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* Instant NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestseller *
* GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER for BEST DEBUT and BEST ROMANCE of 2019 *
* BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR* for VOGUE, NPR, VANITY FAIR, 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, genius—his 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, sexy—this 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
* Instant NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestseller *
* GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER for BEST DEBUT and BEST ROMANCE of 2019 *
* 2020 Alex Award Winner *
A Vogue Best Novel of 2019
A Vanity Fair Best Book of 2019
One of NPR's Favorite Books of 2019
One of Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Romance Novels of 2019
A BookPage Best of the Year
A Kirkus Best Book of 2019
A Library Journal Best Romance of 2019
A Shelf Awareness Best of the Year
A She Reads Best Romance of 2019
[An] exquisite debut... It's hard to watch [Alex] fall in love with Henry without falling in love a bit yourself -- with them, and with this brilliant, wonderful book. - The New York Times Book Review
[A] fireworks in the sky, glitter in your hair joyous royal romance that you'll want to fall head over heels in love with again and again. A+ - Entertainment Weekly
A rivalry between the son of a U.S. president and the Prince of Wales turns into a whirlwind romance in this charming story about true love. - Us Weekly
[An] escapist masterpiece... It's a truly glorious thing to live inside the world of this book and to imagine it becoming reality, too. - Vogue
The super specific love story you never knew you needed. - Cosmopolitan
Effervescent and empowering on all levels, Red, White & Royal Blue is both a well-written love story and a celebration of identity. McQuiston may not be royal herself, but her novel reigns as must read rom-com. - NPR
In between sweet and steamy love scenes, Red, White & Royal Blue allows readers to imagine a world where coming out involves no self-loathing; where fan fiction and activist Twitter do actual good; and a diverse, liberal White House wins elections. This Blue Wave fantasy could be the feel-good book of the summer. -Booklist, Starred Review
The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston's debut... The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. A clever, romantic, sexy love story. -Kirkus, Starred Review
With a diverse cast of characters, quick-witted dialog, and a complicated relationship between to young people with the eyes of the world watching their every move, McQuiston's debut is an irresistible, hopeful, and sexy romantic comedy that considers real questions about personal and public responsibility. -Library Journal, Starred Review
"[An] outstanding debut... with quick wit and clever plotting. The drama, which involves political rivals, possible betrayals, and even a meeting with the queen, is both irresistible and delicious. Readers will be eager to see more from McQuiston." - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Red, White & Royal Blue is funny and fun, and the family and political dynamics feel spot-on, but it's the frank and unforgettable romance between these two young men that will compel readers to start it all over again when faced with the last page. It's that hard to say goodbye to this couple. - BookPage, Top Pick
OPRAHMAG.COM, The 27 Greatest Romance Novels to Read In Your Lifetime
POPSUGAR, "30 Must-Read Books of 2019"
BUSTLE, 21 New Romance Novels To Make Your Spring Reading Even Dreamier Than You Imagined
SHE READS, "Most Anticipated Romances of 2019"
BUZZFEED, 19 Books Coming Out This Year That You Seriously Need To Read
HARPER'S BAZAAR, 20 Best LGBTQ Books of 2019
HELLOGIGGLES, Best New Books to Read in May
HYPABLE, "Spring 2019 Releases That Need To Be On Your Radar"
REFINERY29, Best Books of May 2019
BOOKRIOT, "Best Books We Read in November" / "Love Is In The Air: 51 New Romance Novels Scheduled for 2019" / "Most Anticipated 2019 LGBTQ Reads" / "Most Anticipated Books of 2019" / 50 Must-Reads Books by Debut authors for January - June 2019"
BOOKPAGE, "2019 Preview: Most Anticipated Romance"
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, "Best Romances of 2019
GOODREADS, "The Best Romance Books of May
PARADE, The Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2019
BOOKBUB, "The Best Romance Books Coming in 2019"
ALL ABOUT ROMANCE, "Books We're Most Looking Forward to Reading This Year"
CHATELAINE MAGAZINE, "Best Romance Books 2019"
DAZED MAGAZINE, "Eight Romance Novels That Are Subverting The Genre In 2019"
FOREVER YOUNG ADULT, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019"
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, Best of Romance 2019
Let this heartwarmingly romantic tale--about the son of an American president falling in love with the prince of Wales--be a balm for your political and cultural cynicism. - Oprahmag.com
It's the ideal summer read, one that melds the hilarious crass-mouthed sarcasm of HBO's VEEP with supremely steamy scenes. - Bustle
It's moving, it's relevant, it's OH-SO romantic... - Natasha is a Book Junkie
"Royal watchers, prepare yourselves, because this LGBTQ+ romance is destined to leave you swooning." - Pop Sugar
Casey McQuiston dazzles with Red, White & Royal Blue. Passion characterizes every moment of this smart, mischievous, gratifying and sensitive novel. - Shelf Awareness
"This is romance at its purest, carrying the reader away on a warm, funny journey... a vision of humanity at its finest." - Dazed
This is an enemies-to-lovers romance that will give you all the feels! You won't want to miss this one - it's been a favorite of mine this year. - She Reads
Casey McQuiston reboots the royal romance with a joyful, clever, quick-witted and totally irresistible debut. - Vilma Iris
I took this with me wherever I went and stole every second I had to read! Absorbing, hilarious, tender, sexy--this 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
I tore through Red, White & Royal Blue as if it were a pint of Ben & Jerry's. By turns hilarious and angst-ridden, buoyant and strikingly real, this novel is a surefire bull's-eye for any devotee of classic romance, slow burn fanfiction, or heartfelt storytelling. A political love story too timely and too genuine to miss. - Lyndsay Faye, internationally bestselling author of Jane Steele and The Gods of Gotham
This book is like that perfect dessert you allow yourself only on the really good or really bad days. And I loved every deliciously satiating page of it. - Julia Whelan, author of My Oxford Year--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07J4LPZRN
- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin (May 14, 2019)
- Publication date : May 14, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 5211 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 425 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,313 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2019
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Top reviews from the United States
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Let me say this: it was very clear from the beginning how this story was going to end. It wasn’t surprising... like, at all! But, the joy should be in the journey no matter the outcome, right? Well... no. It was written nicely at times (but mostly it’s a very tumblr/fanfic/glib mess). There were many moments of inspired, descriptive passages and pretty prose, sure, but... It’s a shame that you had to trudge through the too-frequent, unrealistically crude, sarcastic banter to get to it, though, so...
