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.
I'm mildly obsessed with the royals, so I'll give pretty much any book inspired by or about them a chance. Therefore, I was extremely excited to read The Heir and the Spare. Although I had a few issues with the the love interest, The Heir and the Spare was still an enjoyable read.
There is a bit of insta-attraction in the way that the love interest is immediately like "I've never met a girl like you before.", but the relationship still takes a good amount of time to develop. I thought Evie was definitely too oblivious about the prince's background for a bit too long. I mean, I guess you wouldn't just assume the guy you liked was a prince, but I still thought she should have picked up on certain clues sooner. Once she realizes it though (still early on in the novel), the plot speeds up! :) Edmund was frustrating because while I understood his royal obligation, he wasn't fair to Evie in a lot of ways in the beginning. For instance, he tolerated an awful girl just because she had a good lineage. However, I definitely began to root for him and Evie to get together.
The writing style itself was addicting and the letter trail left by Evie's mother was definitely a cool touch in revealing Evie's family's past. I loved reading about all the "British royalty" in this book and I thought the author did a great job at developing a royal family.
Overall, The Heir and the Spare was a great, entertaining read. Edmund definitely frustrated me at times, but I'd still recommend it! I'd give The Heir and the Spare 3 out of 5 flowers.
"'Singer?' 'What?' He looked at me, brows lowered. 'Are you a singer?' He burst into laughter "No, I absolutely cannot carry a tune."
"You're right. It must be love, he borrowed my class notes. That's the universal sign of passion, right? Catch me, I think I might swoon from all the romance."
"As delightful as that sounds, I'm gonna pass. I just remembered, I have some shivs in my dorm that I'd rather drive under my fingernails, sorry."
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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 :).