The Heir and the Spare
Author: Emily Albright
Publication Date: January 18th, 2016
Publisher: Merit Press
Summary: 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 Heir and the Spare is a sweet, witty romance book that is absolutely swoon-worthy and enjoyable to read. It’s light-hearted and fun, and successfully pulls you into the story so that you feel like royalty, too.
The Heir and the Spare starts out with Evie settling in her dorm room at Oxford University in England. Following the instructions in the letters that her mother left for her to receive after she died, she applies and gets accepted to Oxford, which is the college her mother attended, and the college where her parents met. Once she’s there, she begins to open the next “quest letter” from her mother, telling her what she should do now that she was accepted to Oxford, when she is interrupted by one of the girls who lives in the same building as her, inviting her to spend time with the her and her friends.
I immediately knew I would like Evie. She was such a fun, outspoken character – she stuck up for herself, and she wasn’t afraid to admit to channel her inner nerd:
“My plan had been to hole up in my room all night, eating pizza and watching Doctor Who reruns. Which honestly is a pretty good way to spend an evening.”
I mean, how can you argue with a book character who has a wonderful love of Doctor Who and pizza? Yep, not me. Loved her character right off the bat.
When she meets a fellow student, Edmund, she instantly decides she likes him (while I’m not usually a fan of insta-love, in this case I actually kind of enjoyed it, because it was so cute), and the two of them start spending time together, despite the girl who constantly hangs all over him and wants him for herself. When Evie finally realizes that Edmund is royalty, she figures that nothing will ever come of their relationship, because his parents want someone who is titled and has some sort of royal lineage for their son. So even though she doesn’t think he’ll ever choose her, she still can’t help falling in love with him – and he with her.
I really loved Edmund’s character, too. He was sweet, and a gentleman, and never made a big deal out of being a prince. He does sweet things for Evie and is always watching out for her. He is eager to help her with her quest letters, and is more than happy to meet her father at dinner, oh, and rent out the entire Eiffel Tower for the two of them for Christmas (I mentioned he was sweet, right?).
When Evie learns the truth about her mother, everything changes for her – except her feelings for Edmund, which never seem to fade, despite the fact that she tries to get over Edmund a few times.
The one thing that irked me about this book was the tagline…it kind of ends up giving away a big part of the book, in my opinion. It didn’t change how much I loved this book, though. Nope, this is definitely one of those romances that kept me entertained and eager to see how things would play out. It’s such a sweet, lovely read that’s perfect for anyone who loves romance!
Emily Albright is definitely getting added to my list of must read authors!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
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 :).