Rodale, Maya. The Heir and the Spare. (New York: Berkley, 2007). ISBN – 9780425217634.
Main Characters: Emilia Highhart and Devon Kensington
Related Works: This is part of a related series by Maya Rodale. Books in the series include the following:
- The Heir and the Spare – story of Devon Kensington and Emilia Highhart
- The Rogue and the Rival – story of Lord Phillip Kensington and Angela Sullivan
Description from book:
All of London is raing about the newly arrived American, Emilia Highhart. She has beauty, charm, wit, and a hint of the exotic. Unfortunately, grace is decidedly not one of her virtues. Staircases, doors, even floors has proven her enemies, often leaving Emilia prostrate and mortified in a pile of muslin. Nevertheless, at her first ball, her dance card soon fills with the names of highly suitable men. But Emilia’s eyes are on just one man – the one her aunt points out as the entirely unsuitable Lord Phillip. . .
In fact, he isn’t Lord Phillip. While Phillip, the heir, goes about spending the good family’s funds, his identical twin, Devon, the spare, must attend society functions as Lord Phillip – all because of a few blasted minutes’ age difference. Soon, both twins are vying for Emilia. And, under the not-so-watchful eye of Lady Palmerston, aunt and chaperone to the young lady, Emilia is unknowingly courted by two different men with the same face! But only one of them is the love of her life. . .
In this book, Devon Kensingston has returned home to England at the request of his dying father, the Duke of Buckingham. Devon had fled England after engaging in a duel on behalf of his twin brother, Lord Phillip – who happens to be the heir to the dukedom. When Devon returns to England, he rejoins society – but everyone thinks that he is Lord Phillip. After all, Lord Phillip told everyone, including his father, that Devon had died on the voyage to America. It is at one of these society functions that Devon meets Emilia Highhart, and rushes to her rescue after she almost falls down the stairs. Both are rather taken with the other. In fact, they share a rather passionate kiss when they find themselves alone together. Emilia is especially enchanted by the man she believes to be Phillip. She is rather confused when she next meets Phillip and finds him rather cold and aloof.
Meanwhile, Phillip is in deep debt and decides that marriage to Emilia, the heiress, would solve all of his financial woes. He continues to pursue Emilia while she is rather confused about her mixed reactions to Phillip on different occasions. When Phillip kisses Emilia, she is aware that something is not quite right. The kiss from Phillip did not cause the same passionate reaction in her that his first kiss did. It is about this time that Devon’s presence becomes known. And, this is about where the help of the “Negligent Chaperone” – Emilia’s aunt Lady Palmerston – comes into play. Lady Palmerston, and Emilia’s friends, are determined to give Devon and Emilia plenty of time alone to encourage a match.
This was a very cute story. I really liked both Emilia and Devon. I even liked the mistaken identity plot which is one that can often turn me right off. My one problem? I already have the sequel to this book, The Rogue and the Rival, in my To Be Read pile. It is Phillip’s story. Unfortunately, Phillip isn’t such a nice guy. He was rather unlikeable in The Heir and the Spare. He hated his brother Devon (who returned the sentiment); he told everyone that Devon was dead – including their father; he stuck Devon with all of his bills; and he tried to rape Emilia. I did know that Phillip was the hero of the next book in this series before I started reading The Heir and the Spare. However, I’m finding it difficult to believe that I could find redeeming qualities in his character. He and Devon did seem to come to an understanding at the end of the book, but I’m not sure that enough goodness existed in Phillip here for me to like him. I will read The Rogue and the Rival – and here’s hoping that Phillip can redeem himself.
Read first January 19, 2009