Romance: Alyssa Cole

It’s February, which is Black History Month, so what better time to start a new romance series by a Black author? Alyssa Cole’s contemporary romance How To Catch a Queen (first in the new Runaway Royals series) is both serious and funny, tender and spicy.

The story opens with Sanyu, who is reluctantly poised to become the next king of Njaza, a relatively young nation in Africa. Growing up, Sanyu saw many a queen of Njaza come and go, with not one of them staying long-term to become a True Queen of the country. Now that Sanyu has to marry before he ascends to the throne, the last thing he wants is to open up to a wife who may not stay with him long.

Shanti, who grew up in a neighboring African kingdom, has wanted to become a queen all her life, and her ambition is crowned (!) when she marries Sanyu. But Shanti wants to be a queen who makes a difference; a queen who reaches out to the marginalized; a queen who moves her country into a proud and prosperous future. And there is no room for that within the traditional structures of the government in Njaza.

Who has the answers here? It turns out that Shanti does… if Sanyu is willing to listen to her ideas and support her before the council and the citizens of Njaza. This marriage of convenience turns into something more over the course of the book, and it’s an entertaining and thought-provoking royal journey.

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