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The Spare

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  349 ratings  ·  84 reviews
"I'm publicly bisexual now, I'll make all the musical theatre references I please. I'll belt Cole Porter songs prancing on top of this bar if I want to." -His Royal Highness Prince Edward Nicholas William Desmond, second son of Her Majesty Queen Victoria II of England and the Commonwealth

The second son of the Queen of England has certain responsibilities. Dress well, s
Kindle Edition, 440 pages
Published April 14th 2020 by Miranda Dubner
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Tansy Roberts They didn't! Arthur is the Prince of Wales in the current timeline, and Victoria's late brother Edward was the former Prince of Wales. She also had th…moreThey didn't! Arthur is the Prince of Wales in the current timeline, and Victoria's late brother Edward was the former Prince of Wales. She also had the title Princess of Wales when she was the heir.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  349 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Consider me conflicted. There is some seriously good writing in The Spare, and scene by scene I lapped it up. But as a whole it’s a strange unwieldy hybrid creature. The blurb sells it as a bodyguard romance, focused on an AU British Prince, Edward, and his long term protector, former SAS Captain Isaac Cole. Their forbidden unrequited love for one another is already established at the start of the book, and early on it promises excellent angst and pining. Eddie is under pressure to keep his bise ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've given this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up.

I’m not a royal-watcher, and as a rule, I’m not a fan of royal romances.  Of those I’ve read (and that isn’t a large number) the only one that really worked for me was Lilah Pace’s His Royal Secret/His Royal Favorite duology, and a big part of that was because the author had taken care to set the story in an AU (alternate) but recognisable contemporary Britain in which all the important things (like the two world wars) still happened,
There's a lot of good things in this book. The sentence-level writing is good, and there's a lot of great descriptions of emotion, but at the story level, it falls apart. I purchased this book because it sold itself as being my catnip, a bodyguard and protectee au with a bisexual main character. What I got wasn't that. The Spare is more like four novels shoved together into one, meaning it feels scattered and unfocused, and Eddie and Isaac's story simply falls by the wayside by fifty percent of ...more
Valentine Wheeler
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book. Loved that everyone got a POV (something I don’t usually like) but it really worked here to show you that everyone involved had their own lives and their own stuff going on. I want a prequel about Isaac and a sequel about Alex and Daniel, please.

The ending was a little fast for me, but it felt soapy in a good way so I decided to let myself enjoy the ridiculousness.
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm-hidden-gems
This may not be everyone's cup of tea, because it's not just m/m romance but so many stories in one book. We get 3rd person POVs of the prince, his bodyguard, his mother the queen, his older brother, his younger sister and her best friend, his dad, his dad's girlfriend, and a journalist. I probably forgot some people in this list. We learn tidbits about everyone, how past events and relationships shaped who they are now, how family divides felt like on both sides.

So, understandably, the focus i
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-romance
I wanted to write a killer persuasive review because this book literally just came out and it’s the author’s FIRST ONE EVER and everybody needs to know about it and read it, but I’ve been sitting here looking at the text box for like 5 minutes lost in that post book haze, so here’s some rambling instead! I picked this up because Cat Sebastian recommended it and it looked similar to Red, White, and Royal Blue which I also adore, but it is its own beautiful, funny, charming thing. Eddie and Isaac ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2021
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It's a 19thc village novel if Kensington Palace were the village; it's a yearning romance, with proper adult difficulties and decision-making and care-taking on both sides; it's a multi-POV where I was pleased to be in each POV and where I cared about the character revelations therein; it's funny without being mindlessly light. It was a flipping DELIGHT and I am soooooo glad to have come across it!!!! (Seriously tho, can I read it again for the first time, I can't even ...more
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
There were so many things I completely adored about this book. The prose, for a start, is wonderful. Really clever and sometimes just really beautiful; the whole thing is peppered with the kind of lines that make you stop and go wow. The characters are top drawer; from the most minor right on up they are fleshed out and interesting. And the plot is, well. There's a lot of it.

You know how in romance novels when a side character gets a few extra lines of description you can tell that they're going
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story but realistically it is not a romance. We get a lot of development and details on Nicholas and Isaacs relationship in the first half but the second half is only focused on Nicholas and we don't really see Isaac at all.

Nevertheless I really liked it
Apr 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Man, I'm conflicted about this one. On the one hand: I'm weak for royalty romances, and there's such a delightful cast and built-out AU world here, and the writing is so warm and thoughtful and funny! Narratives about balancing private lives with public expectations! Family who love each other but have to get better about talking to each other! Explorations of queerness! So many of my kryptonites! But on the other: holy cow, the POV shifting and sheer amount of stuff packed into one book.

Off th
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As an author who regularly breaks genre rules herself, it came as no surprise to me that this book was self-published. It is absolutely a love story and romance. But it centers on more than the two heroes, includes a healthy dose of family drama, and has the audacity to feature more than two points of view.

