The Spare and the Heir
by Carol Moncado
Series: Crowns & Courtships #6
Published by CANDID Publications
Publication Date December 21, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Crowns & Courtships Book 6: Royals of Islas del Sargasso & Auverignon
Crown Princess Esmerelda of Islas del Sargasso wants nothing to do with Prince Gabriel of Auverignon and his well-deserved reputation as a playboy prince.
Unfortunately, she's been secretly engaged to him since she was three.
Her mother, Queen Carlotta, has decided it's time for the two of them to get married - and Gabriel is all too keen to make it happen. But she saw what this kind of arrangement did to her own mother, and Esme wants nothing to do with it.
For his part, Gabriel has been in love with Esme since he was a teenager and deeply regrets his years of wild oat sowing - even if some of them did serve a greater purpose.
One he can't tell Esme about, not yet.
He knows, far better than she does, that their fledgling relationship is going to be tested to the hilt as life's body blows rain down. All he can do is be steadfast in his commitment to her, to their marriage, and to helping her become the queen he knows she can be.
He's always been the spare.
She was born the heir.
Together, they can form a new dynasty where even arranged marriages can turn into something beautiful.
Crowns & Courtships Novellas are companions to the main Crowns & Courtships series. It is not necessary to have read the novellas to enjoy the main series, but they add details and depth to some of the secondary and minor characters. The chronological order is below. The first novellas can be read in any order, but are listed chronologically below.
Love for the Ages (novella 3) A Kaerasti for Clari (novella 2, currently available in the Out of the Blue Bouquet Collection) Dare You (novella 1) Heart of a Prince The Inadvertent Princess A Royally Beautiful Mess The Indentured Queen Her Undercover Prince The Spare and the Heir
I would like to thank Carol Moncado for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.Also in this series: Heart of a Prince, The Inadvertent Princess, The Indentured Queen, Her Undercover Prince, Beyond Titles & Tiaras, The (Elusive) Princess
I have read every book Carol Moncado has written. And in each one, I’m amazed at the way she ties each of the stories together, even if only in a small way. It makes it fun because you get to see characters popping in unexpectedly.
I was touched by Gabe’s feelings of worthlessness. As “the spare”, he was only important to his country if his brother died with no heir. As the second son, he felt as if he was expendable to his family as well, though that was more just the way his parents were (and his grandparents!) It didn’t help matters that his engagement was arranged and the only reason he got to marry the heir, Esme, was a treaty that required it.
Esme felt trapped into a marriage with Gabe. Because of his reputation, she really wanted nothing to do with him. Despite his claim that he had changed, she had a hard time trusting him. Yet he showed such kindness and care towards her that she began to hope.
As with the other stories in the Crowns and Courtships stories, this one had many tidbits scattered throughout about protocol in royal families that were interesting. I liked Gabe and Esme and wanted things to work out between them.
While the story was good, it did seem to drag a little in places. It might be for the same reason I’m not a huge fan of Downton Abbey, so I’m sure this is just my preference and not the book itself. While there was some mystery and drama, I would have liked a little more throughout instead of it mostly occurring towards the end. Also, I wasn’t entirely convinced that Gabe would have adopted the lifestyle he did for the reasons he did. Perhaps, but it seemed a bit overkill to me.
If you are a fan of books about royalty and enjoy serial dramas, you will likely greatly enjoy this series.
If you want to know how the various people and places and stories tie together in Carol Moncado’s bookverse, she has a website dedicated to show you exactly that. If you have not read many of her books, be careful because there will be spoilers. You can view her site at www.hea-tv.com.