Sam is a grad student in wildlife biology and working with raptors when she receives the shocking news that she is the last member of a long lost royal family in the small but wealthy country of Lilaria. The Queen has been looking for her for some time, wanting to reinstate the family lands, wealth, and title on Samantha, making her the Duchess of Rousseau. Uncertain of whether she wants the public life and responsibilities that come with all of this, Sam weighs her choices with the help of Crown Prince Alex, the heir to the Lilarian throne and the man her hilarious and straight-talking roommate has nicknamed Prince Yummy. Sam and Alex have an almost immediate attraction to and understanding of each other but it is the idea that Sam can get access to an outstanding cancer doctor to help her beloved step-father, who is enduring treatments for prostate cancer, that decides Sam to take up the mantle of her heritage and postpone her dream of a Master's degree.
It isn't without misgivings that she leaves her ill father behind in Minnesota to finish out his chemo regimen and heads to Lilaria. She doesn't speak the language and she is staggered by the ferocity of public interest in her but she doesn't change from the casual, down to earth person she was when she was simply a poor grad student, which ultimately endears her to her new people. And of course, Alex promises not to throw her to the wolves, to help her through the transition to such a different life, giving them every opportunity to spend time together, trying to resist the inevitable. Alex and Sam agree to be friends but the sexual tension surrounding them remains thick. And when they finally come together, the question is whether Sam can overcome her overwhelming fear of losing the people she loves and her feeling of inferiority to Alex because of her American background and grab the life she wants to live.
The story is a sweet fairy tale with touches of sorrow but it's also a sexy and hot romance. The main characters are both incredibly likable and the secondary characters are fun and interesting in their own right. It's an overall light and engaging read but one that doesn't minimize the struggles of real life and shows some of the disadvantages of what is a very privileged life. Fans of straight contemporary romance should thoroughly enjoy it and look forward to the sequel.