by Alyssa Cole
Series: Runaway Royals #1
Narrator: Karen Chilton
Length: 10 hours and 53 minutes
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.3x
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.
How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole, narrated by Karen Chilton transports the listener to Njaza where we meet Sanyu as his father the king lies on his deathbed. An arranged marriage brings change to both him and the kingdom.
Shanti Mohapi has spent her life dreaming of being a Queen. That wish comes true when she weds the king of Njaza. While there is chemistry, the story that unfolds is a slow burn as both find their way in these uncharted waters.
Shanti is basically on probation to see if she is the true Queen. Not a simple task considering his father married over twenty women and never found the true Queen. In fact, in the kingdom’s history there has only ever been one. I liked Shanti, and found her to be strong, determined, and showed advanced wisdom for her years.
Sanyu fears he will never fill his father’s shoes, and his closest advisor has spent his entire life telling him he is unworthy. I struggled with Sanyu a little. I prefer a stronger, more assured man, but beneath his fear and anxiety there lies a true king. He just needs help from the right woman.
The tale unfolded slowly and had sensual moments, character growth and sacrifices. I enjoyed the exotic setting and seeing the change brought to the kingdom.
It took me longer to listen then is typical for me, as parts where slow moving and I grew frustrated with the hero. Karen Chilton narrates and did a fine job of capturing Shanti’s determination and Sanyu’s insecurities. I think she enhanced the tale and aided with the slower aspects of the story.
This is the first in the Runaway Royals series, and I am curious to see whose story will be next.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Lover of Romance
What a lovely review you have here of this one. I liked this one as well, but had my issues but more was with the heroine than the hero. Enjoyed seeing your thoughts on it.
Anne - Books of My Heart
I’ve thought about reading this one. It’s great to have your thoughts
Wow, tough gig for her and sounds like he’s got issues that make him get in his own way, too. I hope to read this series at some point after loving her historicals.
I really enjoyed reading this one. Good to know there is a solid narrator for the series (?) in case I want to listen to the next one.
Yes, Runaway Royals
I am definitely a couple of reads behind on Cole’s Royals, but I remember really enjoying her characters and the setting, of course.
It’s an author I need to try!