Title: The Heir and the Spare
Author: Emily Albright
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication date: January 18, 2016
Summary (via 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 wanted to like this book, because a friend with similar reading tastes recommended it highly. She kept telling me how cute, and adorable it was, and so I rushed to read this when the library finally got my hold copy in. But this story didn’t do it for me. I ended up giving it 2 out of 5 stars.
Before I start talking about why the book didn’t work for me, I just want to say that it looks like I’m part of an unpopular opinion regarding this book. Most people thought it was really cute like my friend did, and the average rating is 3.49 stars on Goodreads. Just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean others wouldn’t (obviously, since my reading tastes aren’t the end all be all of the book world haha).
Overall, this was a pretty fast read. That’s always a good thing, but honestly if it hadn’t been highly recommended, I probably would have stopped reading early on for few reasons. First, the writing felt off/unnatural to me sometimes. Some places the dialogue felt forced, like people wouldn’t actually say those things in real life, that they were just thrown in there because they could be. Second, Evie felt kind of childish for being 19-20 years old in the book. While I was reading, some of the things she thought and said made me kind of want to smack my forehead, or quite honestly, smack her.
Edmund was okay, but he’s not in my top 10 book boyfriends or anything. I’m not even sure he’s in my top 100. The romance between Evie and Edmund was a little slow for my tastes, and they kind of had no clue what the heck they were doing. I kind of wanted to yell at them to get their shit together. The one highlight of the book was the romance towards the end. I did like the ending more than the rest of the book, but the journey there was kind of painful to read. The only reason I stuck through the entire book was that I was hoping it would get better, that I would fall in love with it like my friend did. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Even though the ending was better than the rest of the book, it didn’t make up for the 250+ pages it took to get there.
Final note: I just couldn’t get into this book. I probably should have not finished it instead of making myself keep reading. Oh well, lesson learned. I really hope others enjoy it more than I did!