From Goodreads: "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."
When I learned that this book was "The Princess Diaries" meets "The Prince and Me" I knew that I had to read it (those things being two of my most favourite things from my teenage years). However, after having finished it, I must admit that I don't think that it lived up to its potential in the slightest- not bringing anything new to the table.
My largest complaint of this book is that I felt that very little happened- not until the 92% mark did I feel like anything really happened. Essentially all the characters did when they arrived to Lilaria was hang out in the palace (and maybe an estate or two) and go out every now again (where they would be continuously hounded by paparazzi). Both of the characters had so many interesting things about themselves that I think that could have played huge roles, livening up the storyline, but didn't (for instance, Sam's graduate schooling).
Furthermore, I found that the characters descriptions were somewhat misleading. Alex is described as trying to "keep his name clean"- this implies that he is known for getting in trouble every now again, as we have seen so many royals struggle with over the years. However, that is anything but the case- he's a Prince Charming to the nth degree. I think that it would be better if he were a bit of a bad-boy as it would shake the storyline up a little bit. Sam wasn't much better, despite priding herself on being independent, she does fall for Alex almost as soon as she meets him.
All in all, as becomes evident, despite my complaints I did enjoy the book enough to finish it. That being said, I think that the few hours of escapism that it provided me with was fairly superficial (I know that days, if not hours, after finishing it I will remember very little of the storyline as nothing truly grabbed me about it)- it's a bit too similar to what's out there for my liking. That being said, I do think that Nicole's other books sound interesting, her "Flukes" and "Mortal Obligation" especially, and I will be adding them to my TBR pile.