After several people, and many more TikToks, told me to read this book, I couldn’t resist. I have been reading a lot of romances recently and this one sounded so cute, so I bought a copy and read it in 2 days. And y’all, this is so cute!!
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Published: May 14, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
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.
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. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
A romance set in an alternate universe, our story is about First Son Alex who unexpectedly falls in love with England’s Prince Henry. The two had been rivals for years before they unfortunately had to make nice and become friends after they ruined the wedding of Henry’s older brother, Phillip.
I have seen so many reviews and thoughts about this book. This is definitely one that’s beloved as it won the Best Romance Award and Best Debut from the Goodreads Choice Awards. And of course, BookTok is obsessed with this book and just all romance books at the moment, so I thought, why not. I bought myself a copy and got to reading.
For starters, I loved the initial premise of “enemies” to lovers. I say enemies loosely, because it was more of an “I don’t like you, so we don’t interact” relationship than anything else, and it only stemmed from them meeting one time when Henry was rude. Which, I get. If you’re excited to meet someone for the first time and they’re rude to you, it doesn’t leave you inclined to make any friends. But these enemies quickly turn into lovers and more than 2/3 of the book was about their romance. Cute!
One thing I wished was that the rivalry between them would go on for longer. Very quickly, once they had to start hanging out, they became fast friends and I wanted to see more of a transition. It just felt really quick for them to go from enemies to friends, though I guess I can’t talk because my best friend from high school was my “enemy” for years, until we sat together on the bus for a band competition. In a 5 minute bus ride, we went from hating each other to having nicknames and we’ve been inseparable every since. But I just wanted to see more of that banter between them! It was really funny and I thought it would have been more fun to see that banter go from sassy and rude, to just sassy, to sweet over time.
Once our enemies become friends, it also quickly turns into lovers. And it was so freaking cute! I love a good, sappy romance. Maybe it’s the romantic in me, or maybe it’s because I’m getting married, but I just find it so freaking cute and every interaction with them left me “aww”-ing! Now, this is an adult romance, so if you don’t like kinda explicit sex scenes, then this book probably isn’t for you. Most of the scenes are not descriptive or have a fade to black setting, so it wasn’t too graphic, but there’s sex and mentions of drugs and other adult content in this book that younger readers, or their parents, might not find appropriate. So I’m going to stick a minimum age requirement of at least 16 years old on this one, because this isn’t meant for younger readers.
Honestly, this book was really cute, though I was seriously lost on all the political mentions. Alex, as the First Son, aka the President’s son, works with his mom on her re-election campaign and they discuss the metrics of her first campaign. Now, I keep up with politics, I don’t live under a rock, and even I was confused on some terminology or mentions of practices that I haven’t heard about before. This book was half about the relationship and the other half about Alex’s mother’s re-election campaign for President.
And Alex and Henry’s family and friends are to die for. June (Alex’s sister) is such a good big sister and she was such a good character addition. Nora, the VP’s granddaughter, is an excellent friend and supporter of Alex too. She’s eccentric and fun, but can be serious, especially when her friends need her. Henry’s best friend, Pez, who we only see some glimpses of, sounds like a super fun guy to hang out with. And Henry’s sister, Bea, is another supportive big sister and confidant that everyone wishes they could have. The family and friends behind Alex and Henry are just so sweet and supportive, I loved every moment with them!
Overall, if you want a super cute, MLM romance with some political games mixed in, then this book is perfect! I loved Alex and Henry’s interactions from start to finish, especially one particular party scene with their friends. I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited to read Casey’s latest book, One Last Stop!
I don’t have a lot of romance recommendations, especially MLM romances, but I do have a fantastic enemies to lovers romance – The Hating Game by Sally Thorne! If you have any good MLM romance recommendations, please leave them in the comments!