A *MUST-READ BOOK* for US WEEKLY, OPRAHMAG.COM, POPSUGAR, BUSTLE, BUZZFEED, and more!
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, geniushis 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 took this with me wherever I went and stole every second I had to read! Absorbing, hilarious, tender, sexythis book had everything I crave. I’m jealous of all the readers out there who still get to experience Red, White & Royal Blue for the first time!" - Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners
"Red, White & Royal Blue is outrageously fun. It is romantic, sexy, witty, and thrilling. I loved every second." - Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
On the White House roof, tucked into a corner of the Promenade, there's a bit of loose paneling right on the edge of the Solarium. If you tap it just right, you can peel it back enough to find a message etched underneath, with the tip of a key or maybe a stolen West Wing letter opener.
In the secret history of First Families — an insular gossip mill sworn to absolute discretion about most things on pain of death — there's no definite answer for who wrote it. The one thing people seem certain of is that only a presidential son or daughter would have been daring enough to deface the White House. Some swear it was Jack Ford, with his Hendrix records and split-level room attached to the roof for late-night smoke breaks. Others say it was a young Luci Johnson, thick ribbon in her hair. But it doesn't matter. The writing stays, a private mantra for those resourceful enough to find it.
Alex discovered it within his first week of living there. He's never told anyone how.
RULE #1: DON'T GET CAUGHT
The East and West Bedrooms on theb second floor are generally reserved for the First Family. They were first designated as one giant state bedroom for visits from the Marquis de Lafayette in the Monroe administration, but eventually they were split. Alex has the East, across from the Treaty Room, and June uses the West, next to the elevator.
Growing up in Texas, their rooms were arranged in the same configuration, on either side of the hallway. Back then, you could tell June's ambition of the month by what covered the walls. At twelve, it was watercolor paintings. At fifteen, lunar calendars and charts of crystals. At sixteen, clippings from The Atlantic, a UT Austin pennant, Gloria Steinem, Zora Neale Hurston, and excerpts from the papers of Dolores Huerta.
His own room was forever the same, just steadily more stuffed with lacrosse trophies and piles of AP coursework. It's all gathering dust in the house they still keep back home. On a chain around his neck, always hidden from view, he's worn the key to that house since the day he left for DC.
Now, straight across the hall, June's room is all bright white and soft pink and minty green, photographed by Vogue and famously inspired by old '60s interior design periodicals she found in one of the White House sitting rooms. His own room was once Caroline Kennedy's nursery and, later, warranting some sage burning from June, Nancy Reagan's office. He's left up the nature field illustrations in a neat symmetrical grid above the sofa, but painted over Sasha Obama's pink walls with a deep blue.
Typically, the children of the president, at least for the past few decades, haven't lived in the Residence beyond eighteen, but Alex started at Georgetown the January his mom was sworn in, and logistically, it made sense not to split their security or costs to whatever one-bedroom apartment he'd be living in. June came that fall, fresh out of UT. She's never said it, but Alex knows she moved in to keep an eye on him. She knows better than anyone else how much he gets off on being this close to the action, and she's bodily yanked him out of the West Wing on more than one occasion.
Behind his bedroom door, he can sit and put Hall & Oates on the record player in the corner, and nobody hears him humming along like his dad to "Rich Girl." He can wear the reading glasses he always insists he doesn't need. He can make as many meticulous study guides with color-coded sticky notes as he wants. He's not going to be the youngest elected congressman in modern history without earning it, but nobody needs to know how hard he's kicking underwater. His sex-symbol stock would plummet.
"Hey," says a voice at the door, and he looks up from his laptop to see June edging into his room, two iPhones and a stack of magazines tucked under one arm, and a plate in her hand. She closes the door behind her with her foot.
"What'd you steal today?" Alex asks, pushing the pile of papers on his bed out of her way.
"Assorted donuts," June says as she climbs up. She's wearing a pencil skirt with pointy pink flats, and he can already see next week's fashion columns: a picture of her outfit today, a lead-in for some sponcon about flats for the professional gal on the go.
He wonders what she's been up to all day. She mentioned a column for WaPo, or was it a photoshoot for her blog? Or both? He can never keep up.
She's dumped her stack of magazines out on the bedspread and is already busying herself with them.
"Doing your part to keep the great American gossip industry alive?"
"That's what my journalism degree's for," June says.
"Anything good this week?" Alex asks, reaching for a donut.
"Let's see," June says. "In Touch says I'm ... dating a French model?"
"I wish." She flips a few pages. "Ooh, and they're saying you got your asshole bleached."
"That one is true," Alex says through a mouthful of chocolate with sprinkles.
"Thought so," June says without looking up. After riffling through most of the magazine, she shuffles it to the bottom of the stack and moves on to People. She flips through absently — People only ever writes what their publicists tell it to write. Boring. "Not much on us this week ... oh, I'm a crossword puzzle clue."
