cover image How to Find A Princess

How to Find A Princess

Alyssa Cole. Avon, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-293400-0

Leaving behind the angstier drama of How to Catch a Queen, Cole juggles the conventions of romantic comedy, fairy tale, and social satire in her heartwarming second Runaway Royals romance. When Makeda Hicks loses her job and her girlfriend in one day, it sends the insecure people pleaser into an emotional tailspin. So when quirky, scene-stealing investigator Beznaria “Bez” Chetchevaliere shows up hoping to discuss Makeda’s long-disputed royal roots—the stuff of Hicks family legend—the usually compliant Makeda finally flashes her claws. But with an overdue debt threatening the future of her family’s B&B, Makeda can’t refuse the bounty Bez offers in exchange for her traveling to the multicultural Mediterranean island nation of Ibarania as a potential heir to the throne. Mistaken identities, puns, and wordplay abound as the recalcitrance of Bez’s boss, “Lord Higginshoggins of Hogginshiggins, Director General of the World Federation of Monarchists,” lands the warring women on a two-week ocean voyage to Ibarania and requires them to play newlyweds for free passage. Though some abrupt emotional shifts may give readers whiplash, Cole convincingly demonstrates why fake relationships and forced proximity remain rom-com staples: on neutral ground, within clear boundaries they set together, guards fall, and chemistry takes flight. This is a charmer. [em]Agent: Lucienne Diver, the Knight Agency. (June) [/em]