I got to the show a little late with this series, so I thought I'd try to pick it up now. It is possible to read the romance as a stand-alone, but there are some references that I didn't quite understand to other people involved with the hotel.
The beginning of the story is almost right out of a fairy tale. The handsome prince (or sheikh in this case) kidnaps the beautiful princess and whisks her away to his palace. Only this time the princess is a journalist, and she objects to being taken anywhere against her will. Not the best start to a new romance. But Sophie is trying to prove she's worth something - anything - so she will go along with the plan and try to get the biggest story of her life out of it.
Sheikh Zayn will do anything to protect the honor of his family - it is his duty. There is a lot at stake for him right now and I loved how strong his protective instinct was towards his sister. What I didn't like was how he thought it was his business to try and take care of everything all the time. It would really get on my nerves. He's also engaged already.
While you don't get the vibe of "he's technically cheating" too much from the story, it was still something I picked up on and wasn't fond of. My favorite parts of the story was the time Zayn and Sophie spent in the desert - they seemed so natural and in tune with each other there. Outside of this part of the story, they both seemed so very emotionally hard and cold. I wish they had opened up - even to themselves and the reader - just a bit more.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*