This is a new author to me and listed at the Literary Escapism blog’s New Author Challenge 2013.
by Nichole Chase
Series: The Suddenly series, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
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.
This is a contemporary romance about a mythical small European country near France. Samantha (Sam) Rousseau is a typical American girl from Minnesota in a master’s degree program in wildlife biology. She suddenly discovers she’s the last Rousseau descendent of a royal family from the small country of Lilaria. If she decides to return to Lilaria she will be installed as a duchess. She isn’t tempted by the riches, the chance to be part of the nobility or even by Prince Alex! But her stepfather is ill with cancer and the thought she might be able to provide him with better healthcare, tips the balance for her.
She travels to Lilaria with the prince and his aunt and discovers a beautiful country. However, she really dislikes the persistence of the photographers and reporters who constantly follow her whenever she’s in public. She has a difficult time getting used to her new life. She’s very attracted to Alex, but feels there’s no future in a relationship with him. She feels she could fall in love and that would end in heartbreak for her.
I know a lot of people have really loved this book. I thought it was okay, but I admit I was a little bored with the book. This is a character driven romance and I’m really enjoying adventure books and urban fantasy at the moment. I kept expecting demons or at least a kidnapping attempt…lol!
The constant presence of the paparazzi and Sam’s discomfort with them is the main conflict in the book. The book keeps mentioning how everyone close to her looks at her with sad eyes…I guess because they all know she can never go back to her old life. She does really enjoy seeing her own lands and living there…wearing her own clothes, not worrying about photographers, not being treated differently.
In the beginning the book is reminding me of a Harlequin romance since it’s about a mythical country where an ordinary girl is suddenly a royal. However, usually in a Harlequin romance people are hiding things from each other or blackmailing each other(!) and that doesn’t happen in this book. That was a plus for me, but the fact Sam is so unhappy with being famous doesn’t seem like a recipe for happiness. I do think it must be reality, however. People who are born in this circumstance may deal with it a little easier, but even for them it can’t be easy as shown by Prince Alex’s tabloid history and his difficulty trusting anyone.
I liked the romance between Alex and Sam. I did like that Sam is getting a master’s degree in wildlife biology and is studying raptors. That’s a different career than found in many books. Of course, raptors are special birds in Lilaria and a special love of Alex’s. He owns raptors and is head of a charity to ensure raptors don’t become extinct. Sam volunteers at this charity when she’s in Lilaria.
This was a little above average book for me, but many people like/love this book. I’m not really enjoying contemporary romance right now so I don’t think I’m the target audience at the moment…lol!