Book Review of The Life and
Times of the Heir and the Keeper
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The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper
A Caspian University Novel
File Size: 401 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN:
CreateSpace; 2 edition (November 27, 2012)
They say college is a lot of things; a haven, a
four-year party, the place you met the girl – or guy – of your dreams. What
they don’t tell you is, the best part of college is the drama YOU bring to the
table! After all, that dirty little secret, that not-so-little white lie, and
those texts you wish you could erase from cyberspace can’t stay hidden forever.
At CU, someone’s always watching, and you better hope there isn’t a camera
phone on hand when you get caught.
Spring Semester, but it’s not all fun in the budding sun for Jon and Franz.
Follow them as they delve through the politics of secret societies, the
inevitable drama of the F-word (that’s FAMILY, for the uninitiated), creepy
Resident Advisors, creepier residents and girls who don’t always say what they
mean. Who wouldn’t need two months to recuperate?
Etta King is the author of the Caspian
University novels, a series chronicling the life and times of a group of
wealthy teens who inevitably discover the various flavors of college drama.
Etta writes from her personal experiences as a college co-ed and as the product
of an all-girls prep school. Here she witnessed the very eccentricities and
foibles which she depicts in her novels.
In a home filled with books, it was no surprise
that Etta grew to be an avid reader, and that translated into writing when she
was thirteen. She wrote simply for the fun of it, whatever would come to mind,
from fantasy to thriller to romance, and shared her stories with her friends.
In 2010, at twenty-one and just as she was
about to graduate from college, Etta began writing "The Life and Times of
Elizabeth and the Duchess." This was a story which had first taken shape
in 2008, after her freshman year, but had been put on hold. With graduation
looming, Etta recalled the characters, and the events which had inspired them,
and took pen to paper. Literally, as Etta enjoys writing out her stories before
typing them out. Soon the first book had been completed and the series was
"The Life and Times of the Heir and the
Keeper," comes as the sequel to "Elizabeth and the Duchess," and
serves as the second semester of these teens' college saga. Etta is currently
working on the third book, in what will be an eight-part series.
Etta King lives with her family in Westchester,
The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper
All the kings’ horses and all the
guy supposed to stay away from his best friend’s girlfriend? In a perfect
world, there’d be a strictly enforced penalty for breaking this Golden Rule.
Like a five year sentence spent watching a stream of commercial-free Lifetime Original movies. That sounded sufficiently horrible. I contemplated
this appropriate punishment while watching Chadwick act as ski tutor
extraordinaire to Elizabeth. My girlfriend. I should be doing that, but here I
was, counting fur balls on my socks, in our cabin, with a sprained ankle. Sure,
Chad’s ‘friend’ was with me, and had actually been attentive and kindly for all
of ten minutes. But then she was also complaining non-stop about how Chad was
“such an ass” for dragging her up here, only to abandon her with his friend.
“No offense.” None taken. I myself was thinking the same thing about my friend
who’d been giving me strange looks since Elizabeth and I arrived.
I’d told him I was bringing a
friend – it was supposed to be a surprise – but now I wondered whom he’d thought
I meant. And then he asked if Judith would be joining us. Why hadn’t he invited
her himself? Not that I actually wanted her on this trip. I shuddered
involuntarily as I imagined how awkward that would have been. Even more awkward
than my best friend acting
passive-aggressive/manic-depressive/just-plain-crazy. I was almost positive
PSYCH 101 had mentioned a disorder involving those symptoms. Maybe I should set
him up with a shrink when we got back. If I made it out of here alive. And I
was only being mildly melodramatic.
I glanced down at my ankle and
frowned. The x-ray hadn’t shown a break but I was still worried; I had lacrosse
to think about. I didn’t want to say
Chad had messed with my skis but he had been acting so noticeably suspicious
and, why had he been so eager to help with them? I had wanted to believe he was
finally getting over his madness. No such luck. Bloody hell.
I could see Elizabeth laughing as
she made a wobbly progress over the snow. I looked away, feeling thoroughly
pissed. I had said “oh no, don’t waste the day in here, go.” Now I wished I’d
just played the poor, invalid boyfriend to her attentive, sweet girlfriend.
Jacqueline – Chad’s friend – had
slumped into a love seat and was texting angrily with an equally angry look on
her face. I took a sip of my still warm hot chocolate, put the mug down and
closed my eyes. I knew they’d spend the day out there and I didn’t have the
inclination to try and make conversation with the peeved female across from me.
I could hear everything, in an annoying, loud cacophony. From the ticking of
the grandfather clock in the corner, to Jacqueline’s manicured nails tapping
furiously on her keys, to the crackling of the wood in the fire. Every freaking
sound. I reached for my headphones, on the table beside me, and slipped them over
my head. Turning on my iPod, I searched for something relaxing. Something
relaxing… Something relaxing. I settled on my Straight No Chaser playlist and hoped I’d be asleep before it
looped back to the start.
