How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole
A Runaway Royals book I
I am completely fangirling over this royally epic romance that Alyssa Cole has written. For many reasons but first that it has encumbered so many of my favorite tropes and done amazingly. (But we already knew this, Cole does no wrong!)
We have our female lead and bad ass woman, Shanti. She has grown up being groomed to be a future queen. Her parents did not care what kingdom she would eventually rule, but they did know that she WOULD rule alongside a king one day. They catered to her education, groomed her good looks, and sharpened her knowledge of politics to ensure she would be the complete package of a queen.
Insert our male lead and newly crowned king, Sanyu. His father passes away in the very beginning pushing forward Sanyu to be crowned and take on the royal duties right away. In order for him to be rightfully crowned he must also marry, which is why his royal advisors bring Shanti to him and arrange the quick marriage.
Now I must point out that Sanyu is extremely intimidated by the crown and all the responsibilities that come along with it. Since he was young he had always envisioned himself running away and living out a normal life. Sanyu does not believe he could ever fill in his father’s shoes. He doubts he will ever gain the same amount of respect.
For their quick encounter Sanyu and Shanti have an immediate and intense spark between them. He sees Shanti for the strong woman she is and is also intimidated by her. After their quick marriage Sanyu does almost everything to keep his distance from her and they rarely have encounters. Which was such a bummer at first, I kept craving that sizzling connection between these two, it was just so invigorating and addictive!
Now the book obviously goes into this way deeper but the country that Sanyu rules, Njaza the marriages to the king run a little differently than we are used to. There is a “trial period,” and historically Sanyu’s father never kept ANY bride longer than the trial period, including Sanyu’s mother. So during Sanyu and Shanti’s trial period, Sanyu successfully avoids Shanti al-throughout.
Except for on the eve of the end of their trial period, Shanti speaks out during a council meeting and draws Sanyu to her. They begin meeting in secret because Shanti’s sharp mind and even sharper tongue spark a curiosity in the king. The secret meetings become their very own personal council sessions, Sanyu seeking advice and council from Shanti, Shanti expertly teaching Sanyu about politics and economics.
Things seem to be going great until there is chaos and uprising. And then, Shanti runs away. Now Sanyu is left with a political mess and a need to find this queen of his that sparked so much passion and bravery in him.
How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole is a royally epic slow burn romance. It has all the notes that Cole hits so eloquently including the steam, the political accuracy, a bad ass female lead, an elaborate plot that has built such an intricate universe. I look forward to finding out more about these Runaway Royals series!
I highly recommend How to Catch a Queen. The read is super entertaining filled with laugh out loud moments that only Alyssa can muster (during the most serious of moments, ah, it’s the best.)
Alyssa Cole’s How to Catch a Queen gets 4.5 stars from me, and I semi-patiently wait for the next in the series.