by Maya Rodale

August 2007
ISBN: 978-0-425-21763-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Emilia Highhart is a wealthy young American woman in England. She has been sent for a London Season by her father in hopes of finding a husband. It is during her first ball clumsy Emilia nearly falls down the stairs and into the arms of a handsome man. Later she encounters him again in the library after another mishap. While alone with him she receives her first demonstration of seduction and...she likes it.

To her dismay Emiliaís aunt informs her the mysterious man is none other than the notorious debaucher of women Phillip, Lord Huntley, heir to the Dukedom of Buckingham. But Emilia can't reconcile the memory of her rescuer with the stories of the infamous heir. She determines to give him the benefit of the doubt for Emilia has in every respect, fallen in love with him.

Things are not always as they appear. Emiliaís champion is none other than the heirís identical twin, Devon. As the younger of the twins Devon is whatís known as the spare. It is a miserable fact, the bane of his existence. His life is riddled with memories of his father and brother reminding Devon that he is nothing. He had left them behind years ago to start a life separate from his family. Then Devon receives a missive while in America to return to England. His father is dying.

Devon launches a plan to pose as his brother. He gambles, running up debts in the name of Lord Huntley, the heir. He attends balls. In fact, it is at a ball where he meets Emilia. He is quickly taken by her, the problem is that now she believes him to be Phillip.

The real Phillip canít remember meeting Emilia. He believes he was too drunk that night. She is wealthy, that is all that matters to him. Phillip decides to go with it and a courtship ensues.

Emilia is confused by Phillipís behavior. He is nothing like the man she kissed the night of her first ball. Sure he looks the same but there the similarity ends. Now she is torn. Should she continue giving chances to show himself to be her gentle lover or should she cut her losses and refuse to see him again?

The Heir and the Spare is the debut novel of Maya Rodale. The main focus of this story is the hatred between the twin brothers. I found Devon to be a weak hero. Many times he let things happen without doing anything but lament his circumstances. I liked Emilia better. She was the spark of life in The Heir and the Spare.

Despite the fact this book is slow moving and in need of a different hero, Ms. Rodale can tell a story. I look forward to watching her grow.

Reviewed in October 2007 by Rho.

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