Following their tabloid coverage is something of an idle hobby of hers, one that in turns amuses and annoys their mother, and Alex is narcissistic enough to let June read him the highlights. They're usually either complete fabrications or lines fed from their press team, but sometimes it's just funny. Given the choice, he'd rather read one of the hundreds of glowing pieces of fan fiction about him on the internet, the up-to-eleven version of himself with devastating charm and unbelievable physical stamina, but June flat-out refuses to read those aloud to him, no matter how much he tries to bribe her.
"Do Us Weekly," Alex says.
"Hmm ..." June digs it out of the stack. "Oh, look, we made the cover this week."
She flashes the glossy cover at him, which has a photo of the two of them inlaid in one corner, June's hair pinned on top of her head and Alex looking slightly over-served but still handsome, all jawline and dark curls. Below it in bold yellow letters, the headline reads: FIRST SIBLINGS' WILD NYC NIGHT.
"Oh yeah, that was a wild night," Alex says, reclining back against the tall leather headboard and pushing his glasses up his nose. "Two whole keynote speakers. Nothing sexier than shrimp cocktails and an hour and a half of speeches on carbon emissions."
"It says here you had some kind of tryst with a 'mystery brunette,'" June reads. "'Though the First Daughter was whisked off by limousine to a star-studded party shortly after the gala, twenty-one-year-old heartthrob Alex was snapped sneaking into the W Hotel to meet a mystery brunette in the presidential suite and leaving around four a.m. Sources inside the hotel reported hearing amorous noises from the room all night, and rumors are swirling the brunette was none other than ... Nora Holleran, the twenty-two-year-old granddaughter of Vice President Mike Holleran and third member of the White House Trio. Could it be the two are rekindling their romance?'"
"Yes!" Alex crows, and June groans. "That's less than a month! You owe me fifty dollars, baby."
"Hold on. Was it Nora?"
Alex thinks back to the week before, showing up at Nora's room with a bottle of champagne. Their thing on the campaign trail a million years ago was brief, mostly to get the inevitable over with. They were seventeen and eighteen and doomed from the start, both convinced they were the smartest person in any room. Alex has since conceded Nora is 100 percent smarter than him and definitely too smart to have ever dated him.
It's not his fault the press won't let it go, though; that they love the idea of them together as if they're modern-day Kennedys. So, if he and Nora occasionally get drunk in hotel rooms together watching The West Wing and making loud moaning noises at the wall for the benefit of nosy tabloids, he can't be blamed, really. They're simply turning an undesirable situation into their own personal entertainment.
Scamming his sister is also a perk.
"Maybe," he says, dragging out the vowels.
June swats him with the magazine like he's an especially obnoxious cockroach. "That's cheating, you dick!"
"Bet's a bet," Alex tells her. "We said if there was a new rumor in a month, you'd owe me fifty bucks. I take Venmo."
"I'm not paying," June huffs. "I'm gonna kill her when we see her tomorrow. What are you wearing, by the way?"
"Uh, the royal wedding," June says. "Of England. It's literally on every cover I just showed you."
She holds Us Weekly up again, and this time Alex notices the main story in giant letters: PRINCE PHILIP SAYS I DO! Along with a photograph of an extremely nondescript British heir and his equally nondescript blond fiancée smiling blandly.
He drops his donut in a show of devastation. "That's this weekend?"
"Alex, we leave in the morning," June tells him. "We've got two appearances before we even go to the ceremony. I can't believe Zahra hasn't climbed up your ass about this already."
"Shit," he groans. "I know I had that written down. I got sidetracked."
"What, by conspiring with my best friend against me in the tabloids for fifty dollars?"
"No, with my research paper, smart-ass," Alex says, gesturing dramatically at his piles of notes. "I've been working on it for Roman Political Thought all week. And I thought we agreed Nora is our best friend."
"That can't possibly be a real class you're taking," June says. "Is it possible you willfully forgot about the biggest international event of the year because you don't want to see your archnemesis?"
"June, I'm the son of the President of the United States. Prince Henry is a figurehead of the British Empire. You can't just call him my 'archnemesis,'" Alex says. He returns to his donut, chewing thoughtfully, and adds, "'Archnemesis' implies he's actually a rival to me on any level and not, you know, a stuck-up product of inbreeding who probably jerks off to photos of himself."
"I'm just saying."
"Well, you don't have to like him, you just have to put on a happy face and not cause an international incident at his brother's wedding."
"Bug, when do I ever not put on a happy face?" Alex says. He pulls a painfully fake grin, and June looks satisfyingly repulsed.
"Ugh. Anyway, you know what you're wearing, right?"
"Yeah, I picked it out and had Zahra approve it last month. I'm not an animal."
"I'm still not sure about my dress," June says. She leans over and steals his laptop away from him, ignoring his noise of protest. "Do you think the maroon or the one with the lace?"
"Lace, obviously. It's England. And why are you trying to make me fail this class?" he says, reaching for his laptop only to have his hand swatted away. "Go curate your Instagram or something. You're the worst."
"Shut up, I'm trying to pick something to watch. Ew, you have Garden State on your watch list? Wow, how's film school in 2005 going?"
"I hate you."
"Hmm, I know."
Outside his window, the wind stirs up over the lawn, rustling the linden trees down in the garden. The record on the turntable in the corner has spun out into fuzzy silence. He rolls off the bed and flips it, resetting the needle, and the second side picks up on "London Luck, & Love."
