Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Review - How to Catch a Queen


Author:   Alyssa Cole
Publisher:   Avon
Genre:   Romance
Format:   Kindle ARC
No. of pages:   384
Date of Publication:  December 1, 2020
Rating:  4 Stars


Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

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.`


Simply put, Shanti Mohapi wanted to be a queen. It is something she wanted her entire life. Well, she gets her wish when she marries the King of Njaza, Sanyu. Sanyu is not happy to be King, but he knows he has to be as responsible as possible. Sanyu did the responsible thing. He took a wife. Love? That is not part of the plan. Companionship? Maybe. 

Meanwhile, Shanti is not having an easy time in her new role. Barely any contact with Sanyu is frustrating enough, but when his subjects begin to reject her, things seem more than she can handle. Shanti is no quiet mouse. Instead, she has plans, and those plans are to do whatever it is in her power to change some things - yet, she keeps this in secret.

Sanyu is following his father's footsteps in more ways than one. One in particular is that there is a time limit as to how long he will remained married to Shanti. If she doesn't fit his expectations, he will trade her for a new wife, and will continue that pattern until he finds The One. Well, could Shanti be The One after all? Would it be wise for Sanyu to act on his growing attraction to Shanti? What about her? Does she want to stay married to Sanyu especially as he seems uncaring and unreachable?

How to Catch a Queen is the first book in the Runaway Royals series, which is a spin-off  of The Reluctant Royals series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I am eager to see more stories in this series. Continuity is a favorite thing of mine while reading, so it was great to see a few of the people from previous novels. We met Shanti and Sanyu in A Prince on Paper, so it was great to get their story now. Alyssa Cole just might sneak her way into my list of favorite authors. Can't wait for the next book in this series.

Many thanks to Avon and to NetGalley for this ARC for review.  This is my honest opinion.


Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her Civil War-set espionage romance An Extraordinary Union was the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award’s Best Book of 2017 and the American Library Association’s RUSA Best Romance for 2018, and A Princess in Theory was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018. She’s contributed to publications including Bustle, Shondaland, The Toast, Vulture, RT Book Reviews, and Heroes and Heartbreakers, and her books have received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can usually be found watching anime or wrangling her pets.

She is represented by Lucienne Diver at The Knight Agency.

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