Red, White & Royal Blue // I was Head Over Heels

25 June 2019


Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
Published: 14th May 2019
Source: Purchased
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
My Rating:
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?

Welcome to my first review in a while, please don’t mind me while I dust off the cobwebs. And my first review is for the first book I managed to finish in a few weeks: Red White & Royal Blue. Before we even get into the main part of the review I will right off the bat say this is a new favourite for me. Literally everything about this book worked for me and I am so pleased that this impulse buy wasn’t an epic flop (that happens far more than I probably say).

I know this book has been everywhere (or at least, the reviews I’ve managed to catch for it make it seem like everyone has been talking about it, I don’t really know, I’ve still got 150+ reviews to catch up on) and that there is some hype around. But I missed all of that when I fell off the face of the blogging world for a while so for once I got the chance to go in pretty much blind with this one. I only looked at it in the bookshop because I’d seen the cover on twitter and when I read the back of the book it seemed like my kind of read. In fact, I almost didn’t buy this but I was hanging around for my mom to come out of the loo before I checked out and ended up going back and grabbing it while I was waiting.

Best decision ever!

As soon as I began reading I knew I had made the right decision. Something about the writing and the characters just felt familiar and I sank right on into the story pretty much immediately. There was no dithering about whether or not I liked it, it just clicked for me. Alex was kind of cocky and very intense and he could have been a character I didn’t like because he was a lot but it worked. He was confident in himself and his abilities. He knew he was smart and he was determined to succeed in politics right off the bat. He was impulsive and he made some bad decisions, but he was never doing them for bad reasons. He was just off before he thought things through and that endeared me to him.

Also spoiler (sort of, I mean, just be wary of this whole paragraph just in case) I did think Alex knew he was bi because from the very start his hatred of Henry seemed a bit much. Because why would any guy be that interested in another guy at a young age? And some of the things he said and the way he acted made it seem like he was. I think some of his jokes with Henry during their forced friendship time make it seem like he was. He made off hand jokes about their relationship being more than a friendship. I think there was a pregnancy joke and everything and I just got that vibe. I know it was part of the story line where he realised this about himself and that he in fact had been slowly realising for a while that he was bi because a lot of things he’d done when he was younger were not how you would act if you weren’t interested in guys too. And his family and friends all seemed to have realised this about him too so maybe I was meant to realise before he did but it did throw me for a second when reading.

Anyway, Alex, he was a sweetheart I wasn’t sure I’d love because he was very full on and what I would view as a typical American. But then there was Henry who I also thought I might not like. Have I mentioned before I hate how some people write Brits? I mean, I’m British and I’m pretty sure if a lot of you heard me speak you wouldn’t instantly think British (unless you’re from the UK< but come on, that’s cheating). It always annoys me when you have posh folk as your typical Brit. I’m also wary of books involving royalty (unless it’s Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series) because the royal family is viewed a bit differently here than some of you think. I mean, I like to refer to the Queen as Queenie but I feel like most people kind of forget about the royal family until someone gets married/divorced/dies. So there were two things here that could make me potentially hate Henry. Luckily, he was very well-written and I loved this previous cinnamon roll. He was cold and standoffish but I just knew that was to hide a major secret. And loved how much drama there was going on with his whole family! I wish the royal family was as interesting as his family was (although, I totally wanted to call out the fact that his dad got to be an actor and keep working because I’m pretty sure the royals have to give up work but I don’t know the logistics of that one so don’t take my word for it).

I will say after reading this Alex and Henry are my OTP. They were properly adorable. I mean, we all knew shit was going to go down at that Royal wedding when Alex was dumb enough to get drunk and start talking to Henry. Did I expect an expensive ass cake to go flying? Not so much, but loved the fake friendship. Who knew I’d love that as much as a fake relationship? I mean, knew it was love with this book when there was a reference to Harry and Draco and the definite undertones happening with that relationship and then a Remus mention too? I mean hot damn. Way to grab a girls attention and make her scream her love for a book. I was about ready to kill for each every character in this book. I wanted to befriend them and beat up the big meanies (looking at you Queenie) and protect them from all. And considering this book was 400+ pages, I would have been happy to read more. I want the secondary characters to have their own books and for this gang to take over the world one country at a time with their political power and good deeds.

Basically, if you haven’t figured it out from this weird, twisty, rambling review. I was head over heels for this book. It was funny and the characters were so likeable without being boring. It was so easy for me to begin reading and then lose myself for a few hours. It’s not often a book captures my attention so completely but this one managed it.

Have you read Red, White & Royal Blue? Give me your thoughts. And do you sometimes find yourself struggling to explain why a book worked but you know it definitely did?
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