Author: Nichole Chase
Provided Synopsis: Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.
Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.
While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.
Review: As a more adult version of the Princess Diaries, this book was cute but nothing impressive. It offered exactly what you think it would: a young woman is surprised to learn she is from royal blood and is thrown into a world she does not know how to navigate. As the new Duchess of Rousseau, Samantha has responsibilities that include an estate she must manage, a township she must represent in Parliament, and other official duties on behalf of the crown. Throw in a prince who is determined to win her heart, and you are set-up with a contemporary romance that reads like a fairy tale.
Did I like Samantha and Alex? Yes, although I would never go as far as to say that I felt an extreme connection to them nor will they be characters I remember months from now. The most refreshingly new aspect of their relationship was that it did not include any petty dramatics or a slew of misunderstandings; they were able to speak to each other openly and honestly from the beginning, and as a reader I appreciated not having to suffer through relationship problems that could have been easily resolved. It takes some time for them to get together, since Samantha is hesitant due to her new surroundings, and if anything this story made me more sympathetic to what Kate Middleton had to go through with the paparazzi as she transitioned from an unknown to the girlfriend and eventual wife of a future king.
If you want something modern, cute, and quick, then this might be the book for you. Just don’t expect to receive more than what the synopsis provides.