Of Princes and Promises – Sandhya Menon

This is the second installment in the Rosetta Academy series – I was lucky enough to get to review the first one, Of Curses and Kisses last year (find my review here). Of Princes and Promises is set in the same world, around the same characters, but focusing on a different set of protagonists. Thus, it works as a standalone as well, no need to read the first book to understand what is going on. And this is the wonderful kind of addictive book that I read in a single sitting, which I haven’t done in a while.

Many thanks to Kate Keehan and Hodder for sending me a copy for review, all opinions are my own.

RELEASE DATE: 08/06/2021

STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

SUMMARY: Caterina LaValle is determined to show she’s still the queen of St. Rosetta’s Academy. Sure, her crown may be slightly askew after her ex-boyfriend, Alaric, cheated on her, but she’s a LaValle. She’ll find a way to march right back in there, her hands clutching the strings to the whole puppet show. This time, she’s going to be untouchable.

Rahul Chopra knows that moment he shared with Caterina LaValle at the winter formal meant something. Surely she feels it, too. He’s a little uncertain how someone like him (socially inept to a point way past “adorkable”) could fit into her world, but he’s loved Caterina for years. He knows they’ll find a way.

When Caterina finds out Alaric is taking a supermodel to the upcoming gala, she knows she cannot arrive without the perfect date. But the thought of taking another superficial St. R’s boy exhausts her. The solution? Sweet-but-clueless Rahul Chopra and a mysterious pot of hair gel with the power to alter the wearer into whatever his heart desires.

When Rahul tries it, he transforms instantly into RC-debonair, handsome, and charming. But transformation comes with a price: As Rahul enjoys his new social standing, the line between his two personas begins to blur. Will he give up everything, including Caterina, to remain RC? Or will this unlikely pair find their way back to each other? (from Hodder)

OPINIONS: This is a perfect escapist book to spend a cosy evening reading with a hot chocolate. I read the whole thing in a couple of hours earlier this week and just loved it so much. It’s not necessarily the kind of book I tend to gravitate towards – I am more likely to pick up slightly ‘darker’ books, with much less of a romance focus. But this series just keeps surprising me and making me enjoy books out of what I tend to read. Of Princes and Promises is a modern fairy tale, with romance as a major theme. It’s basically a comfort read.

Caterina and Rahul are wonderful leading characters – both deeply flawed but undergoing a lot of development over the course of the story. I feel a lot of kinship with Rahul, who is the awkward teen, not sure how social interactions work and more comfortable with books than people. So when he finds a (magical) way to fit in, it changes him. And on the surface, that is a bad choice. But if you dig deeper, that is an understandable way to react. I know I wouldn’t be all that different. Caterina goes from mean girl in the first book of the series to a relateable protagonist – if a more spoiled one than most teens.

So, TL:DR – if you’re into fluffy romantic fantasy, do check this one out, it’s delightful. Add it on Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

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