By: Emily Albright
Published Year: 2016
Publisher: Merit Press
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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 essentially picked up this book based on the cover and title alone. I think I briefly skimmed the summary but not intensely enough to remember what it was about when I picked it back up. I love England and I am fascinated by royalty, so that in and of itself was enough to make me pick up this book. It also helped that Emily Albright is a debut author, so this book counts towards the Debut Author Challenge.
What I thought
This book was so cute! I absolutely adored this book.
The Heir and the Spare follows Evie Gray during his first year at Oxford. Evie’s mother passed away when she was young and every year on her birthday, Evie receives a letter from her. One year she receives an additional letter, sending her on a quest. The quest begins with going to Oxford, which is Evie’s mom’s alma mater and also home country. While there, she becomes friends with some other students, one of which turns out to be the second Prince of England. The story follows Evie as she goes on the quest to find out who she is and who her mom was.
Edmund and Evie are two of my favorite characters that I’ve read in while. I also enjoyed how they didn’t have a lot of silly stupid fights that could’ve been explained if they just talked to each other. Yes, they had their moments, but they were all pretty believable. I also enjoyed Evie’s development throughout her year and discovery of who her mom’s family was.
The issue that I had with this book is that it seemed like Albright had a lot ideas, but not enough pages to carry them out on. This book is relatively short and could easily have been another 100 pages without any new ideas. The first half of the book was very well paced and had a lot of great development, but the second half seemed rushed. It would seem like a problem would come up and then 5 pages later it would be resolved. This was a little frustrating because that wasn’t how the first half of the book was written. I wish that Albright had taken some additional time to really flesh out the ideas that she had and make the book more substantial. The potential is there, the carry-out is just a little off.
By: Emily Albright