The preface, set in Richmond, England, in 1759 has all the trappings of a Georgian romance novel, right down to the man at the center of events-the Prince of Wales, the 20-year-old youth who would soon become George III. The first chapter continues the focus on the British monarchy both by its timing-the morning of Princess Diana's funeral-and by the fascination with British royalty that prompts the protagonist, Emma Parks, albeit at the behest of a close friend, to watch the live broadcast.
But the first chapter also introduces another genre. Emma Parks is a medical doctor, born in Maine and living in Bayonne, New Jersey. Her profession provides a segue and within a few pages, the aftermath of the car accident that killed Princess Diana has given way to the aftermath of a drunk driving accident on Route 185 in Bayonne, and the story switches to medical drama, as Dr. Parks struggles to save the accident victim's life in the ER.
A phone call for Emma as she passes the nursing station at the opening of Chapter 4 begins to weave in the political thriller, and identifies Emma as the beautiful woman who will be at the center of it. A mysterious caller, claiming to be a journalist, wants to speak to Emma about what he says he knows about the provenance of an heirloom vase she had presented on an episode of the 'Antique Marketplace' television series. Although suspicious, particularly because the caller is traveling immediately from London to see her based on what she considers to be very little cause, Emma agrees to speak to him again.
As the story unfolds, Schofield introduces the legal drama promised by the title. It can be summed up in one question: Given the lineage of George III and his heirs, who is the rightful ruler of the United Kingdom?