Basically, it breaks the rules in all the best ways. I devoured the text in two sittings, and once I was finished I felt emotionally mauled at the hands of my Kindle. At turns, the story is se
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
An unputdownable book (literally, I couldn't put it down and finished it way past any reasonable bed time).
The thing is, it wasn't exactly what I expected. Instead of a fluffy light romance, we get a darker story with some traumatic events. Instead of a focus on the two main leads, we get a sprawling, multipovs, multi-subplots story. It would have worked better as a series, IMO. But it was still so very readable.
The book took an unexpected (it's the theme here...) turn halfway through and I
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well, this was a bit of a ride! There was a lot to like here. Many of the characters were delightful, there were some fun moments and a lot of potential in the set-up. The first half was pretty enjoyable, in spite of the constantly shifting POV (which drove me nuts), but wow that second half was a bit of a mess. There was just far too much going on, so many plot lines and characters crammed in, and it meant that the central romance just didn't work for me. The two of them didn't get a chance to ...more
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5/5. A nice read, but I felt there were too many storylines and as a result, the central characters somewhat lucked development at moment. Putting it all in one book meant that unfortunately not all stories came together as nicely as they could otherwise, but overall, it was an enjoyable read with a right amount of ridiculousness.
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful story, so well written, in the sense that I cared and felt for the characters as they went on their emotional journeys.
The way this story is written and the characters presented is pretty much all I hope when I get a new book. I'm very glad this story worked so well for me and it's definitely one of the best I've read this year.

I wouldn't say this is as much of a romance as the blurb suggests, but I had no problem seeing the plot move in a broader direction, with multiple POVs a
Tansy Roberts
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this. If you enjoyed Red, White and Royal Blue, this is very much in the same vein!

An alt-history revolving around Eddie, the bisexual second son to Queen Victoria II, with a strong m/m bodyguard/prince romance at the core of the story... but it's not a traditional romance, maybe more the first book in a family saga? We gradually get to dip in and out of the heads of several of Eddie's family members (more and more as the book goes on) as well as the prospective romantic foils to
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sigh. What a wonderful book.

I don’t want to spoil it. I certainly didn’t like certain parts of this book but I loved every single character.
Flaws and all.

Reminded me a touch of red white and royal blue but I guess because it’s about a spare prince.


This book gave me all the feels!

Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, queer, romance, fiction
I really wanted to like this book. I liked parts of it very much, but for the most part I found it pretty frustrating. I think that's because of a mismatch between what I like to read and what the book was doing, more than a sign of the book doing things badly, although there were also a few areas I thought could have used improvement.

The book is written in omniscient voice. This mostly takes the form of serialized close 3rd POVs in short sections, with lots of POV characters, although it also c
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Hey! I really enjoyed this, but the plot was bonkers and the tone was serious, which made for a confusing read. I think it's a good book! But its problem is that it doesn't know to which genre it belongs: the plot makes it look like chick-lit (which I love), the romance and (1) sex scene think they're in a (capitalised) Romance Novel, the cover falls definitely in YA territory and the writing thinks it's on a historical literary novel. Which might make you go: then, can it not be a general/liter ...more
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
More of a drama set around an AU modern royal family than a romance, but very enjoyable. I did buy into this for the m/m romance and especially for the bodyguard romance, which is literally my favourite trope, and because of that I was a little disappointed at how much the focus fell away from Eddie and Isaac at times. That might have been just my expectation of an m/m romance being a little misplaced. The gaily coloured cover hides some darker themes than I was expecting, and I did like the mul ...more
3.5 stars
Ok so my thoughts are a bit muddled on this one, but on the whole I was carried along by the story, despite it being a little messy in places - it seemed pretty long and yet I wanted to continue reading. You do have to bear in mind its somewhat fantastical as a storyline, and if I was being more critical I might have marked it lower, but I went in with no expectations and actually found it pretty enjoyable.

However, it's not really a bodyguard romance as the blurb would suggest...I mean
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, kindle, lgbtqia
This book is all heart. A messy, soft story set in a royal AU about a family who has to learn to love and at its center a bi prince & his stoic bodyguard. The kind of book that rewrites tropes, tugs heartstrings, but mostly makes reading so fun. There’s angst and drama, and in the hands of another writer some of the subplots might have been eye-rolling. But Dubner keeps everything grounded through her characters, and their wants & needs & losses.

If I *have* to complain, it’s that some of the wr
Caroline Duvezin
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sprawling, rich book with good characterization and a surprising amount of trauma under the tropey candy shell (don't be fooled by the pink y'all)
I read this fresh off FayJay's "The Student Prince" Merlin fic and with the stupendous "Red, White and Royal Blue" in mind - and it did not disappoint, but it's also very much its own thing. The Eddie/Isaac romance arc took up a lot less space than I expected, giving a lot of other characters their say and their POV, even the villain, and it felt rig
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is not a romance. It is a family drama. Not at all what I signed up for, but I devoured it and was so invested in the pain and responsibility of each character that I couldn’t put it down. Finished in less than 24 hours, with my ereader saying 13.3 hours. 5 stars and the cover of pink and light blue doesn’t give any hint of the emotional depth in this book.
Apr 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
3.5 stars.

This was a wild ride, with a huge number of POV characters. It's definitely not a traditional romance, but I enjoyed myself.

The ending was a little bit too balls to the wall for me, and that's where the book lost stars, for me.
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review to come
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is trying to do a lot; I’m not sure it succeeds at all of it, but the emotional core was there for me. Definitely not the fluffy royal romance you might expect from the pastel cover!
May 28, 2020 added it
Shelves: romance
#ineedagayroyalromanceshelf this is getting out off hand.
I've given this an A+ for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGals

The Spare is an entertaining mix of romance and sweeping family drama set in an AU in which Queen Victoria II sits upon the British throne – the first ever divorced monarch – and which features multiple storylines for her and her three children, Arthur, Prince of Wales, Edward (the titular “Spare”) and Alexandra. I read the book last year and enjoyed it, but although it contains one primary romance that reaches its HEA and othe
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