go, I thought, “oh good, the plot is finally going to get going.” But then they weirdly have to take a cargo boat to Ibarania where a whole new cast of characters is introduced, and then… nothing happens. Makeda and Beznaria are fake dating for a free passage, Makeda has minor personal revelations, and another royal is inexplicably on the boat with them (it felt like the start of another book/series but that also didn’t really go anywhere as a subplot). And that’s about it. I kept checking how far into the book I was and thinking, “they’re STILL on the boat??”

Makeda and Beznaria just sail slowly to Iberania, so there is about 10% left in the book when they get there. The excruciatingly slow plot we have been following is basically tossed out the window, there is a weird twist, and the book ends. It didn’t even feel like much of a happily ever after for Makeda and Beznaria because the odd plot twist completely took away from what little romance we had at the end.

Additionally, there were too many subplots that felt rushed and incomplete by the end of the book. While they were technically all tied up, it felt like many plot points were just glossed over within a page or two, which means they probably shouldn’t have been in the book to begin with.

Overall, I think this book tried to do too much. Makeda and Beznaria were strong characters, but I wanted more time developing their relationship and less time on the dang boat.

**I received a free copy of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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4.5 stars that I rounded up to 5 because I just loved Makeda and Bez so much. Honestly the whole book felt like 5 stars the whole time until it ended so abruptly with some things that felt unresolved. It needed an epilogue. But seriously, Bez and Makeda are both fantastic characters; Cole does so well writing complex characters with flaws that you can’t help but love. The dialogue and banter were great, the steam was fantastic, and the story and settings were engaging. I hope this series gets another sequel-maybe with the mysterious prince of Druk? In the meantime I’ll have to check out some of Cole’s other works because I think I’m pretty much hooked now.
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This was absolutely fantastic, everything I could ever hope for. Anastasia sapphic retelling, fake dating, and opposites attract. Love the banter and tension between these two. Alyssa always delivers excellent dialogue and on-point back and forth. I honestly had so much fun with the whole missing princess and “let’s pretend we’re together in this weird boat” plot. It was also quite an emotional read, as both protagonists are dealing with a lot of personal stuff. I especially appreciate Makeda’s story because I could (sadly) relate to her people-pleasing story. The way she learns that there is strength in her vulnerability but it doesn’t mean she has to break to fix others was so powerful. I did cry, I will admit it. It was wonderful to see her grow fierce and confident.
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This was lackluster for me. I ended up DNFing out of boredom. Definitely not this author’s strongest work.
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I really wanted to like this. But the plot and how it went just did not work for me. I liked the characters but  otherwise it didnt work for me.
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This was so fun and I can’t believe it took me this long to get into this royals series. I’m not often a romance reader but I’ve started dipping my toes in this year and this has been one of my favorites so far. I felt like it could’ve been a smidge longer, to be honest. But I loved the relationship and I found myself rooting for them from page one.
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Alyssa Cole's books always pack a punch and the latest installment in the Runaway Royals series is no exception. Cole just gets the romance genre and she always delivers a realistic portrayal of a couple, complete with a satisfying happy ending. I loved that this series includes a sapphic couple and the cover is absolutely gorgeous. Readers of Sarah MacLean, Talia Hibbert, and Helen Hoang will love this series.
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I'm a fan of this series, so it's not surprising I liked this one, too. However, I thought it was weaker than others, which is a shame because the romance is between two women and that's not as common in romances. I liked the characters but their chemistry just wasn't there and the story was a bit flat.
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I had really high hopes for this one, and have enjoyed Alyssa Cole's other books. Unfortunately I just couldn't buy into the premise of this one, or the chemistry between the 2 main characters.
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3.5 Stars, Rounded  

Makeda has had a bad day, or series of them. Job gone, girlfriend gone, and nothing seems to be right – now there’s a private investigator wanting to hear (again, for the millionth time) the story her grandmother told her and that enchanted her mother.  A summer fling with a prince was the tale, from a tiny country called Ibarania, and this investigator: Beznaria has tracked her down to hear it, yet again.  Makeda isn’t interested, no matter how intriguing Bez is, or whatever the ‘bonus’ is at the end of the possible rainbow.   

Starting out with great promise here – there's an instant spark between Makeda and Bez, and there is a bit of insistence from Bez that has Makeda rather confused and perhaps even a bit hopeful. But the way things have gone, and with Bez being the complete opposite to Makeda’s rather buttoned-down and organized self, she’s not sure if that’s a path she wants to try and follow.  There’s a spark, sure – but......  

Now I wanted to love this story as I have many of Cole’s stories. But something was seriously off with the pacing here, and the characters spent more time in back and forth and stubborn if not wholly ridiculous stand-offs over the smallest things that it was wearing. Then we had a tipping point that threatened all Makeda wanted for her grandmother, and she agrees to go to Ibarania and they are soon on a transatlantic ocean liner for what will become a long-drawn out and rather static journey to her destiny.  

It’s not that the story didn’t have clever moments, or that the characters were flat – they were not, even if both didn’t grow quite as much as I would have hoped for. But the pacing was uneven, and the ruch to the end (when it came) was most certainly rushed, with a fake wedding, the realization that they can’t lose one another and a new way of “being” that allowed for them both to find happiness.  It wasn’t a full-on miss for me, but not as well paced or as intriguing as I wanted, and certainly missing a bit of the sparkle and humor that I’m used to from Cole’s books.  I still think there’s a story worth the telling here, if you don’t mind skimming pages where little happens, it just didn’t fire for me on all cylinders.  

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.  

Review first appeared at <a href=” https://wp.me/p3OmRo-aYH /” > <a> I am, Indeed </a>
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