January 14, 2016

The Heir and the Spare Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Heir and the Spare
Author: Emily Albright
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 18, 2016
Publisher: Merit Press

Rating: 4 Stars!


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 fun young adult contemporary novel that will have fans of the genre begging for more. The story immediately reminded me of The Princess Diaries and pretty much felt that way the entire time. I'm not saying it's a bad thing either - I really enjoyed The Princess Diaries movie (I never got around to reading the series). Both are light, fun, romantic stories of modern fairy tales coming to life for "normal" girls like the rest of us. 
The story is told by our main character - Evangeline "Evie" Gray - as she embarks upon a series of quests left to her by her dead mother through letters. Evie's first quest is to get accepted into Oxford, which is where the book begins. As the letters continue to send Evie on various quests, she realizes that her mother had a huge secret that she kept from everyone - even her father. Now it's up to Evie to complete the quests, figure out her mom's secret, and how it's going to effect her own life. Of course, there has to be a gorgeous love interest - in this case, it's Prince Edmund - the spare heir to the throne. Evie knows that she should stay away from him, but the more time she spends with him - the more she falls head over heels. Edmund joins Evie on her mission to figure out her mother's secret - and the answers Evie finds could be the ones she was looking for when it comes to being with Edmund. There are tons of mistakes, ulterior motives, scandals (real and fake), secrets, and life changing choices throughout the story, along with a lot of romance, friendship, accepting who you are, and deciding what the right life path for yourself is. 
I'm not usually a big fan of YA contemporary romance - they usually all seem very similar with only minor changes - but I ended up really liking this book. As I mentioned, it immediately reminded me of The Princess Diaries for the majority of the story, but not in a bad way. Being a huge fan of using the first person point of view for novels, I was really excited when I saw that the story was told from Evie's perspective. Using the first person lets the reader get to know the main character on such a personal level that can't be achieved with any other writing style - and this story was no exception. We learn all of Evie's hopes, dreams, fears, inner thoughts, emotions, memories, and so much more - it's basically impossible not to identify with her right away and to root for her during the entire story. I loved watching Evie's character grow in so many different ways - emotionally, mentally, coming into her own, and really maturing throughout the novel. It was a quick and fun read - and I was shocked to learn that it's the author's debut. I never would have guessed by just reading the book. The writing is well done, the characters are rounded (although some secondary ones are a bit cliched), the pace is natural but quick, and the romance is adorably sweet. This is one heck of a debut and I can't wait to see what the author will come out with next! I very highly recommend it to fans of the genre along with those who enjoy modern fairy tales, contemporary romance, and readers looking for a light and quick story to make them smile.
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Follow the The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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 :).

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