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Heirs & Spares (The Realm Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

J. L. Spohr
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

It’s 1569. Elizabeth I sits on the English throne, the Reformation inflames the Continent, and whispers of war abound.

But in Troixden, just north of France, the Lady Annelore isn’t interested in politics. Times are hard, taxes are high, and the people in her duchy need her help just to survive. Her widowed father is a good man easily distracted by horses, and her newly knighted childhood friend…well, he has plans of his own.

Then Annelore receives a call she can’t ignore.

When Troixden’s sadistic king died childless, his younger brother William returns from exile to find his beloved country on the brink of civil war. He’s in desperate need of the stability that comes with a bride and heirs. But Annelore, his chosen queen, won’t come quietly.

Now the future of Troixden lies in the hands of two people who never wanted the power they’ve received and never dreamed that from duty and honor they might find love and a path to peace.

Heirs & Spares is one part history, two parts palace plotting, and a whole lot of juicy romantic intrigue. Break out the spiced wine and sink in to this rousing read.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. L. Spohr is the author of Heirs & Spares (Plum Street Press) and several short stories. She has studied the trials and tribulations of royals since she watched Princess Diana take that long walk to the altar, she turned her attention to historical fiction and fictional monarchies after studying the Reformation in graduate school.
When not writing, Spohr produces and hosts a popular podcast called The Kindlings Muse (thekindlings.com) about ideas that matter in culture, including books, film, and music. She is an ordained minister and lives with her brood in Seattle. (author photo by John Keatley)
You can follow her at jlspohr.com, facebook.com/jlspohr or @jlspohr. Also, you can sign up for her newsletter at jlspohr.com where you can get all the latest news on events, contests, freebies and upcoming books.

Product Details

  • File Size: 494 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0989217302
  • Publisher: Plum Street Press (June 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D7P73A0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,295 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It has lots of potential December 24, 2013
By RD
Format:Kindle Edition
I just want to start off by saying, I really wanted to fall in love with this book. I actually liked the characters, Annalore, the spunky, intelligent and caring heroine and William the honorable king trying to put a realm back together after his brother's cruel reign. The story itself was full of twists and plots and romance and drama and left me feeling a tad overwhelmed. I guess J.L Spohr felt the same as several of these plots/twists/schemes ended very abruptly. Then I realized, the book had ended, too. As the reader, I was left feeling a little lost, disappointed, and not at all eager to wait the few months till the next book comes out to finish the story.

I truly hate to leave critical reviews, because I know how much goes into writing a good book. I really think this story had the potential to be great: lovable characters, a believable setting, and enough villains to keep the series going for several books. I just think J.L. Spohr should have focused on one or two of those elements in the first book, instead of overwhelming the readers with the insurmountable odds stacked against our heroes, only to resolve them in a few brief pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun & Engaging Read June 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not usually my genre, but I was traveling & wanted a fun read, so I took a look, & I'm so glad I did! I intended to read a few chapters & go to bed, but I ended up unable to put it down, & read it (electronic) cover to cover for four hours straight. Drama, intrigue, politics, theology, history, & (lots of) romance: I was sorry when it ended, & can't wait for book #2.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful July 25, 2013
By Mara
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story of cusp-of-17th century religion and politics - at that time, still desperately intertwined, to the detriment of both - is such a great read. It's not exact history, but a historical novel. William and Annelore are a delightful couple, and their courtiers an entertaining mix of good guys and bad.
It's both interesting and entertaining.
We easily forget how much a religion changes over time, even when claiming to remain true to its roots. In this case, Christianity. Today, every brand of Christian reads the bible, goes to bible study; 500 years ago it really was heresy for most people to read the bible!
I've already diarised to get the sequel when it comes out next year!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Annalore June 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Annalore of Beaubourg is one of my new favorite heroines. She's impetuous and vulnerable, witty and naive, never afraid to speak her mind, and never content with easy answers. Heirs & Spares is a rich tapestry of intrigue, romance and history. A thoroughly engaging read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical Romance August 28, 2013
By DLI
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

I love historical romance and this one was pretty good. This is definitely a romance novel, not a historical fiction novel. But it is not too hot and heavy. No bodice ripping or steamy scenes.

Set in the 16th century in a fictitious European monarchy, Lady Annelore is the only child of a widowed duke. King William has recently taken over the throne from his brother James who was a tyrannical ruler loved by no one. William needs a wife and is determined to take a woman of the people rather than one of the court in an effort to appease the masses and show them he is different from his brother. Annelore ends up the very reluctant "winner". But of course they are a perfect match and end up HEA.

