The Heir and the Spare by Emily AlbrightMonday, January 25, 2016
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: 1/18/16
Source: received from publisher in exchange for honest review
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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.Evie follows her mother’s letters in a P.S. I Love You fashion, which lead her to Oxford to uncover secrets she never could have imagined. At Oxford, she is immediately enveloped in a circle of friends that include Edmund, the prince. Despite his royal status, he takes a fancy toward Evie and together they unravel the secrets Evie’s mother kept from her.
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. --Goodreads
This was an adorable book which is sure to capture any romantic’s heart. The romance kindled between Evie and Edmund began with a sweet, but sassy friendship. The side characters are notable as well including the rude duchess and slimy girlfriend. However, as much as Evie’s group of friends were extremely relatable, it was only because most of the girls were walking-clichés and underdeveloped. The cliché of a mediocre girl who turns the heads of all the boys is also at play here which is both annoying but expected.
Evie, the protagonist, is a confident but quiet girl who could probably win in any wit battle if it didn’t require modern slang. Emily Albright wrote a smashing debut that will dazzle many readers. However, especially in the beginning when Evie was building relationships with her new-found friends, the narrative lacked colloquial speech which a modern twenty-year-old would use. Instead, Evie took to name-calling and less-mature narrative. A lot of times, her narrative sounded off or unbalanced. Edmund, as expected, was perfect in every way. The guy is any girl’s dream guy, who also happens to be a prince.
The plot was incredibly fast-paced and would make for a fabulous vacation read. However, Albright could have added so much more. She could have expanded on a number of things. It would have made the book more memorable and less predictable.
Despite the story being too short, it was still a cute debut that would tickle any reader’s toes. The Heir and the Spare is a fast read, a bit predictable but a whole lot of fun.