Without the romance, Tandem (Goodreads | Amazon) would be a much better book. There's an action-packed sci-fi plot, Sasha Lawson is kidnapped into a parallel universe to take the place of Princess Juliana, a girl who looks exactly like her. In Aurora (the parallel world) things are dire, after years of near-constant fighting with their neighboring country, a marriage pact between Juliana and Prince Callum is the only route to potential peace. That is until Juliana disappears without a trace. There is plenty of plot - treason, kidnapping, terrorism - to keep the book moving forward.
However, the story is dragged down by the unnecessary and illogical romance. Just for once, I'd like it if the main character did not fall in love with her kidnapper. Is that really too much to ask? Instead of focusing on the exciting plot, we get long passages where two character muse internally on whether they have feelings for each other or not. We get hissy-fit arguments accusing each other of jealousy. If there's chemistry, I never felt it.
Why is the romance worst than most? At the most, the male love interest has known Sasha for two weeks. He's been raised to be a soldier and to keep his emotions in check. She is his assignment but he goes all doe-eyed, lovely-dovey really quickly. What's worse, is by the end of the novel Sasha has known who he is for six days (for 2 weeks he was observing her by pretending to be his earth duplicate). SIX DAYS! In six days she goes from being kidnapped by this guy, to saying she's not ready to leave him and go back to her life yet. Never mind that her grandfather is probably worried sick (she barely seems to worry about him), there's a boy to be liked, family be damned.
If you can swallow the unrealistic romance, this is otherwise a good book. The sci-fi elements and explanation of parallel worlds is well done. The plot itself is a good story, though it drags in the middle due to the overemphasis on romance. I just cannot suffer the romantic plotline because it undermines the rest of the book and is absolutely unnecessary.
I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.