Title: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: 14 May 2019
Genre: Contemporary| New Adult | Romance
Page count: 423 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
*squeals excitedly* THIS BOOK IS SO MUCH FUN. I am so glad we have reached the stage of publishing where excellent quality, well written QUEER AS F**K romantic comedies are being published and performing so well. This book is one of the most fun books I’ve ever read, it is so happy and amazing and whilst it delves into some dark themes, it feels very much like an alternative, better version of the world we currently live in.
I say that, because this book is set in a slightly alternate timeline, where a female president is elected in the 2016 US elections. Instead of the hate and vitriol that won, a socially progressive woman with mixed race kids won the election. It’s now 2020, and she is up for relection. The Republicans are of course out in force trying to stop her.
In the midst of this complicated and turbulent time, Alex, the President’s son, accidentally causes a major international incident with the UK, when he and Henry the Prince of Wales destroy a wedding cake at a Royal wedding. The two have never gotten along, and in a fit of drunken behaviour, a $75,000 wedding cake was destroyed, making front pages around the globe. To try and fix things, Alex and Henry are forced to spend time together, acting as best mates who just got a little out of hand at the wedding. Thus ensues the getting to know each other, constant text messaging and slowly falling in love.
Oh my gosh this book is just absolutely perfect. PERFECT. Joy just resonates throughout this book, it’s funny and happy and so lovely to watch as Alex and Henry fall for each other. They are both so cute and perfect for each other. Both are determined to change the world, but that’s about where the similarities end! Alex is loud where Henry is quiet; Alex is an open book, where Henry is more closed, forced to hide behind the facade of royal protocol.
The romance was so well-developed and realistic and every moment felt magical, it wasn’t rushed at all. The book is told entirely from Alex’s POV and so we see him slowly falling for Henry, realising he’s not actually as straight as he thought, and then coming to terms that he really does want to date a member of the royal family. Quite simply, Alex is the bisexual icon we all needed. All the sexy scenes were so much fun as well – I LOVED seeing the fun they had during sex. I feel like sex scenes in books are so rarely actually…fun?! It’s all steamy and hot and serious, but these two laughed and joked and just had fun together which is so different and AMAZING to see.
Despite being a romantic comedy, Red White & Royal Blue does delve into some important themes, looking at political ethics, immigration, hate speech, and homophobia. Despite this, the book is not heavy at all, it is a light and joyous story that I just wish the world could be. All in all, this is an absolutely stand-out debut, it is FUN FUN FUN and so happy and I smiled the entire way through.
Rach + Draco