* * *
If he's honest, private aviation doesn't really get old, not even three years into his mother's term.
He doesn't get to travel this way a lot, but when he does, it's hard not to let it go to his head. He was born in the hill country of Texas to the daughter of a single mother and the son of Mexican immigrants, all of them dirt poor — luxury travel is still a luxury.
Fifteen years ago, when his mother first ran for the House, the Austin newspaper gave her a nickname: the Lometa Longshot. She'd escaped her tiny hometown in the shadow of Fort Hood, pulled night shifts at diners to put herself through law school, and was arguing discrimination cases before the Supreme Court by thirty. She was the last thing anybody expected to rise up out of Texas in the midst of the Iraq War: a strawberry-blond, whip-smart Democrat with high heels, an unapologetic drawl, and a little biracial family.
So, it's still surreal that Alex is cruising somewhere over the Atlantic, snacking on pistachios in a high-backed leather chair with his feet up. Nora is bent over the New York Times crossword opposite him, brown curls falling across her forehead. Beside her, the hulking Secret Service agent Cassius — Cash for short — holds his own copy in one giant hand, racing to finish it first. The cursor on Alex's Roman Political Thought paper blinks expectantly at him from his laptop, but something in him can't quite focus on school while they're flying transatlantic.
Amy, his mother's favorite Secret Service agent, a former Navy SEAL who is rumored around DC to have killed several men, sits across the aisle. She's got a bulletproof titanium case of crafting supplies open on the couch next to her and is serenely embroidering flowers onto a napkin. Alex has seen her stab someone in the kneecap with a very similar embroidery needle.
Which leaves June, next to him, leaning on one elbow with her nose buried in the issue of People she's inexplicably brought with them. She always chooses the most bizarre reading material for flights. Last time, it was a battered old Cantonese phrase book. Before that, Death Comes for the Archbishop.
"What are you reading in there now?" Alex asks her.
She flips the magazine around so he can see the double-page spread titled: ROYAL WEDDING MADNESS! Alex groans. This is definitely worse than Willa Cather.
"What?" she says. "I want to be prepared for my first-ever royal wedding."
"You went to prom, didn't you?" Alex says. "Just picture that, only in hell, and you have to be really nice about it."
"Can you believe they spent $75,000 just on the cake?"
"And apparently Prince Henry is going sans date to the wedding and everyone is freaking out about it. It says he was," she affects a comical English accent, "'rumored to be dating a Belgian heiress last month, but now followers of the prince's dating life aren't sure what to think.'"
Alex snorts. It's insane to him that there are legions of people who follow the intensely dull dating lives of the royal siblings. He understands why people care where he puts his own tongue — at least he has personality.
"Maybe the female population of Europe finally realized he's as compelling as a wet ball of yarn," Alex suggests.
Nora puts down her crossword puzzle, having finished it first. Cassius glances over and swears. "You gonna ask him to dance, then?"
Alex rolls his eyes, suddenly imagining twirling around a ballroom while Henry drones sweet nothings about croquet and fox hunting in his ear. The thought makes him want to gag.
"In his dreams."
"Aw," Nora says, "you're blushing."
"Listen," Alex tells her, "royal weddings are trash, the princes who have royal weddings are trash, the imperialism that allows princes to exist at all is trash. It's trash turtles all the way down."
"Is this your TED Talk?" June asks. "You do realize America is a genocidal empire too, right?"
"Yes, June, but at least we have the decency not to keep a monarchy around," Alex says, throwing a pistachio at her.
There are a few things about Alex and June that new White House hires are briefed on before they start. June's peanut allergy. Alex's frequent middle-of-the-night requests for coffee. June's college boyfriend, who broke up with her when he moved to California but is still the only person whose letters come to her directly. Alex's long-standing grudge against the youngest prince.
It's not a grudge, really. It's not even a rivalry. It's a prickling, unsettling annoyance. It makes his palms sweat.
The tabloids — the world — decided to cast Alex as the American equivalent of Prince Henry from day one, since the White House Trio is the closest thing America has to royalty. It has never seemed fair. Alex's image is all charisma and genius and smirking wit, thoughtful interviews and the cover of GQ at eighteen; Henry's is placid smiles and gentle chivalry and generic charity appearances, a perfectly blank Prince Charming canvas. Henry's role, Alex thinks, is much easier to play.
Maybe it is technically a rivalry. Whatever.
