A real life (but fictional) Will & Kate story | The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

The Heir and the SpareEvie’s just trying to follow in her mother’s footsteps and that means going to Oxford. While Evie loves her father, she misses her mother terribly and hopes that attending her mother’s alma mater will help her to feel closer to her. She doesn’t count on meeting history loving Edmund or his pack of friends. She certainly doesn’t count on falling for this tall, British dreamboat. When Evie learns something about her mother’s past, she starts to question who she really is and who the woman was that raised her. Sometimes it’s the people you love the most who hold the biggest secrets.

I really liked the idea of this book. I mean, what young girl doesn’t fantasize about falling in love with a prince? The overall premise is cute and not especially groundbreaking. The plot itself was fine even if it was pretty predictable. I mean the tagline on the cover basically says it all, “She’s secretly royal. He’s secretly loyal.” Corny, but accurate. So yeah, overall enjoyable, but not particularly memorable. This book is basically a cross between 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Princess Diaries.

There was a little too much drama in my opinion. Evie and Edmund had this “will they or won’t they” thing going pretty much the whole time even though the reader knows how it’s going to end. I felt like the reasons behind their repeated breakups were inconsequential. Like, I didn’t feel like they should  have had as much weight as they did. I was a little annoyed by all of the back and forth.

The characters were okay as well. Edmund and Evie were both fairly likable, but their friends were pretty forgettable/interchangeable. Few of them stood out as their own person. They were kind of presented as this group and then stayed lumped together as a group the rest of the book. I would have liked a little more depth for the secondary characters. Then don’t even get me started on the “mean girls”. I mean…I’m not part of English High Society, but did those girls seem unrealistically mean to anyone else? I’m more a fan of the subtle enemy. I don’t want a character to say, “Back off, he’s mine”. Instead I’d like them to show me, if that makes sense. They were basically just mean for no reason.

Overall, this book was just okay. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. In my opinion, the second book in the series (look out for my review of Everyday Magic tomorrow) was stronger. Technically this is the first book in a series of two, possibly more, books. However, both can be read as stand-alones though they do involve the same characters. So if you don’t want spoilers on this book, don’t read the second one first.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild

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