Thank you to St Martin’s Press | St Martin’s Griffin for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Publication Date: May 14th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
This novel follows Alex, the son of the U.S. President, and Henry, the Prince of Wales. Alex’s mother, Ellen, is up for re-election, and she refuses to let anything stain her reputation. There are photos leaked of Prince Henry, and Alex, at a royal wedding that threatens the American/British relations. Now, Alex and Henry have to stage a fake friendship. That’s not the only thing these two young men have to deal with throughout the novel. Alex has to deal with his mom’s opponent. Henry has to deal with all of his ghosts. While the reelection starts, Alex finds himself beginning a secret relationship with Henry, and it’s not good for the campaign.
I was expecting just a cute, fluffy read. This actually deals with a lot more than that. This handles LGBTQ+ topics, and what the characters mentally go through while being so high up on the social ladder. You find out which characters can be trusted, and which ones are conniving little sneaks.
The writing was not bad. I found it to be very average for a contemporary romance. I did find it quite long for what the story was about, and that’s why I dropped it down a star. I thought that some of it was unnecessary.
All of the characters were developed quite well. I did find a lot of them quite annoying, but I’m assuming that there are a few that were supposed to be annoying. I really liked Ellen. She wanted to keep her image clean, but she also supported her son. She was a good fictional momma.
My favorite character was probably Henry. As the story moves along, the reader learns a lot more about how he is handling everything, mentally. At one point he even has a panic attack. For someone to be a Prince, have a secret relationship with the President’s son, and still keep it together as best as he can, is very impressive. I really respect him as a character. He always did what he thought should be done. He supported Alex, and it melted my heart. They had a pretty good relationship throughout the book. It got rocky a few times, but they persevered.
There is some steamy parts in this, but I wouldn’t say they are intense. I honestly didn’t know what to expect while reading a male/male romance. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it. I think McQuiston handled it quite well. Kudos to her.
This novel is worth the read if you are into cute romance novels that have deeper topics woven through them. It’s a fast read even though it is 400 pages long. I don’t think it’s mindblowing, but I did find it very well done. I think McQuiston broke some barriers as far as the type of romance. I guess I can’t say much since this is only my third actual romance novel. Please give it a try if you are interested!
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