"All right, MIT," he says, "what are the numbers on this one?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Red, White & Royal Blue"
Copyright © 2019 Casey McQuiston.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The cover of this book caught my attention when I was browsing titles on NetGalley. Red, White, and Royal Blue; even the title was intriguing. After having read the description, I wanted in. Casey McQuiston’s debut novel did not disappoint me. This was a charming YA romance that gave so much more than just the giddiness of a new relationship. This deals with the way a relationship develops, from friendship to love. It’s about LGBTQ relationships and how our political leaders can influence and help improve rights for LGBTQ people around the world. It’s about politics and politicians and what we hope they can be and what we pray they aren’t. This takes place in an alternate reality where a divorced woman becomes President of the United States. Casey states that this started out as an escape for her after the 2016 election and morphed into an amazing story of romance, politics, hope, and relationships. Meet Alex Claremont-Diaz, FSOTUS or First Son of the United States if you don’t know. Alex lives a life most of us only imagine. Yes, there are demands and pressures that come with being part of the First Family, but there are also perks, like throwing a New Year’s Eve party at the White House for you, your friends, fellow celebrities, young royals, etc. Speaking of young royals, the youngest heir to the English throne, His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, is a persistent thorn in Alex’s side. There is just something about his smug, arrogant, coy, handsome face that really rubs Alex the wrong way. And after a couple of drinks, Alex is REALLY irritated just watching Henry schmooze his way around the room at the royal wedding. But, it was certainly not ALEX’s fault that Henry fell into the wedding cake… a cake that was reported to have cost $75,000. Regardless of whose fault it was, the consequences are beyond tedious. Because now Alex and Henry are forced to pretend they are actually best friends, whose horsing around caused the whole “cake-gate” episode and Alex is grinding his teeth just trying to get through it all. What’s confusing is how suddenly Henry isn’t as dull and stuck-up as Alex thought he was. And maybe he’s actually got a sense of humor. And now, when Henry sends Alex a text it kind of helps him get through his day filled with meetings and classes and pouring over policy. Now, Alex kind of counts down the minutes until Henry sends him a message. You’ll want to read this book, you SHOULD read this book. People are all alike. Even if you aren’t LGBTQ, you’ve experienced a crush, a relationship, maybe you’ve experienced love. And that is a shared experience we can all relate to. This is a book about self-discovery and acceptance and all the good things you want to see in a good book.
I heard about this book last summer and have been dying to read it. This book started really slow for me, it took me almost a week to get to 20%. I was hoping I hadn’t built it up to much in my mind and was determined to keep going. The premise for this story was so good and unlike anything else I had read I wanted to love it. Overall is was a great storyline that could have been excited better but was still a cute read. I think my issues early on were that areas seemed to have rough transitions and the story was building so it would seem as if I missed something. I would then go back and realize they just abruptly changed scenes. Also I feel like the 3rd person approach to the story was distracting for me and ultimately not the best way to tell the story. The political aspect with the re-election campaign really didn’t interest me and seemed to drag a bit.
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was AWESOME. Seriously, I loved every minute of it. It was light-hearted, but still felt like it had high stakes. It was political, but not so much that it was depressing or overbearing. It was almost fairy-tale-esque romance, but not so much so that it didn't feel deep or true or powerful. It was realistic in ways that, unless you've gone through coming out and hiding love, you just wouldn't understand the depth of the realism. Set in a world where the hateful didn't win 2016, it's a world of hope, and Alex and Henry are a breath of fresh air. It honestly makes me want a dreamy prince of my own... but to be fair, I've been told I look a lot like Prince Harry, so it might be awkward to marry a doppleganger prince... and he's taken now anyways. *sigh* I adored this book and highly recommend it. Five stars.
Really enjoyed this romance of the First Son and Prince of England dating. The sexy times are super hot, but there is also a lot of heart, too. I didn’t love the political parts, but that’s just me...they provided a good backbone to the story.
In our current harrowing political climate, a book like Red, White & Royal Blue is an exhilarating breath of fresh air. The romance between Alex and Henry is founded in a strong foundation of snark, charm, and sheer chemistry. Casey McQuiston is a real talent. Initially, I didn't think I would enjoy this book as I'm not always a fan of romantic stories but it's impossible to not find yourself immersed in the world. The characters are richly defined and the romance is sexy yet full of adoration. It is incredibly well-developed and I loved being privy to watching this story unfold.
Red, White, And Royal Blue is the story of Alex, the first son of the United States, and Henry the Price of Whales. From the time Alex first meets Henry, he develops hatred towards him. He thinks Henry is a royal prick. Alex and his sister and best friend Nora get invited to Prince Phillips royal wedding and when Alex gets drunk, him and henry have some words and end up ruining the $75,000 wedding cake. The press run the story as them fighting and they have to do some major PR to make it seem like they like each other. Henry and Alex have to put on a show that they are best friends and sending so much time together leads to a romantic relationship. Through the book Alex comes to terms with his bisexuality, ignoring all the signs from growing up that he could have been interested in men. Prince Henry has been gay his whole life, but in order to protect the crown he cannot show his true self. This story is about acceptance, true love in any form, and a whole lot of politics! (maybe a little too much for my taste). I really enjoyed the themes in this book though. First female president, bisexual first son, gay prince, sex scandal in the white house. I believe that Casey is so brave to touch on these subjects and this book is taking the world by storm already! I am so glad I was blessed a copy of this book by St. Martin's Press! This review is complete my honest opinion!
