When Cannonball Read did the book sale, this was instantly on my want list as Alyssa Cole has been praised by Cannonballers and I’ve been looking to get back into romance. A Prince on Paper did not disappoint and has me eager to read more by Cole.
While the setting is present day, that isn’t why I referred to this book as ‘modern’. In a secondary storyline, a young character struggles with identity, not feeling as though they are one gender or the other, but rather that they are non-binary. And it’s lovely when the person’s family is made aware of their non-binary identity and the family accepts them unconditionally. We need more stories like this!
Nya Jerami and Johan van Braustein couldn’t be more different. Nya’s father is a traitor to the royal family of Thesolo and has been a domineering force in her life, crushing her into the mold of the daughter he wants. Nya yearns for someone that will see her for who she is and love her without strings. But so far she has only found romance in her dating sim games, currently obsessed with ‘One True Prince’.
Johan is the step-son of the King of Leichtienbourg. With no connection to his biological father, growing up it was just him and his mother. Her marriage to the king gave him a half-brother but when she died of a heart defect, Johan’s world collapsed and he vows to never give his heart away, so he can’t be hurt that way again. Growing up amid the glare of paparazzi himself, Johan is determined to protect his brother from a similar fate. So Johan plays the part of a flashy playboy to draw the attention to himself and allow his younger brother to not be in the spotlight.
Nya and Johan have known each other for a while, but Nya was turned off by Johan’s tabloid fodder persona, and Johan was afraid of losing his heart to her, so while they moved in the same friend circle they barely spoke to one another. All that changes when they have a dramatic meet-up on the way to said friends’ wedding. They become further entangled when they develop a lie that allows Nya to escape the pressure of her father, and Johan to make his father happy. But what starts as a lie begins to become real as passion flames the spark between them.
This was so much fun! I loved the charm and witty banter between Nya and Johan. I loved Nya’s slow discovery of pleasure and Johan’s infinite patience. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with so much heat while everyone’s clothes are still on. Would definitely recommend.