Red, White & Royal Blueby Published 14 May 2019
|Red, White & Royal Blue.pdf|
|Publisher||St. Martin's Griffin|
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?
Red, White & Royal Blue Reviews
is this what real joy feels like???
Thank you netgalley for the review copy!
OMG. If you're wondering if this book is worth the hype, IT'S WORTH IT. This book is EVERYTHING.
From the loveable, complex, diverse cast of characters, to the heart-stopping enemies-to-lovers romance, to the political aspects that absolutely break your heart because of what could have been, this book stole my heart and ran away with it and got a tattoo of this book cover on it's ass.
PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK. REQUEST IT FROM YOUR LIBRARIES. SHOVE IT INTO THE HANDS OF EVERYONE YOU KNOW. You won't regret it! <3
I’ve been weeping for an hour and a half, that’s how good this book is. I’ll update with a full review later today when it’s not 4:30 AM and i cant breathe out of my nose bc snot and emotions.
14 hours later
Not gonna lie, I woke up, cried in the shower about this book, cried on the way home from Rosalie's vet appointment, then cried again while filming a vlog clip about how much I loved this book. I don't doubt I'll cry typing this review.
I adored this book. So. Much.
First and foremost, it's just so goddamn funny. I can often skim read humor in romance books and not even crack a grin, but I was genuinely cracking up at this book, a fact made worse by the fact that I was reading the first half of it in Barnes & Noble and people probably thought I looked crazy. Alex's dialogue with his friends and family and even the way the writing style is formatted is just so genuine and funny and modern and sarcastic and there was not a SINGLE instance in this book that I think was overdone or cheesy. This author is just masterful at crafting realistic, meaningful, but also lighthearted conversations.
Next, I loved how politics was folded into this book. Nothing was too abrupt as to be boring or info dumpy, but there were so many nods to Texan politics, which admittedly struck close to home being from Dallas. But beyond that, there's a lot of discussion about the first son and daughter being half Mexican and there was a lot about campaigning and the corruption of politicians and the reaction of a woman being president for the first time, and all of these commentaries were such a great addition to the story.
This is the type of book that makes you love every single character. From Henry and Alex to even the most minor cabinet members or White House staff, every character has a place carved out for them in this book and you were able to care about them and their conflicts without sacrificing your attnetion from Alex's main storyline. I LOVED Nora and June and Pez and Zahra and Alex's mom, the fucking president, who I did not expect to be so blunt and crass but I fell in love with instantly.
Delving into this world is equal parts comforting and horrifying. Comforting because it's the alternate universe outcome I wish we'd had in the 2016 election, so seeing how different the world could be and hearing Alex's triumph about being biracial and living in the White House made me teary. At the same time, it really confronts you with just how institutionalized homophobia is, and the portion of the book that began discussing that (~the last 100 pages) is when the tears started and didn't stop.
Alex and Henry's separate journeys with grappling with their sexuality and how to be transparent with their identities as world leaders were completely touching. This book follows Alex's perspective, and I really loved the discussion of bisexuality and questioning your sexuality, and the support system he was able to generate with his friends and family. However, this book also broke my heart in its discussion of Henry's sexuality and the acceptability of being in homosexual relationships while in a position of power, especially the leader of a country and how your people will react. Ultimately, the way Henry and Alex's sexualities found their support was SO wholesome and, shocker, made me sob. This book definitely has its cute royal romance moments, but my favorite part of it was at its heart, it's about two men growing more comfortable in their sexuality and being willing to face anybody who would question them.
I basically used up an entire sleeve of sticky tabs because this book was so hilarious, important, and touching. If you havnen't preordered this already, I highly recommend you do so.
It may only be February but I’m calling it now: this will be my #1 favorite book of the year. Possibly even of all time???? This is all I’ve ever wanted in a QUEER AS FUCK romance and my heart is soaring. Alex & Henry are the OTP of my dreams and I will never, ever be over them. Casey McQuiston is a national treasure and needs to be protected at all costs bc I want to read their queer romances for the rest of my life. God fucking bless America. Also: I would DIE for Nora
Alex, the First Son, has one arch-nemesis: Prince Henry of England, the Crown’s golden boy. After their long-held feud escalates to a disaster at the Royal Wedding, the two are forced to fake a friendship in the spotlight to smooth international relations, and it’s going to be absolutely terrible. After all, Alex hates Henry! … doesn’t he?
Okay, look, I don’t even know how to start this review so I’m just going to apologize in advance for my fangirling, because honestly, it’s really just NOT fair at all that we’re less than three months into the year and I’ve probably already found my favorite book of the year. I mean, HOLY HELL, Y’ALL, THIS IS SO GOOD.
“And you are good. Most things are awful most of the time, but you’re good.”
I mean, this book is exactly what I’m referring to when I say that romance thrives on tropes and that we should embrace tropes more often because, seriously—international relations? Reluctant royals? Enemies-to-friends-to-lovers? Fake friendships? Fake dating? IT’S ALL HERE AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL.
“The turkeys are not going to Jurassic Park you. You’re not the bloke from Seinfeld. You’re Jeff Goldblum.”
When I say I loved this book, I’m worried that you’re interpreting it as, “wow, Destiny enjoyed this book,” when what I mean is, “I had to stop looking through my highlights for quotes to use because I was getting derailed by rereading all of my favorite parts and I’m legitimately tempted to reread this book right now even though I just finished it less than 24 hours ago.”
“You have so much in you, it’s almost impossible to match it. But he’s your match, dumbass.”
There are so many freaking adorable characters that I want to cherish forever. I mean, SO MANY. And they’re all so flawlessly and casually diverse and precious and wonderful.
✨ Alex: First Son, biracial (white/Latinx), bisexual, hilarious, vaguely full of himself in the best way
👑 Henry: Prince, gaaaaay, softest bean ever
📰 June: First Daughter, biracial (white/Latinx), #squadmom for life, honestly gave me total queer vibes so can we please get a sequel confirming this??
💻 Nora: Alex and June’s bestie, bisexual, geeky AF, computer hacker and data analyst extraordinaire, endlessly hilarious (“still waters, deep dicking”)
🎤 Bea: Henry’s sister, former cocaine addict, sweet and feisty as hell, also queer AF and I’ll not hear any arguments
💎 Pez: Henry’s best friend, massive philanthropist, fashionista, no regard for societal gender roles (despite these last two things I’m tempted to think Pez is the Token Straight™ in the Super Six)
It’s nothing like kissing anyone he’s ever kissed in his life. It feels as steady and huge as the ground under their feet, as encompassing as every part of him, as likely to knock the wind out of his lungs.
I could gush forever, honestly. And the humor in this story! I laughed out loud so many times. And the swooning! There’s a fair amount of sex (though the scenes are all tame and mostly vague if that’s something you’re worried about), and even when everyone is fully clothed, the tension is off the charts. They’re so sweet together and they wear their little hearts on their sleeves and I adored everything about the perfect OTP that is Alex and Henry. ♥ Also, their text and email conversations? KILL ME WITH CUTENESS, CASEY MCQUISTON, JUST DO IT.
Whatever, fine. Henry is annoyingly attractive. That’s always been a thing, objectively. It’s fine.
I think the last thing I want to say is just how optimistic and downright hopeful this book is. Without spoiling anything, there’s a scene towards the end that is just pure queer affirmation and support and love and it had me bawling the happiest tears at the thought. The world is a really ugly place sometimes (especially in US politics lately) and I cherished every moment of this escape and this view into what we’re hopefully moving towards.
All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!