Red White and Royal Blue was one of the very best books I have read and I read a lot, .The author did an outstanding job of making me believe I was right there in the thick Of it all..... I am going to watch for next book anxiously
Red, White & Royal Blue was a breath of fresh air and holy cow...Casey McQuiston can write! Enemies to lovers is my favorite romance trope and this book knocked it out of the park. There was so much to love here: the perfect male/male romance (and hilarious banter) between Alex and Henry, the family dynamics, the diverse cast of characters, the political aspect, and the fact that it was all so relevant! Casey McQuiston’s writing is witty, and so damn funny, yet she eloquently handles issues of race, sexuality, and politics like a seasoned pro. This book is one of a kind and I highly recommend it! Thank you to Netgalley, St.Martin’s Press, and the author for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
***Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review*** Attention enemies to lovers fans: Red, White & Royal Blue is your next obsession. Picture this: Alex, the First Son, is forced to fake a friendship with his arch nemesis Prince Henry of Wales. Throw in excellent banter, swoon-worthy emails, a romance for the ages, and you have the perfect recipe for a rom-com. In this story, Alex’s mom is the President of the United States and her reelection is coming up very soon. Alex and his sister, June, are used to the attention they garner from the media, but one day Alex accidentally creates a media frenzy. At the wedding of Prince Philip, Alex encounters Prince Henry, his arch nemesis. However, what Alex didn’t expect or intend was to trip and knock the $70,000 wedding cake over. Oh, and did I mention he dragged Henry down with him? Needless to say, the tabloids are making it seem as if America and Britain have strained relations due to Alex and Henry’s dislike of each other. There is only one possible solution to solve this PR crisis. Alex and Henry will convince the world that they have been best friends secretly all of these years. As you can imagine, Alex is less than thrilled with this idea. He can’t imagine anything worse than hanging out with dull, seemingly perfect Prince Henry. But, soon Alex starts to realize that there is an actual human being underneath Henry’s flawless exterior and persona. Before he knows it, Alex is actually friends with Henry, and then he starts to fall for Henry. This book is unbelievably raw and realistic. You get to experience Alex’s sexual crisis right along with him. He’s always been into girls...right? Surely, he would know if he was bisexual...right? So why is he thinking about Henry and kissing Henry so much? Casey McQuiston writes this book perfectly. You’re right there with Alex and Henry as they find themselves falling for the other. You witness their struggles and fears. Alex coming out as bisexual during his mother’s reelection campaign is less than ideal. Henry coming out as gay to his family, let alone all of Britain is a seemingly insurmountable task. The image of the crown is far more important than Henry’s personal truth or happiness. I fell in love with these characters as soon as they appeared on the page. Each page only caused me to fall deeper in love with them. Their relationship is beautiful. Their personalities are complete opposites, but they complement each other perfectly. I dare you to read this book and not fall in love with their relationship. Quite honestly, I can’t praise this book enough. Red, White & Royal Blue forces the characters--and readers-- to question how far they will go for love. *sigh* I definitely recommend this book to everyone. However, you should know that this book does talk of politics quite a bit. It may be labeled as a romantic comedy, but this book also delves deep into the politics of America. If you aren’t a fan of political talk in your books, then this book may not be for you, but I encourage you to give it a try anyway. The romance in this book is extremely well done. More stories like this deserve to be told. I’m so happy that the book community is publishing more diverse books.
The fact that this doesn’t have a perfect 5 stars is an abomination. It is a perfect love story, a perfect story of friendship, a perfect coming of age story, and a perfect instance of LGBTQ representation all rolled into one and set to the tune of “The West Wing.” You will laugh. You will cry. You will adore every character like they were your own child. You will carry this book with you long after you read it (for the fifth time in a row). Read it now before the movie comes out and the whole world loses their mind so you can be one of those smug girls who listened to The Beatles in 1961 all, “yeah well I heard about it first…”
This is a contemporary MM romance set in American politics and the British Royal family. This is the first book from this author that I have read, and I loved it. It is humorous and heartwarming. The characters are well developed and lovable. The pace of the story is great. The story presents some very interesting situations that could happen at any time. I loved this realistic story and had a hard time putting it down.
