Red, White & Royal Blue
Review

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is the best swoon-worthy M/M romance

Red, White & Royal Blue is entertaining, heart-melting, swoon-worthy M/M romance with the right amount of drama, comedy, romance, friendship, family, and politics. I fun to buddy read this with Misty @ Misty’s Book Space.

Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Publication Date : May 14, 2019

Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin

Read Date : August 25, 2023

Genre : Romance

Pages : 423

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis

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?

Review of Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue is Entertaining, heart-melting, the best romance I ever read. I knew I would be fangirling this book the moment I finished first chapter.

The story revolves around Alex the first son of the president of U.S. who has to fake the friendship with Henry, the Prince of England after the cake-strophic incident at the royal wedding. Alex and Henry cannot tolerate each other but when they are forced to spend time together neither imagined this fake friendship will turn into a real one and even less they will fall in love.

Writing is gripping, entertaining and absolutely fabulous and so is plot. The story is first person narratove from Alex‘s perspective. After the first few chapters, I wish I also had Henry’s perspective. However, even without Hanry’s perspective I never felt I didn’t get to know him. In fact, it was fun to know him in Alex’s cheeky and refreshing voice.

I always enjoy texts and emails in books. As both characters lived in different countries text and email conversations are the medium of their conversations that was filled with love, metaphors, sarcasm, and interesting titbits of both characters.

I loved almost all the characters in this book and they all grow along with Alex and Henry who are my favorites and are the heart of the story. Alex is half Mexican son of the first female president of the U.S. He is confident, self-obsessed, badmouth, and charmer golden boy who wouldn’t hesitate to speak his mind, laughs easily. He is studying politics, is super organized and loves working with lists.

I loved how he worked with his mom and her staff and how much he cares about people, loves his home state and cares about his roots. His realization of his sexuality and how he accepted it and talked about it with his family was amazing. He is mostly an open book with lots of energy that refused to be contained and it was amazing how Henry became the person to steady him, make him relax and live in the moment than chase the next big challenge and dream.

Hanry is a philanthropist, loves literature, and doesn’t want anything to do with politics or enjoy the limelight. He has lots of layers. He is a brooder, reserved, calm, polite, and doesn’t show emotions or laugh openly but he is a gentle soul with wittiness hidden inside. It was heartbreaking to see how his life became a gilded cage after his father’s death, how much his family judged him for being gay and pressured him into being something who he isn’t.

I hated Henry’s brother and the Queen for controlling and demeaning him for past five years, seeing his sexuality as the misguided feeling of young age and something to be fixed. It was simply horrible how they ignored him and treated him and only cared about their face in public than his feelings. It was great he had his sister, Bea and his best friend, Pez, to lean on but in a way, he was very alone. It took Alex to make him break through the cage and make him live for himself than for his title.

Alex’s family dynamic is interesting. His mom, Ellen, is fabulous. She is no-nonsense and kick-ass president and mother. I loved how she could understand Alex and the way she accepted his sexuality. It was hilarious how she made the presentation and made Alex sit through it. June, his sister, wants to be a journalist and isn’t getting her dream job. Her and Ellen’s relationship is complex and as the story progressed it is interesting to know more about that relationship. Her love and support for Alex is amazing.

Oscar, their dad is also a politician and after his and Ellen’s divorce there has been lots of argument and fights on the dinner table. I admired Leo, their step-father for keeping his cool in all the chaos of the family. But As the story progressed we see all their differences were only at the dinner table of their house, when in crisis they are the united front against the world and they genuinely cared for each other.

Friendship is just as amazing as family relationship. The White House Trio – Alex, June and Nora was fabulous. I loved Nora and her statistician brain. She isn’t straight and never cared about going public with it. I loved how Alex could talk to her about his sexuality and how she supported Alex and made him see points when June wasn’t around. I loved how this trio became Super Six including Henry, Pez, and Bea. The banter between them is amazing.

The author did an amazing job of balancing family, friendship, romance, and politics. Some might feel politics overpowers the plot especially if you don’t like politics in book but I found it well-balanced and as important in the book as romance as it creates right amount of tension and drama that I want in romance.

I loved the theme and layers of gender identity, racism, responsibility, ethics, abuse, homophobia, prejudice, and tradition. Even with the serious theme, there are many hilarious and fun moments. That cake scene in the beginning is epic, and so is turkey scene, Henry attending New Year party and that dance scene, Pez’s colorful appearance, Henry singing in bar, Zahra finding Henry in Alex’s room. There are many lovely romantic moments that I loved.

Romance is swoon-worthy, sexy, heart-melting and so very beautiful. Books like this is why I love enemies to lovers trope and it was excellent in this book. I so much enjoyed Alex’s Before Henry/ After Henry thoughts and feeling- his opinion about Henry when he hated him and how that changed after he got to know about him. I loved how they got to know each other and how their perspective towards each other with their growing friendship and how they realized or more precisely how Alex realized he is in love with Henry. I absolutely enjoyed all Henry/Alex moments throughout the book. They made me smile and blush like a teenager. They are absolute delight.

I was anticipating the main twist for the entire book, I knew Alex and Henry’s relationship will come out through media but I haven’t anticipated it the way it happened. It was so extreme. I wouldn’t have guessed they would go to such length and it made me more curious to see how that will change their relationship and how they would come out of all mess.

I loved how the scandal changed them and made their relationship even stronger. There are many other surprising revelations after the big scandal. The poll result scene near the end was adrenaline filled and infectious. I was glad to see Henry’s mom finally coming out of her funk and how she stood up for her son in the end. End is just perfect. Let’s just say I never have been this happy to read happily ever after in any other romance.

Overall, Red, White & Royal Blue is entertaining, heart-melting, swoon-worthy M/M romance with the right amount of drama, comedy, romance, friendship, family, and politics. You can expect this on my best romance book of 2023 list and now I can’t wait to watch the movie.

I highly recommend this if you like,
M/M Romance
Romance with politics
Family and political drama
Enemies to lovers trope
Secret relationship
Theme of Gender identity, racism, homophobia
Well balanced romance, friendship, family, and politics

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

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