#CBR11 Bingo: Birthday (Alyssa Cole’s birthday is August 12th)
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.
I keep reading such effusive reviews about Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series, and I really do want to like the book. At it turns out I like this better than A Duke by Default, but it still took me nearly a week to read it, which is an really unforgivably long time, considering the book has fewer than 400 pages, and shows that the book just isn’t capturing my attention all that much.
The heroine of this book is Nya, who is very sweet and possibly a bit too perfect. She is inexperienced and has grown up very sheltered, because her father would actually secretly poison her every time she showed any signs of independence. She’d get ill and feel insecure, and only after her father was arrested after some sort of nefarious plot in book one (which I still haven’t read) did Nya realise the truth and come to see that she needed to expand her horizons. Due to her sheltered upbringing, she doesn’t really want to put herself out there, and plays a number of fantasy romance games on her phone instead of talking to, you know, real men. While Nya was clearly very kind, and open minded, and altruistic and understanding and so forth, I wanted her to maybe be a bit more flawed, and have more of a personality. She was just a bit dull, if I’m completely honest.
Oh, the thing that annoyed me the most about her – while we’re not quite in the realms of Anastasia Steele, who can’t even think about her lady parts except as “down there”, Nya is apparently so “charmingly innocent” that she seriously refers to sexual organs as aubergine and peach emoji. This would MAYBE be ok if it had happened once, but nope, it’s a recurring thing throughout the book, and completely took me out of the scene every time. Not sexy in the slightest.
Full review here.