I read this story slowly. I savored it. I never wanted it to end. Now how do I summarize my thoughts and feelings in such a way to truly capture everything I went through while reading this incredible book? ... there's the Prince of England kissing him under a linden tree in the garden, moonlight in his hair... First, I tell you that this is going down as one of my favorite reads of ALL TIME!! Then I'll tell you that if you love love and everything that it encapsulates, then you need to read this book. I'll then say that Alex and Henry will instantly steal your heart, one fight and then one insolent banter and then one romantic moment at a time. These two characters will own you with their fight for identity, their fight for rights and freedoms, their fight for love, and their fight for each other. And then I'll state that there are so many secondary characters to fall in love with that your heart will feel so full way before the story ends. I'm so sad it ended but I am so happy that I got there. He wants to match the new freckles across Henry's nose to the stars above them and make him name the constellations. Calling this story beautiful seems inadequate. For a debut piece of work, Casey McQuiston knocked it right out of the park on the first swing. I marveled at the words she put together. How was she able to capture such fine and almost evasive emotions with such simple sentences? I couldn't help but feel it all! There was so much warmth and caring and compassion and hope within these pages and it was full of so much feeling! It hits him, fully: the weight of this. How completely neither of them will ever be able to undo it. "Okay," he says. "I'm into making history." Both Alex and Henry were dealing with so much pressure. Can you imagine being the First Son (FSOTUS), constantly in the public eye, working towards a political career of your own, viewed as the favored one, the life of the party and a living icon, realizing your bisexual, and then having to deal with the fallout for everyone to see? Or imagine being the crowned prince of England, the epitome of Prince Charming, expected to carry on the royal line, with all of the huge expectations that all of that comes with, being gay, and dealing with it for the whole world to see? Falling in love with each other made their story tragically beautiful. My heart was able to break and swell and burst with joy while witnessing it all. And then I was a careless fool, and I fell in love with you anyway. When you rang me at truly shocking hours of the night, I loved you. When you kissed me in disgusting public toilets and pouted in hotel bars and made me happy in ways in which it had never even occurred to me that a mangled-up, locked-up person like me could be happy, I loved you. And then, inexplicably, you had the absolute audacity to love me back. Can you believe it? Sometimes, even now, I still can't. ~ Henry They were supposed to be enemies. It would probably have been so much easier if they had hated each other. But true love could not be denied and a future entwined was inevitable. The story of Alex + Henry was beyond epic - it was transcendental! You love so much bigger than yourself, bigger than everything. I can't believe how lucky I am to even witness it - to be the one who gets to have it, and so much of it, is beyond luck and feels like fate. ~ Alex
5 stars! This was very funny and adorable and I loved it so much! This probably leans more new adult, rather than young adult. Basically, this is about the son of the US's first female president Alex Diaz and Henry the Prince of England hating each other and then becoming friends and then falling in love. I loved every second that I was reading this. I laughed loudly and at very inappropriate times (at work, in the waiting room at the doctor's office, while my husband was asleep) while reading this.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved stories about royalty. I never dreamed of being a princess; it wasn’t a wistful, “I wish this could be me” kind of love, more so a fascination. So when I heard about Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. And ASAP I did. This is going to be one of my favorite books of the year, I guarantee. The story follows First Son of the United States Alex Claremont-Diaz, who happens to be the son of the first female president of the USA. Not only that, his father is a Mexican American AND his mother and father are divorced. I would love to live in an America where a divorced woman with biracial children could be president. Like, what? Sign me up. Anyway, Alex gets himself into a sticky situation with his “arch nemesis” Prince Henry of England which evolves quickly into a friendship that then grows into something more. Yes, we have a gay Prince of England and bisexual First Son of US falling for each other. I loved the hope this story gave, the representation it brought to light, and just the overall arc for all the characters. I loved Nora, who is the granddaughter of the Vice President. She’s intelligent, queer, brilliant, and a loyal friend. June is another delightful character as Alex’s sister. The family and friend dynamic is so strong. My one issue is that there are a few too many F-bombs that seem unnecessary. I’m not a prude or annoyed by cussing, but sometimes in writing it can feel overdone. Believe me, I swear as much as your next person in real life. If it’s a character choice, like it’s one character’s thing, then fine. But when it’s every characters’ thing, it starts to sound more like the author’s voice and not theirs. But overall, this book is getting 5 stars from me. I want to live in this America. I think this will give a lot of people who are struggling with our current administration’s mission to erase their existence hope to keep fighting. Bring on 2020 and this kind of presidency! Thank you, Casey McQuiston for this story. And thank you St. Martin’s press for the advanced digital copy! Red, White, and Royal Blue is available May 14, 2019 but you can preorder your copies now!
This review is basically just me gushing about Red, White, & Royal Blue. So, I absolutely loved this book; the characters, the setting, and plot, the pop culture references. It was perfect. There was nothing about this book that I did not love. The chemistry between Henry and Alex was electric. Just reading their emails made me smile. And oh my god they stressed me out with their sneaking around. I was in constant fear of them being caught. Also, Nora and June are the best friends I would love to have. Nora is unapologetically herself and says whatever it crosses her mind, and June is sweet and has a Jane Austin obsession. Oh, and Alex lives life with a reckless abandon that I appreciate. Another thing I appreciated was that their friend’s groups blended together and interacted with each other rather than staying isolated. TL;DR: You need to read this book. Everyone needs to read this book.
