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Genre: YA NA | Contemporary Romance | MM <3
My Rating: 5 stars!
Description: What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.
I really cannot believe I put reading this off for so long! IT WAS SO GOOD. AHHHHH. All my friends knew that I was finally read this one, because I carried it with me for five days, highlighter hooked on the back. I read the majority of the book one night (stayed up until 3:30 a.m. and I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer!), and then held off on finishing it for four days because I didn’t want it to end. Turns out I only had 20 pages left, so I sat down and finished it on that last day, with heart eyes.
This book… oh my lord. I don’t really want to tell you everything that it was about, because I don’t want to spoil! I’ll try my best. It was just… it was so much more than I expected. It was snappy, it was funny, it was educated, (at one point, the boys were exchanging emails and signing them with famous historical letters. UM YES!) and it was beautifully romantic.
It was also written like New Adult book trying to moonlight as a YA – it wasn’t nearly as graphic, but that felt intentional, so it could be more largely marketed to the masses. I wish it was solidly New Adult, then it would have been spicer 🥰
If I’d actually sat down (before I read the book) and story-boarded the major plot points, I probably could have gotten most of it right. It wasn’t super twisty and “OHMYGODIDIDN’TSEETHATCOMING,” and largely predictable (if you’d tried), but I didn’t care. I was hardly thinking about what was coming next, because I was completely enraptured in what was happening then! And with the characters! I especially loved the representation of family/friendship in this one, beyond just the two of them. We got to see a lot of their lives outside the romance, which made the moments together all the sweeter.
“Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.”
I’m giving the basic premise here: Boy-meets-Boy. Except the boys have known each other for years, and weren’t friendly. Alex was the son of the US President (the first female, which was awesome to read about. Shoutout to her parenting PowerPoints. Alex was nicer about it than I probably would have been), and Henry was a Prince of England. Being the same age and of similar political standing, the media was constantly pitting them against each other, and so Alex did not like Henry. But when they got embroiled in a media scandal (and sadly not of the sexy variety – we’re not there yet!), they’re forced to portray a fake friendship.
It’s really sad when you have to get to know your nemesis, isn’t it? It’s a different kind of fake-relationship than we’re used to in Romancelandia, but exploring that aspect alongside a forbidden romance and a friends-to-lovers romance story with a hate-to-love friendship in the beginning… I LOVED IT.
This book just… shocked me. I laughed more than I breathed, was grinning the whole time, was totally involved in Alex’s character development (especially politically) and highlighted almost the whole damn book. It’s messy, it’s not beautiful and totally unplanned: I don’t highlight books! But I couldn’t help it. Those two boys were glorious together. I love the way that they communicate with each other! Alex never lets Henry pull away, and makes them talk about whatever is happening. So much respect for my President(‘s son)!
It was one of the best instances of believability I’ve seen of a courtship and a romance and two people falling in love and even the friendship! I loved how much these two guys were friends first, and in love second. The progression was there and oh my god, I really can’t articulate how much I was here 👏🏻 for 👏🏻 it 👏🏻 I’m not sure how on point the England-perspective was, but truth be told, I don’t care. I wasn’t there for anything else, I was there for the adorable, hilarious, forbidden tryst 🔥🔥
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Have you read RW&RB? What did you think? Do you have any similar recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!