The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Page Length: 396 Pages
Publication Date: January 18th, 2016
Publisher: Merit Press
Source: ARC via The Fantastic Flying Book Club
Stars: 2.5 out of 5
Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.
In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.
Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons.
The concept of The Heir and the Spare was the first thing that caught my attention. I thought that the book sounded very reminiscent of The Princess Diaries, which is one of my favorite series of all time, with it’s elements of royals, Oxford, romance, birthday letters and Evie’s quest to unlock the secrets of her mothers *royal* past. These aspects made The Heir and the Spare for a quick and enjoyable read. The overall plot was very original and there were many elements of The Heir and the Spare that I appreciated. Such as, her mothers birthday letters. Usually in young adult books most main characters don’t have a close relationship with either one of their parents. But with Evie we see how she can’t wait to receive her next letter from her mom or talk on the phone with her dad, which was the best part of the story in my opinion.
Her romance with Prince Edmund wasn’t my favorite. There was a lot of “are we together or are we not” going on for around 3/4 of the book and after a while it got a little bit tiring. Instead of them dating and getting to know each other, which is what I had expected, their relationship became more of an instant attraction with moments of romance. Most of the time they were wondering where they stood with each other in the relationship.
I preferred reading about the adventures that she had with Edmund while learning about her mothers past than reading about their relationship.
Overall, I did enjoy The Heir and the Spare. I did like how towards the end when she discovers more about her mothers past that we could see how difficult it was for her to assimilate to her new life and position. I do wish that this story line had been further developed because it made Evie become a much more in depth character. Other than that I would recommend The Heir and the Spare to any contemporary lover or London enthusiast.
Thank you so much Merit Press and FFBC Tours for providing me with a physical copy for review. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I must state that I received this book for free and was in no way compensated for my review.
Emily Albright’s debut novel, THE HEIR AND THE SPARE, is releasing January 18, 2016 from Merit Press.
She’s a writer, a major bookworm, a lover of romantic movies, a wife, a mother, an owner of one adorable (yet slightly insane) cockapoo, and uses way too many :).
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