I'm in awe of this phenomenal debut!! I ran to request a review copy when one of my book buddies was absolutely raving...yes Marissa...it was you girl! I am eternally grateful for her book love! I adored Henry and Alex...and every single supporting character. Watching them go from enemies to friends to lovers was a gift. Theirs was an incredible love story....gah!! It really did start my mind turning on how many people have been "locked" into their roles in the past and never allowed to truly be happy with the love that they would choose for themselves. I can't even imagine. This is quite simply a brilliant and original book! It was a brave and beautiful story about finding the love of your life and then fighting like crazy to keep them. Buckle up Casey McQuiston, this book is going to absolutely take off!! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book has to be the greatest romance ever written. Largely that is a matter of opinion, but it touched my heart in such a way that I will never forget it. It had some of my favorite story telling devices: emails laden with excerpts from letters between lovers in history, podcasts with their eyes trained on the White House, and text messages that help us feel closer to these rich, diverse characters. We had enemies-to-lovers, fake bro-mance to real romance, and a tale about finding your Prince Charming that knocked me off my feet more than any Disney movie ever could. We find ourselves in an alternate future where 2016 ended the way I had hoped it would. The results were called on my birthday that year, and it's the worst one I've ever had. Just the world that Casey built for us made my heart ache and let me escape this Hollywood nightmare that we find ourselves in. If I could pull a page from Blue's Clues' Steve and Blue Skadoo into a novel; this one would be it. They got their Madam President, and she was not only a divorcee but also mother to two Mexican-American children. Those are two things that could be so polarizing to certain groups in our country, and she is nothing if not stronger for it. The country loves the First Family, and the nation is one that can be trusted and loved again. However, the next election is drawing near, and emotions are at an all time high. This is where we find Alex, who is campaigning for his mother's reelection. Due to an accident at a royal event, Alex is forced to spend time with Henry; the Prince of England. Throughout this unwanted set up, the two fall in love and are now faced with the consequences of their shared feelings. I really don't want to spoil the book, so I won't get into much detail. However, their love and escalation towards it took my breath away. What may have stolen my heart even more though was the reactions of their loved ones. We have come a long way since the beginning of humanity, and though we still have a long way to go, I'm so proud of where we are. Casey's work reflects this in that there is an outpouring of support from friends, families, and outsiders alike. Of course, there is always opposition, and maybe there always will be. In spite of this, love is universal, love is undeniable, and love always finds a way. I include all love in this, not just romantic love. Once these characters know that this connection between Alex and Henry is real, they stop at nothing to find a way to bring them together; which is an Herculean feat. There are appearances to keep up on both sides of this coin: Henry being the spare to the throne and Alex being the FSOTUS. I was relieved to know they fought their way out of the woods and won against all odds. Casey says in her acknowledgements that she hopes that when you've finished the book that she leaves you with the spark and joy that you need. I think she does that and more. It's not just a story about loving who you love and being honest with yourself, even though that is a remarkably brave and wonderful thing. It's also a battle cry to never give up. It's a rallying cry to vote; to make your voice heard. We can change the world and make it like this one. We can have our female president, we can lift up our LGBTQ+ community, and we can stand with our POC and make sure their voices are heard and they are given the respect and power they deserve. If any of you are looking for a kick in the pants to bring you out of the funk that has
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston a four-star read that will make you blush. I will be honest and admit I had to go back to this one as I started it and gave up, but picked it up after a friend had raved about it, I’m glad I picked it back up as I got more out of it the second time around. This is a book of discovery with witty one liner’s that will make you chuckle, but most of all its about romance and love and enjoying what life give you, despite what you face and what people tell you how you should be.
I had such high hopes for this one and I'm happy to say it pretty much delivered when it comes to everything I want in a romance novel. I liked the characters, thought the two males had good chemistry, and the obstacles they faced along the way kept the story interesting. Alex Claremont-Diaz's mother is President of the United States. She is seeking a second term when Alex causes a tabloid frenzy by getting into an altercation across the pond with Price Henry. In order to smooth things over in the press, both men agree to some staged photo ops. They develop an unlikely friendship that turns into something more. But is the world ready for America's First Son and a British prince to fall in love? I loved the premise for this one and kept thinking throughout the book how awesome it would be if this actually did happen in real life. For the most part I did enjoy the mixing of U.S. politics and the British monarchy although a few times I did question if something was truly realistic. The pace of the story was good and I'm glad the author didn't drag the story out and have a rushed ending which is fairly common in romance novels. Definitely recommend checking this one out if you are looking for a good romance, enjoy stories with diverse characters, and/or like books that revolve around politics or the royal family. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read a free advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a YA LGBTQIA Contemporary/Romance which I received as an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) from @NetGalley (& St. Martin's Press!) in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. SYNOPSIS | In this alternative historical fiction, Alex Claremont-Diaz is the First Son of the United States of America as his mother won the 2016 Presidential Election (instead of Donald Trump). Alex has had a lifelong rivalry with Henry the Prince of Wales and when they both accidentally fall onto Prince Philip's wedding cake, destroying it in the process, it is decided that damage control is needed to prevent the media onslaught about the disgruntled relations between America/Britain. Alex & Henry must pretend to be best buddies until that escalates into something more... MY THOUGHTS | Simply put, I loved this. At the beginning I loved the banter between Alex & Henry and I loved to watch their relationship develop. It truly felt like as a reader we were going on the journey with them as they tried to figure out what they felt for each other, what it actually means, what is the longevity of their relationship etc. The primary reason why I only gave this 4 stars is that there was a lot of references to US politics and the British Royal family of which I have limited knowledge in both & also very little interest. Obviously these topics fit in with the story really well, but I could have enjoyed the story still without a history lesson in them.
