RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE
Written by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, May 14, 2019
My star rating – 5 stars!
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? Find it on Goodreads
This was one of those books were “the hype made me buy it”. It’s been everywhere lately and everyone seems to be falling head over heels in love! So, I bought this with my birthday money without even reading the synopsis….. seriously! All I knew was that it included royalty because 1 – There was a prince on the cover. 2 – The word “royal” was in the title. But that’s literally all I knew going into this. And this may be one of my favourites for 2019 so far!
If you’re like me, and had no clue what this was about, let me fill you in quickly. We have Alex, first son of the first female President of the United States. And then there’s prince Henry (who I kept calling Harry because….. well, Prince Harry LOL!) who is the heir to the English throne. They were archenemies of sorts. Both of them made assumptions about the other, and they didn’t care for each others company. But when a catastrophe happens that ends up in the tabloids, they’re forced to play the part of best friends to mend international relations. Soon enough, it’s not an act as they learn more and more about who they really are behind their official public titles.
My goodness……. I mean……. my heart!!! This book was just amazing! And the romance was so sincere and complete. I usually find that books like this can just get sappy or too much into the insta-love realm. But no. This romance was so perfectly balanced, real, and everything I could have hoped for! Both Alex and Henry are HUGE public figures. Alex is the first son of the President of the United States. Henry is the Prince of England. Both people have traditions to uphold, and obligations to follow. But, no matter how hard they try to be the people that the world wants them to be, they can’t deny their hearts. They’re in this precarious position where they’re told to be something but find themselves fighting for change and happiness. This dynamic was mind-blowing and so well done. It was extremely complicated but, the way it was written, we were able to see their lives both from the public view and their personal lives simultaneously. This could have been a disaster if it wasn’t written properly. Instead it was an intimate look into the lives of two people behind their titles.
One thing that I worried about was the fact that this dealt strongly with politics. And I mean STRONGLY. We were in the heart of the White House, surrounded by people who wanted to be leaders and help people. But I don’t understand politics at all! I was afraid that I would have felt confused and left out. But no. This was like a “White House life for dummies” and it ended up being fascinating! There were even a few scandals where we got to see how things were handled from the inside. It ended up being quite interesting!
Another thing that shocked me was the character development and just how perfectly ALL the characters were written! Regardless of their prominence throughout the book, I feel like I knew everything there was to know about EVERYONE! Most politicians are made out to be power hungry, selfish liars. But in this case we saw people who actually cared for others. We saw people struggle with who they are and how to get to where they wanted to be in life. We saw people who were coming to grips with their sexuality and what it means for themselves and how they’re viewed by the public. There was acceptance. And, most of all, we saw people fighting for their happiness. Sounds strange, but this was my favourite aspect of each character. It was so beautiful watching characters put their hearts on their sleeves, fighting for themselves and the ones they love. The President wasn’t a constant throughout this book (I mean, she was running a country after all), but when she did show up, this woman made me cry. The lines between obligation to country and family were blurred and grey, but she found a way to separate the two and know when she needed to be “Mom” or “President”.
Literally the only negative thing that I could say about this book is its length. I really feel like this could have been condensed by at least 100 pages. It was just so long!! There were quite a few times throughout where I wondered what could be left to say and why were there so many pages left! But the story was so good that I didn’t end up caring about it in the end. I was thankful for those pages because it gave me more time to live within the lives of these characters.
If you’ve even considered this book – just read it! I feel like this review couldn’t possibly do this book justice! It was just SO GOOD! My heart is full……. just read this!!
Until next time, happy reading!