Series: Runaway Royals #1
Published by Avon on December 1, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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.
My top thoughts:
I had heard lots of great things about How to Catch a Queen, so I picked it up when it was on a Kindle sale. I enjoyed the characters a lot. The plot had me at moments and lost me at others. I can’t say that I’m rushing to pick up the next book, but I do think I’ll eventually continue the series.
What I liked/didn’t like:
For me, Shanti and Musoke made this book. Shanti is a very strong, focused woman. The situation she’s entered is very challenging – she is basically on trial to become Sanyu’s True Queen (something his father never had, with a steady stream of new wives). The kingdom is not doing well and she wants to make a difference – it’s the whole reason she trained her whole life to be a queen – but she’s been pushed into the queen’s quarters, to be rarely seen and never heard.
Now, you may have noticed that Musoke, not the prince Sanyu, made this book for me. Sanyu is a frustrating character. I liked him, but he was just so weak to me. I felt for him, but he was kind of wishy-washy and boring. Musoke, on the other hand, infuriated me. You don’t have to like a character for them to make a book better right? Musoke was so stubborn and stuck in the past, and the way he spoke just got under my skin.
The Kingdom of Njaza, a monarchy with a theocratic feel – where their old gods are very important to how they rule – was a strange (but interesting) contrast for me of an old timey feel with things like text messages that pull you into the 21st century. I think it was interesting, but I also had a hard time getting embedded into the world.
Ultimately, it was a solid story with good characters and I’m glad I read it. I do think I’ll eventually read more.