I had heard amazing things about this story. I am all about the fluff and I couldn’t resist the idea of a cute and fluffy boy/boy love story. I liked Alex and Henry. I loved their loyalty to each other and the pride in their countries. I especially loved the siblings and friendships. I absolutely want to hang out with the super six. Plot wise, I will say I struggled a bit. It took me 5 days to read this and that’s basically unheard of. No matter how much I was enjoying it, I never got captivated. At times, the plot felt repetitive and it was easy to set down. Once the conflict happened, I was all in and the last 1/3 or so of the book had me screaming and cheering and I couldn’t get enough. Overall, it is a book of pure fluff. It’s also amazingly hopeful and an interesting commentary on politics. **Huge thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin for providing the arc free of charge**
Read the full review at www.madamepincers.com Red, White And Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a contemporary romance set in a slightly alternative future, in which the 2016 American Presidential election was won by Senator Claremont, a woman from Texas. It follows her son, Alex Claremont-Diaz, and his life several years after his mother, the President, has been hard at work for the American people. Alex and Prince Henry (of the British monarchy) have had a long-standing animosity, which comes to a head when a slight kerfuffle ends with them knocking over a wedding cake at the royal wedding. They're forced to become friends in the public eye to appease their respective parents, and of course, shenanigans ensue. What I Loved: - Literally almost everything about this book. It was "squeak out loud" adorable and had me absolutely shaking with laughter. Casey McQuiston wrote characters that were lovable, relatable, and hit me in the feelings, time and again. - The side characters were rich and sharp. I absolutely loved the interactions that Alex had with his sister and the VP's daughter (who was one of my favourite minor characters) and a lot of my enthusiasm for this book comes from the depth of feeling in literally every conversation. - Henry was AMAZING. His character was incredibly layered and as the two of them are getting to know each other through text messages and phone calls in the beginning of the book, seeing flashes of who he was underneath the facade of who his family wanted him to be was like breathing in fresh air. He's kind, fierce, subdued, and offhandedly sarcastic in a way that literally made him one of my favourite love interests in a long time. - I appreciated the depictions of physical intimacy in this book a lot-- things were not gratuitous or vulgar, which made it not feel like fetishization of M/M relationships (something that I'm very leery of in these kinds of books). but the author also didn't just flash forward past their moments of being together. I felt like the intimacy added another, very important layer to their relationship, especially when everything was new and vulnerable. - Alex's questioning of his sexuality was incredibly well done. There's a moment where he thinks "well hmm would a straight person need to spend all their time thinking about how these things don't make him not straight" and it was very well done. The questioning aspect of it seemed earnest and heartfelt; there was no panic about being queer, merely degrees of revelation. This felt very relatable to me, and the honesty that went into Alex's self-reflection was excellent. Also bi representation for the win! - The pacing was lovely. I felt like the roadblocks that went up in their relationship weren't forced, and it was slightly different than the ups and downs of most specifically romance novels. It reminded me a lot of The Hating Game in this, which is one of my absolute favs. What I Liked: - There's a love connection between two handlers that I saw in the very beginning that had me cackling with glee. While both characters are a bit rough around the edges and seem a bit unreal on their own, their eventual relationship was amazing. - The moments of honesty between Alex and his mother. I felt like the balance between President and mother was well-represented and she made mistakes like any normal human, but she was able to come to term with stuff on her own terms, listened well, and weighed the opinions of the public eye...
A rom where the First Son of the first female president falls for a prince? SIGN. ME. UP. This is everything I want in a love story. It's funny, emotional, complicated, and makes you full like your heart is full to bursting. This book was a joy to spend time with and I can't wait to reread a million times over. One of my favorite books of the year for sure. Maybe of all time. Yes, it's THAT good. Though maybe I should double check by rereading for a tenth time.
**I received an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review** Wow, wow, wow! This is one of those books I had heard so much about and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and I'm SO glad I did! It was amazing. When things go awry at a royal wedding, Alex Claermont-Diaz and His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, are forced to pretend to be best friends, when in all actuality, they are anything but. Alex has kept an incident that happened between the two when they were 14 top of mind and he just can't find it in himself to like Henry. Alex is working on graduating from college and then he has high aspirations to go into politics like this parents. Oh yeah, and there is the other little thing Alex needs to focus on, his mother's presidential re-election campaign. Henry, as you can imagine, comes from a world steeped in tradition and as an heir to the throne, things must be presented just so. The problem is that because of these strict protocols, Henry is forced to push is happiness to the back burner and focus only on what is best for his family. When Alex and Henry are forced to spend time together after the royal wedding incident, they find that they may actually have more in common than they realize. They begin to talk to one another and learn about one another. They really begin to see one another for who they are as people, not the bickering teens they once had been. The real question is, will spending all this time together result in friendship, or is there a possibility of something more? I absolutely loved both Henry and Alex as people. They were complex, yet simple in their own right and they both were dealing with a lot of outside forces. They were wonderful together and apart. I also loved the supporting cast of characters. There were so many people involved in this story that made it that much richer from the sister's of the two guys, staffers, Secret Service agents, friends and even the parents themselves. Casey McQuiston did an absolutely phenomenal job with this book and I would recommended it to anyone in a heartbeat. It had it's emotion, it had it's heartache, but it also had plenty of humor, which lead to a very balanced and amazingly awesome read!