Get it at Amazonfrom our DIK review:
I’m not a royal-watcher, and as a rule, I’m not a fan of royal romances... When I read the synopsis for Miranda Dubner’s début novel The Spare I was intrigued by the storyline and pleased to see that the book is also set in carefully constructed AU. I decided to give it a try, and I’m very glad I did.
HRH Edward Nicholas William Desmond Kensington, second son of Queen Victoria II – and the eponymous spare – arrives, somewhat apprehensively, at the Royal Opera House to attend a performance at which his mother, his sister Alexandra, and various other society luminaries will also be present. Handsome, suave, charming Edward is the real ‘people person’ of the next generation of royals; he’s always been the one to deflect unwanted attention with a quip or able to turn an awkward conversation with a well-placed question or anecdote, and going to a royal gala is nothing he hasn’t done a hundred times before. But this time is different. A couple of weeks earlier, he was forcibly outed when a tabloid printed a photograph of him, taken when he was at university, which clearly shows him in an embrace with another man. This is his first public appearance since the story broke, and while he knows all too well he’s going to be the subject of hushed gossip and hurriedly-stopped conversations, he doesn’t know how bad it’s going to be.
I really enjoyed The Spare and raced through it in a couple of sittings. It’s sharply observant, especially when it comes to the workings of today’s media and how vicious it can be; it’s funny – the banter is fresh and witty – and there are some incredibly poignant moments, some of them coming from a quarter you’d least expect. The plot does get a bit soapy towards the end, and there was one thing that I side-eyed hard, but in the end, I was enjoying the book so much, I decided to go with the flow.
Part romance, part family drama, The Spare may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it worked well for me in spite of its flaws. I’ll definitely be on the look-out for more from Miranda Dubner.
Grade: A-Check Review