Reluctant Royals

Book 1: A PRINCESS IN THEORY (2/28/18) Amazon | Apple |Kobo | IndieBound

Book 1.5: ONCE GHOSTED, TWICE SHY (1/8/19) Amazon | Apple | Kobo |B&N | IndieBound

Book 2: A DUKE BY DEFAULT (7/31/18) Amazon | Apple | Kobo | IndieBound

Book 2.5: CAN’T ESCAPE LOVE (3/19/19) Amazon | Apple | Kobo |B&N | IndieBound

Book 3: A PRINCE ON PAPER (4/30/19) Amazon | Apple | Kobo |B&N | IndieBound


One of the New York Time’s 100 Notable Books of 2018

A Kirkus Best Fiction of 2018

A Library Journal Best Book of 2018

“Alyssa Cole is the newly coronated queen of contemporary royal romance! A Princess in Theory is delicious fun… a smart, funny heroine; a sweetly sexy prince; swoon-worthy romance; and an epic happily-ever-after. Long live the queen!” (Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries)

“The prince takes the prize. Alyssa Cole’s A PRINCESS IN THEORY is the best new romance I’ve read in a while.” (New York Times Book Review)

“A delightful and sexy take on love between a suave African prince and a nerdy epidemiology student.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Attention-grabbing from page one, this first book in the Reluctant Royals series will absolutely warm your heart. ” (RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars- TOP PICK)

**Read an excerpt at Cosmopolitan!**

From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?


A NPR Best Books of 2018

A Bookish’s Favorite Books of 2018

A Bookpage Best Romances of 2018

“Cole’s romances are always smart, sexy, captivating reads…” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Alyssa Cole has rightfully garnered acclaim from all corners for the impeccable construction and emotional complexity of her romance novels. But her new novel, A Duke by Default, underscored something about her writing that I think deserves to be celebrated just as much—how joyfully and unrepentantly nerdy her work is.” (BookPage)

**Read an excerpt + interview at Entertainment Weekly!**

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?


2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Lesbian Romance

The Ripped Bodice Award for Excellence in Romance Fiction for 2019

readRchat Awards Best Novella of 2019

While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.

When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.


A Washington Post Best Romance of 2019

Regina Hobbs is nerdy by nature, businesswoman by nurture. She’s finally taking her pop culture-centered media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level, but the stress is forcing her to face a familiar supervillain: insomnia. The only thing that helps her sleep when things get this bad is the deep, soothing voice of puzzle-obsessed live streamer Gustave Nguyen. The problem? His archive has been deleted.

Gus has been tasked with creating an escape room themed around a romance anime…except he knows nothing about romance or anime. Then mega-nerd and anime expert Reggie comes calling, and they make a trade: his voice for her knowledge. But when their online friendship has IRL chemistry, will they be able to escape love?


The Ripped Bodice Award for Excellence in Romance Fiction for 2019

readRchat Awards Best Contemporary Romance of 2019

A BookPage Best Romance of 2019

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.

11 thoughts on “Reluctant Royals

  1. Your January 10th article in The Washington Post was absolutely wonderfully written. It was a joy to read! Thank you for being an outstanding voice of intelligence. Thank you!

  2. I just stumbled upon the Reluctant Royals series and love them all. I also read the Off the Grid collection. I’m obsessed with your writing. I love how diverse the characters and that there smart, complex, and feel so real. Will you ever have a plus size female protagonists? Big girls need love too.

  3. Dear Ms Cole, Thanks for A Princess in Theory and A Duke by Default! You are definitely on my list to keep track of your books. Finding you was a great discovery since my emphasis now is romance. Loved how Portia and Ravish worked through their issues and found love. Wish you continued success and all your endeavors be blessed! Thanks for the big books yay!!! Mary A Patton

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed both reluctant Royals books!!! I was wondering if maybe Reggie might get her own story?? There are so few characters with disabilities anywhere in pop culture I was thrilled to see her thriving! (Loved the Oracle reference too :)) As a woman in a wheelchair who is a long time romance fan, I’d be over the moon to read a character like her be the heroine of her own romance story, and change the narrative a bit about sex & disability. Much love <3

  5. Mrs. Cole
    I need more of Thabiso and Naledi’s Story! Please take a break from whatever you’re doing, and give me 10 more books. I need to know everything – their time back in New York, going back to Thesolo, the relationship between Naledi and Ramatla, the wedding, the romance, the babies! I could read a whole book in just the dialogue between Naledi and Thabiso.

    Can you tell me if you have plans to continue their story?

    PLEASE! Indulge me!

    1. Haha, I’m so glad that you’re so interested in them! I am too, lol! Because of that, they will be making appearances in the other Reluctant Royals books. I also have some short stories planned for them. 🙂

  6. Dear Alyssa,

    I am a reviewer with I just recently read and wrote a review on your new novel, A Princess In Theory.
    Oh my gosh, this is fantastic! You are such a creative writer!

    The review is currently live on the site. Here is a link for your convenience,

    Also, a fun side note, I rated your story 4.5 hearts out of a possible 5! If you would like advertising options, here is a link,

    Marie Harte will help you with any questions you may have with advertising.

    I had so much fun reading your new book! I can’t wait to read your next one!

    All my best,

    Michele Rioli
    Reviewer with

  7. Wonderful book! I picked it up because of the intriguing description on back, but found the story to be compelling and thought-provoking. I can’t wait to read more like this from Alyssa Cole

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