“I can’t believe I’ve never done
this before! It’s so much better than sledding!” Liz had clearly enjoyed her
second day on the slopes. Big surprise. If only I’d been there to see it. Okay
Jonathan, now’s your chance to swoop in and take over this vacation. Forget the
pity party and make this work.
“Have you ever been on a
snowmobile? It’s pretty incredible,” I said, trying for just the right level of
excitement. I had to sell this right, so I couldn’t sound as eager as I
actually was. For some reason, sounding over-eager worried me.
“Well perhaps going on a ski
lift…over the mountains…might be better,” Chad interrupted, looking up from his
pasta with an exaggerated expression of innocence.
“That’s an excellent idea, Chad. Liz
and I could do that on Thursday.” I smiled at him to let him know he wasn’t
pulling any of that on me. “Maybe you and Jacqueline could do that tomorrow.”
Jacqueline didn’t even notice that
she’d been mentioned. She was still texting furiously away, a small frown
between her perfectly plucked eyebrows.
“I don’t think she’ll like that,”
he muttered sparing her a glance. Why had he invited her, again?
“You might want to ask her first.”
“And you should probably rest your
“My ankle is fine.” I bit out.
“Are you sure? You seemed to be in
a lot of pain when you came in to dinner.” I’d winced. Once. Ass.
“My ankle is fine.” I repeated,
feeling a strong urge to break his nose. “You could direct all that concern you
have towards your unsociable friend here.”
Jacqueline chose that moment to
tune in to the conversation.
How did girls manage to say that
with so much indignation? And why had I said that? Although, in retrospect,
openly texting at a dinner table was the height of antisocial behavior.
“Jonathan was just being himself,
Jacquie, don’t mind him.”
In other words, I was just
naturally an ass. Chad answered her question with an infuriating grin that just
increased my desire to punch him in the face. Jacqueline just raised an eyebrow,
got up and walked out of the room, her Uggs making padding noises as she headed
to the living room.
I felt my
phone vibrate in my pocket and reached for it while I glared at Chad. He had
this cocky expression on his face that said he’d achieved something. But for
the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the heck that was. Besides pissing
me off royally.
down reluctantly to read the text.
Liz: Um…what the heck is going on?
even know how to answer that one. My friend has lost his mind? Or maybe I’d
lost my mind and I was just imagining all of this?
I have no fn clue…
You guys need to talk or something…I’m gonna go get ready for bed…
K, I’ll see you soon.
What I wanted to say was, “noooo,
don’t leave me with this maniac. I’ll come with you; there’re things we can do
that have nothing to do with my ankle.” But I didn’t and just smiled as
Elizabeth left the table. She smiled at both of us and I wished she had sent
Chadwick a dirty look or something.
“Dude, what is your problem?” I
asked, the second she was gone.
“What is your problem? Are you just an asshole or is this some kind of
master plan you have?”
“Are you insane? What the hell are
you talking about?”
“Do you even care about Judith? At
“What does this have to do with
“Do you know how she feels about
Was he serious?
“I don’t think that’s any of your
business, actually.” I honestly did not want to have the complicated
conversation about Judith and me, with my supposed
“It’s my business when you lead her
along like your personal attendant and hook up with whoever the heck you feel
like on a daily basis. And now you have a freaking girlfriend? Let me guess,
she doesn’t know about this yet?”
“Why does she need to know about me
What was his problem? I planned on
telling Judith…at some point. I just didn’t feel up to that talk and whatever
else might come with it.
“Because for some incomprehensible reason,
she actually cares about you.”
I wanted to ask, why that was my
problem, but he didn’t need any more reasons to think I was an ass. Wait, was
“It’s complicated, Chad.”
“Oh don’t give me any of that clichéd
bull. Don’t forget I actually know what it was like between you and Desiree.
God, she fawned all over you. And what was her name? The other one who took her
“That was different; Desiree and I
actually went out.” Of course he would bring that up. And I didn’t even
remember telling him about Bailey.
“Oh, I’m sorry, this time you’re not
deliberately being an absolute douche.”
“I wasn’t being a douche, I was just
sick of being called Delish every freaking morning.” I bit out, feeling my ears
“And yet you managed to keep that
little tidbit to yourself for a whole year. You know I think you like being
worshipped by unsuspecting females.”
To be absolutely and brutally honest,
there was probably some truth to that. And yet, it was really difficult to not
like that. I was only human.
“And you know what, that’s your own
problem. But I’m not going to let you pull the same thing on Judith that you
did with Desiree. At least she’s had the good sense not to hook up with you.”
