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Archie, still an innocent in the ways of humans, was plucked from the obscurity of a chemist shop by a regal hand just out for a little retail therapy, to lead a life of service in a palace. He was chosen to serve a noble but immature owner, Crystal who is an orphaned princess with immediate problems she can't manage and a future that holds many surprises, including a realisation that objects like Archie, a hot water bottle, have lives and loves of their own. Hot water bottles are meant to have a beautiful cover and one is especially chosen and made for Archie. She is Terri who becomes the love of his life and part of the plethora of living objects that populate the palace and know everything that happens, even if the humans who live and work there don't. But before Crystal comes to know that in Archie's world there are rewards for those that know about the wider reality and disappointments for those that don't, she has to make her way through the awkwardness of being an immature nineteen and the dangers of being led astray by a punk servant with advancement on her mind. Jade, one of the Queen's more risky attempts at social interaction, is ambitious and has an agenda in which Crystal is to play a major part. Jade's plots are uncovered and the steps Crystal's Grandmother the Queen subsequently takes to not only keep Crystal safe from Jade and her own immaturity break some rules themselves and lead to some unfortunate consequences for Jade. But Jade never gives up and with some ingenuity creates some surprises for the Palace. Crystal's indiscretions are a potential scandal and grist to the mill of the tabloids so the Queen does what's required as Crystal rails against her Grandmother's plans for her. Crystal also has her first love affair with an apparently suitable young man from a fine family but where Crystal is concerned nothing is as it seems and there are surprises in store as her lover Richard Holland reveals more than he should and causes Crystal and the Palace a great deal of trouble. When Crystal travels to New Zealand on her gap year accidents just seem to befall her at every turn. The shifting dynamic of the object/human relationship leads to changes of attitude on both sides as Crystal grows up and into a role she was not born to. Without Archie and Terri who do their best for their difficult owner and the presence of Jeff, a handsome royal protection officer with a past in under cover work that may come back to haunt him, likes older women and his motor bike. He doesn't care about Crystal one way or the other and will do what it takes to fulfil his duty to be her minder while she resents his very existence. Without Jeff and his ability to deal with the crises Crystal creates, Crystal and the Crown may be lost.