Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary/Politics/Royalty/Bisexual/Romantic Comedy
Page Count: 432
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince 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?
I don’t like politics in my MM romance.
I don’t particularly care for younger MCs (and by younger, I mean less than 25).
I’m not the biggest fan of famous MCs.
Now you know why I didn’t request this from the publisher through NG sooner. But I’m so glad I did!
What am I a fan of? Banter, relationship angst, separations, and steam. And this book delivers on all of it!
First off – the writing. Casey McQuiston may have this debut novel on her hands, but she’s clearly been workin’ it for a while. She goes from snarky banter to moving prose to fit the exact sensation of the moment.
When Alex was a kid, before anyone knew his name, he dreamed of love like it was a fairy tale, as if it would come sweeping into his life on the back of a dragon one day. When he got older, he learned about love as a strange thing that could fall apart no matter how badly you wanted it, a choice you make anyway. He never imagined it’d turn out he was right both times.
The beginning 40-50% of the book was utterly enjoyable, completely due to the banter.
And then the angst! I just love how one MC pulled and the other pushed, and no, no, no…..you WILL NOT just ignore me. Sigh. The teeny, tiny separation was the best part of the book for me.
My reason for rounding down is because the last part of the book was ALL about the election, and the romance lost some of the spotlight. Others have loved it, and the turn in that direction made complete sense, but…….meh.