Why, just why did he have to say
that? And, on a side note, was there seriously any possibility that Desiree and
I wouldn’t have hooked up? The dating happened after; an unplanned foray into
the relationship zone. I actually debated telling him that Judith and I had had
“First of all, I didn’t pull anything
on Desiree. We broke up, it was not working. Second, Judith and I have never
gone out. I have – believe me, I have – tried to explain that that is not going
to happen.” Well after I confirmed that fact for myself.
“Third, why all this disapproval now?
If you cared so much all this time, why have you never said anything?”
“I care because she’s my friend.
Because you actually think her feelings are irrelevant. Because I thought you
would get a freaking clue and actually make her happy, despite your propensity
towards general assholery.”
“Okay listen, Galahad, stop calling
me an asshole. Do you like Judith?” Because that would explain all this
He looked like he was about to say
something and then stopped himself, jerking out of his seat.
“Why would you even ask that? That’s
not even… That’s so far off what we’re talking about.”
“Look it’s the only thing I can think
of…besides you just going crazy.” I said, leaning back into my chair and
crossing my arms. How would he answer that?
“Or besides you actually being a huge
ass.” He muttered casting me a dark look. “And me trying to do the decent thing
and keep a friend from getting hurt.”
“Yes, besides your sainthood and my
devil spawn tendencies,” I replied oozing sarcasm, but I felt a twinge of hurt.
Seriously? Did he think I was that bad?
He was silent for a few minutes and I
thought he was just going to ignore the question. I shook my head and pushed my
chair back. He could stay down here and stew about the evils of Jonathan
Reinhardt; I had a girlfriend waiting for me in my bedroom.
“I didn’t think it would turn out
I was already standing and his
cryptic statement just annoyed me. I should just keep walking, I thought. But,
of course I had to ask him.
“Didn’t think what would turn out
like this?” I was barely keeping the irritation from my voice. He sounded
miserable and, while his mood swings were tiring, he was still my friend.
“You were supposed to make her
happy.” I frowned at the statement that sounded like something out of a daytime
soap opera. I wouldn’t pretend I didn’t know what he was talking about.
“Because she chose you! For some
inexplicable reason, she chose you! It’s not like she doesn’t know I feel
something for her.”
“She just doesn’t care; she wants
you. And don’t tell me you didn’t know it.”
“I do know it.” I said carefully,
wondering how to explain this.
“So what are you waiting for? You
can’t tell me you don’t want her.”
“I like Elizabeth.” I said, with some
emphasis. And let’s not forget how insulting this conversation is to her, my
mind told me with a frown.
“And you really don’t know Judith
like I do.” I finished, hoping I wouldn’t have to go into detail about how much
and in what way I knew Judith. At least not yet.
“I’ve known her for years.” He was
looking at me like I was talking rubbish.
“Yes…but not the same
way…I’ve known her.”
“What do you mean ‘the same way’?” He
was frowning now, as though expecting me to divulge some hideous secret about
Judith that he could vehemently refute.
“You think she tells you things she
doesn’t tell me?” He demanded.
“Look I’m not saying you two aren’t
close,” I began, trying to diffuse his building wrath. “I just know things
about her that you either haven’t seen or refuse to acknowledge.”
“And you, of course, are one to judge
“I never said I was perfect, for
God’s sake.” I snapped, my patience thinning again. “I just know the two of us
wouldn’t work out.”
“Of course you two wouldn’t work out!
You’re an ass!” He said it like it made all the sense in the world. And I’d had
“Of course.” I agreed drily.
I turned and left him standing in the
dining room. He had looked, for a moment, like he wanted to say something
before I turned away, but I didn’t really want to hear it. Why he insisted on
seeing Judith as a perfect angel was beyond me. It might do him some good to
feel the hand of Miss René-Channing steering him along. Then again, he might
actually like it. Idiot.
I practically stomped up the stairs
and had to stop halfway when the pain shooting up my leg overrode my irritation
with Chad. I’d gotten crutches from the health center, but I’d be damned before
giving my friend the satisfaction of seeing me in them. Plus I had a – yes,
probably misguided – feeling the crutches were complimentary and were more
suggestion than prescription. I also didn’t want to belie my enthusiastic
ability to actively participate in
anything else on this trip. Elizabeth had asked me, last night, if I wanted to
go home and I’d laughed it off. I didn’t want her to ask again. I was limping
down the corridor and almost laughed at how ridiculous my brave front would look
if Liz chose that moment to come out of the room we shared. Or if Chad decided
to come upstairs. I wondered if Jacqueline was in the living room and if she
would comment on my limping progress. She might raise an eyebrow and shake her
head. Why had Chad invited her here? If he’d expected Judith, did he really
think someone like Jacquie would make her jealous? Duch ate girls like her for
breakfast and that was on the off chance that she actually recognized her as
competition. And for Chad? Did Judith even like him that way? Objectively, he
was decent looking. But so were half a dozen other guys who Judith was friends
with. Plus, if he’d made no effort to hide his feelings from her, he was
probably already doomed to failure. Once upon a time, I’d realized Judith
wasn’t attracted to devotion.
