A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

“This was just an act. This was just a dating simulation in three dimensions. She would live this fake happily-ever-after until the end credits rolled, because even if her dreams were too big, they were hers.”

─── ・ 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

Nya has finally escaped the oppressive regime of her father and arrived in New York only to find out that it’s nothing like she expected it to be. Returning home to Thesolo feels like defeat in more ways than one and at times it feels like only the fictional princes and vampires in her RPG simulators are the only ones that get her, that truly see her.

Johan has always used his bad boy image to deflect all of the attention away from his soon to be King brother, Lukas. For Johan it’s never been a question to sacrifice for the people he loves even if it means hiding everything about who he is inside to get through his day. For years he’s closed himself off due to the loss of his mother until Nya comes along and breaks down his walls.

In A Prince On Paper Alyssa Cole will take you on yet another journey to beautiful castles, a whirlwind lifestyle, and learning how to heal from your past instead of running from it.

─── ・ 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

I received this as an ARC through Netgalley, this in no way sways my opinion about the novel and its contents

─── ・ 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

My Thoughts:

Let me start off by saying that I am an Alyssa Cole fan 10000% and I had just finished Once Ghosted, Twice Shy and I feeling empty because I thought there weren’t any more books, then someone mentioned that Edelweiss had it and then I saw it on Netgalley and freaked. When I got approved I was seriously the happiest reader ever but enough of me gushing let’s talk about the book.

“I spent my whole life cooking and cleaning and doing what I was told, and that’s what most marriages seem to be. I see no reason to willingly trap myself in such a situation.”

Obviously if you’ve read any of The Reluctant Royals Series then you know Nya was at the center of controversy at the end of A Princess in Theory and by now she’s ready to spread her wings and fly but the thing is she doesn’t exactly know how. Her entire life she’s been looked over and talked down to like she was a child and all she wants is to be taken seriously, her escape comes in the form of games that play out real life characters in fictional situations. Which brings us to Bad Boy Prince Jo-Jo.

“Johan wanted to be ruined by her. He wanted to know what it felt like to stop pretending, to stop guarding his emotions like a dragon watching over its hoard. But treasures were guarded for a reason-the world took and took..”

It doesn’t take a scientist to know that Johan is damaged, and he’d rather put on a facade than admit that he really just needs a little stability and a whole lot of love. He’s known in the tabloids for his risqué behavior and his ability to be caught with his pants down literally. For years he’s pretended to ignore Nya and now that they’ve been thrown together to celebrate his best friend Thabiso’s wedding he has no choice but to put on his best acting performance yet and hide all of his growing emotions for the woman blossoming before his very eyes.

“There was a deep trust in letting go of your worries in someone else’s arms, in going soft and pliant not from arousal, but because you felt safe.”

The one thing I loved about this novel is that it was two people learning how to fit into their own skin instead of the personas that were forced upon them by the people around them. You get to watch Nya open up in ways that she never had before and stand up for herself and her ideals and it’s so powerful. Likewise you watch Johan shed his need for control and relearn his toxic behaviors, he learns that he doesn’t need to be fake and he learns this all with Nya and their promise to be “confidantes”.

Also it’s my favorite trope of fake-dating so I was hooked immediately by their not so obvious feelings of genuine intimacy. Alyssa really puts value in trust and friendship over anything in her relationships that she creates and that’s something that I really love.

“She looked back at him with those huge brown eyes and Johan wished, not for the first time, or even the second, that their game was real..”

─── ・ 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

Pros:

  • Queer and Non-Binary representation
  • Emphasis on boundaries and respect
  • I loved the pet names that Nya and Johan gave each other
  • They allowed each other to make mistakes and learned to forgive instead of lashing out
  • The writing was so easy to follow and the dialogue was witty and intellectual
  • The crossover between characters from books and past situations from books was very well executed
  • The character conflicts were heart wrenching and she showed that healing isn’t a linear process

You couldn’t ask me to find a con in this book if you paid me.

─── ・ 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

Wrap-Up:

I thought this was yet another fantastic installment to The Reluctant Royals Series and I would recommend it to anyone looking to dive into romance. I think you could read it as a stand-alone but you really benefit from reading the previous novels, it gives you a more authentic experience. I rated this novel 5/5 🌟 stars

─── ・ 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

“She’d Thoughts her dreams were too big, but she’d been wrong-they’d been just right. All that had been missing, for her, was the person she could share them with.”

─── ・ 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

2 thoughts on “A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole”

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