I get the impression from this book that it will be the first in a series. For one thing, I cannot figure out William's cousin Robert. Is he a trusted close confidant or is he plotting against his king cousin? And there definitely seems to be more to Daniel then we are seeing. I will be interested to see if there are further books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read! June 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
If you loved The Other Boleyn Girl, this book is for you. The heroine--part Elizabeth Bennet, part Jo March--is delightful, intelligent, and feisty. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy!
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars choppy and disappointing read July 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Ultimately, this book was a disappointing read. Though both Anna and Wills show sparks of character, in the end they simply aren't fleshed out enough to really pull in the reader. The story is extremely choppy- every scene is too short and cuts off before any true depth can appear in either plot or characters. Several plot elements also seem unrealistic (like a king traveling around to choose a bride rather than having his courtiers present themselves at court) which undermines the narrative. The court intruiges are shallow and never really gel into true drama, perhaps because all the characters are two dimensional at best. This book has the elements of a good read, but simply never develops enough to become one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gentle and romantic Royal interlude November 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
British Royalty is one of my passions, which lead me to read this book. Set in the Elizabethan Era, it tells of a new King replacing his deceased brother, a ghastly and vicious King, Naturally, the primary focus becomes Royal marriage and producing an heir to the throne. One of the candidates for King William's bride is Annelore of Beaubourg, a sometimes midwife and well-read girl for the times. She has already pledged her love to the recently knighted Sir Bryan, a childhood and lifelong friend. The thought of being torn away from her love at home seems unbearable. However, after attending a tragic birth Annelore has an epiphany: how lucky she is for life's opportunities. As such, she no longer resists consideration for marriage to the King.

The best aspect of this book is the likability of its main characters, Annelore and King William. Reading of their marriage ceremony and the slow building of their union was something that deliciously unfolded to the book's end. As expected, there were plots afoot by people at court to benefit their personal ends, and that added light suspense to the story. There weren't any earth shattering moments, but that was rather nice and made this a gentle and enjoyable read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming
This book straddles the line between historical romance and historical fiction, often awkwardly.

Annelore is a young noblewoman who is generally happy with her life and... Read more
Published 29 days ago by morehumanthanhuman
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book that does things with sex that more authors should do
I haven't laughed out loud at a book for quite some time. I kind of want to read it again just so I can highlight the parts I want to be able to find so I can easily experience... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Silly mama
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute
The characters were interesting and the plot was simple enough.The charm was the relationship between the king and the queen.
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Not long enough
Love romance with apt title....Heirs and Spares.
Well written but too short...wanted more story.
Romance, intrigue and True Love.
The author should be proud.
Published 1 month ago by Oz Kindle
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed reading Heirs & Spares
Enjoyed reading Heirs & Spares. It moved quickly, hard to put down, enjoyed the characters. I look forward to the next book in the series. L. Bogus
Published 1 month ago by Linda Bogus
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED THIS BOOK
from my blog: this book filled me with giddy joy. It’s very much a tale of medieval political intrigue but while historically perfect is set in a completely fictional time replete... Read more
Published 1 month ago by rachel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and witty romance!
I will preface this review by saying that this is not my go-to genre . . . or at least it wasn't before reading it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sarah R. Callender
5.0 out of 5 stars You think you know, but you don't.
The central characters of this book don't want to marry. Sound familiar? You've seen this idea before in movies, in history, in life. But hold up there! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Katy Sewall
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable!
As a compulsive reader, I find something to enjoy in most books. This one was love at first read from front to back! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Katie Parris
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Travel Companion
Completely wonderful read! On a long, long day of flying and sitting in airports, I was grateful to have unlimited time to devour it page by page. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Annie Mesaros
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More About the Author

J. L. Spohr is the author of The Realm series (Heirs & Spares, 2013, God & King, 2014, Crown & Thorns, 2015) and several short stories. She has studied the trials and tribulations of royals since she watched Princess Diana take that long walk to the altar, and turned her attention to fictional monarchies after studying the Reformation in graduate school. She is an ordained minister and lives with her brood in Seattle. (author photo by Karly Lee)

You can follow her at www.jlspohr.com, facebook.com/jlspohr or @jlspohr. Also, you can sign up for her newsletter at jlspohr.com where you can get all the latest news on events, contests, freebies and upcoming books.

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