Naledi “Ledi” Smith’s parents died when she was very little, and she was shuffled through a series of foster homes her entire childhood. She learned to rely on no one but herself. When she keeps getting persistent e-mails about some African country named Thesolo and how she’s the crown prince’s intended, she obviously assumes that these communications are spam and deletes them all. Now she’s working hard to get her degree in epidemiology and waitressing on the side, in between worrying about her hard-partying best friend Portia, who seems to be going off the rails a bit.
Of course, what Ledi doesn’t know is that she was born in Thesolo, and her mother was best friends with the current queen. For reasons known to no one but her now-deceased parents, they chose to break all ties to their former friends and family and flee to the United States. While Ledi has loving grandparents and an uncle and cousin in Thesolo, not to mention an actual royal fiancee, she was too little to ever be told about this, and as her parents were using fake names when they died, no one was able to track down Ledi’s true family.
Her royal betrothed, prince Thabiso, keeps being pressured by his parents to find a suitable replacement to marry. He fondly remembers his childhood friend, and while he feels hurt and betrayed by her parents’ actions, he keeps asking his hyper-efficient assistant to continue the search for her. When she is tracked down in New York, he decides to travel to see her and confront her about the perceived abandonment of her duty. When he meets her, Ledi mistakes him for someone else and he likes the idea of getting to know his fiancee without any of the trappings of his title and status in the way. He doesn’t exactly make a great first impression on her, being absolutely dreadful at the job he impulsively decides to pretend he’s applying for, but pays one of her neighbours to go on an extended vacation, so he can rent her flat and be just across the hall from Ledi. He discovers that Ledi has absolutely no idea where she came from and what is waiting for her in Thesolo, she is completely ignorant about what her heritage entails.
Ledi is undeniably attracted to the handsome guy who suddenly moved in across the hall from her, but suspects there may be something strange about him too. When she discovers the truth about his identity, she’s already half on her way to falling in love with him and is furious about his deceptions. She nevertheless agrees to come with him to Thesolo to see her forgotten homeland, not because she has any intention of marrying him and becoming a princess, but because there is a mysterious illness spreading among the population, and as an epidemiologist in training, trying to find out what is causing the disease would be incredibly good for her future career. She agrees to pretend to still be Thabiso’s fiancee, as it makes things easier for her when she returns to an unfamiliar country, but is pretty clear on the fact that she’ll be going back to her life in New York once she’s helped figure out what is causing the strange illness.
Full review on my blog.