I got to the door and debated
knocking; I’d seen Elizabeth…all of her, but she got weird sometimes about
random nudity. I settled for turning the doorknob extra slowly to announce my
arrival. She was on my MacBook Air, plugged in, tuned out and looking over
something. I didn’t mind her using my computer; it wasn’t like I had pictures
of other girls…or porn…stashed on there. Ahem, anymore. I’d made the prudent
move to clean it up after she’d spent all day on it once.
She looked up, probably from the
light shining into the room.
“You have to see this!”
“What?” I tried not to be so obvious
with my limping as I moved toward the four-poster. She was too engrossed in
whatever she’d seen to notice, however.
“It’s a gossip site! And CU is on
“What? What’re you talking about?”
“Here, sit.” She scooted over and
moved the blanket to make room for me. I made a surprisingly graceful
transition into the bed and edged closer. She’d put the laptop down. Raising my
swollen foot, she slid a pillow under it.
“Thanks,” I said, and I meant it.
“No problem,” she said, wriggling
closer as I put my arm around her shoulder. She smelled like jasmine and
sandalwood. I could feel my body reacting to her closeness and I made an effort
to quell it.
“Okay, so my friend sent me the link
on iFace. It’s called JuicyCollege.com and has basically every campus in the US
“It’s a gossip site? Like Us Weekly?”
Yes, I knew what Us Weekly was...and I was a little confused.
“No, no; under each campus site is a
forum. Well it’s like a forum, people post threads on various topics and other
“What kinds of topics?”
“Kay, so I’m on the Caspian forum,”
she said, showing me the white and blue interface with our school’s name in
cursive script at the top of the page. Below it was a string of threads with
every title from “Who’s the easiest girl on campus?” to “What frat has the
“Yeah, I know! The first thing I did
was search to see if I was listed anywhere.” I’d have been surprised if she
was. Liz was politician’s wife clean; she’d probably never kept a library book
“Although, you’re listed as one of
the cute guys on campus and on some other threads.”
She said it in a ‘not quite as
enthusiastic as I would have expected’ way.
“Hah! People don’t have any time on
their hands.” I mean, what was I supposed to say to that?
She didn’t seem to be listening as
she clicked on a thread that had the highlighted look of a previously visited
page. It was a “Best guys to hook up with on campus” thread and I felt a
creeping feeling of unease.
The thread was sixty-five impressive
pages long and she went straight for page twenty-eight. And there I was, in all
my Internet fame.
“J. Reinhardt: so good! Here’s a guy
who knows how to use his hands…and *cough* *cough* other things. Rumor is he’s
done with Desperate D. So line up! Behind me, of course.”
“Yeah,” she said, with just the
slightest hint of accusation in her tone.
I had several thoughts running
through my head. One, I knew exactly who it was who’d posted that, with those
asterisked coughs. Two, did everyone know my business with Desiree, for
Christ’s sake? Three, I was forever immortalized on the Internet as being good
in bed. Not too shabby.
“So…?” She seemed to be waiting for
some kind of reaction.
“Hey, what’re you going to do?”
“That’s all you’re going to say?”
“You want me to say something else?”
“Um…look when she posted this.”
I squinted at the time stamp under
the outrageous accolade: January 5th 12:47 EST. I wasn’t walking
into this one willingly.
“So, why would she post this then?
When did she get to find out how good you are with your hands? And other
She was staring at the screen with a
tiny frown between her brows. Funny, I hadn’t noted this accusatory vibe when
she’d called me over to see this site. No, not called, lured. Hah!
“Last Spring, before finals. Her name
is Ilana Tennyson and you probably don’t know who she is.” I tried, but there
was probably a bit of a “Ha!” in that response.
“Yes, oh.” I mimicked, extricating my
Mac from her hands. I closed the browser and shut the lid, putting it to sleep.
I said nothing, letting my silence
speak for me.
“Sowwy.” She was playing with her
fingers and looking away. I found it oddly amusing, but I held back my laughter
and let her squirm a little. “So, when she said other things, what did she mean exactly?”
Okay, so much for squirming. I didn’t
feel inclined to drag it out.
“Well, it’d be better if I showed
“Okay, so show me.” She said, perking
up and turning partly toward me. I had to smile; her enthusiasm was catching.
“You’re going to need to lie down.”
This book jumps from one person’s
perspective to another’s. Since I didn’t
read book one, I had to keep looking back at the list of characters to remind
myself who was whom. This made it
difficult to maintain the continuity of the story. There are also several different story lines
going on at the same time.
The author does an incredible job of
keeping the stories straight and yet intertwined. I enjoyed getting to know the cast of
characters and look forward to reading more about them in the future.
I give this book 3.5 out of 5
product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my
opinions or reviews.