Almost every side character is a person of color, and there’s lots of lgbtq representation, which should feel great, but instead comes off as incredibly forced (which is not so great)— like a diversity checklist. The inclusion of multiple POC I perceived as only to be used as a statement, which feels wrong somehow. I dig that here the First Family is biracial, but again, it didn’t feel organic (couldn’t it just be, “This is us. This is who we are” and leave it at that? Instead of it trying to hammer home social commentary?). It’s totally all contrived political correctness. The rep is important: we have multiple LGBTQIA+ caricatures, that came off as disingenuous stereotypes. But mostly, for the entirety of the novel, I couldn’t connect with the MCs. They didn’t feel real enough: too smug, snarky, narcissistic, and the romance was all-consuming (and I hate that)... Give me diversity and representation, but let it make sense! Let it be real!!!
A lot happens in the first 10% of the book (it felt like it was crammed in, or one giant prologue that’s multiple chapters long): White House to London, back to USA, then London again, a wedding and three public events— I didn’t know how it was going to be dragged out for the remaining 90%. I wish more time was actually focused on a few of Alex and Henry’s outings earlier on, because they came and went so fast I got whiplash: the trip to the stables was over in a blink, the talk show (I think it was?) was probably a paragraph or two before it jumped abruptly into a charity event. There was SO MUCH room for elaboration... these were missed opportunities for interesting depth progression, and could’ve saved on so much unnecessarily long-winded ramblings later on. After about a third of the way through, the books starts to evolve into something different— more sincere, if you will. Making the first 30-odd percent seem like an infinitely different story/tone.
(Side note: the whole ‘young adults debate Star Wars’ schtick is SO overdone).
There is a huge identity crisis happening in this novel: sometimes it screams YA, and then other times characters are talking about graphic acts. Fair warning for anyone sensitive to it: there is extremely frequent crude/crass language, and lots of sexual material. One of the more "intimate" scenes plays out for like, several pages (too long, in my opinion). We get a dozen (I am not exaggerating!) different sex scenes. Now, I’m no prude (and wholly sex positive), but that’s just TOO MANY! It read like fanfiction-y smut.
I also can’t believe I’m saying this, but there was just waaaay too much banter for my liking. It was all “sharp” millennial humor all the dang time. I craved moments of actual sarcasm-less depth and seriousness, and was frequently disappointed most of the way through, which was often, because this book is OVERLONG! I was constantly checking my progress, because the story just dragsssss and I wanted it to pick up the pace.
(Not to sound nit-picky, but...)— cool. Another politically-charged book out to vilify Republicans. I get it: it’s AU liberal wish fulfillment about the First Family. They’re Democrats. I’m fine with that, obviously, because I don’t judge people or outright reject anyone based on political affiliation. But couldn’t this book just leave out all the name calling, ignorance, and horrible right-wing stereotyping? The only message I see being pushed here is that Republicans are nothing more than bigoted, racist, fascist, evil, homophobic sexual predators, and Democrats are the ones to save us all. The authoress could’ve done the decent thing: play nice and not be so severely partisan (being pro-bipartisan won’t make you any less progressive), but that’s too much to ask with such clearly imbedded bias. Her disgust for Republicans is scary and, frankly really, really sad. I almost, almost was willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but come the conclusion after the whole “Waterloo” leak, I’m just resigned to the fact that Left-leaning authors will never tolerate opinions outside their own. And it makes me feel bad.
This felt like shipped fan fiction crossed with political Pollyanna outcomes that were so predictable. Additionally it felt like it was going for some NC 17 type mainstream rating. While I don't have to have explicit erotica in my romance, the cross between weirdly glossed through, implied sex scenes and sort of fade to black at the bed until dawn was unsatisfying at best. A little bit of purple prose and I would have been transported back to 1980's Harlequin romances with a lot more pages and a gay twist.
Was it romantic to read? Sometimes. I would have rather read a whole book of their emails back and forth, I think that was where the real romance shined with real intimacy. Sometimes it was a dead political bore or infuriating political posturing. Was it fun to read, actually, yes at times but mostly in a way that I didn't see as really very approachable. Was it ridiculous for millennial men under the worlds microscope to not think twice about using email? OMG. So dumb. So, so dumb. Was it lazy and gross for the author to use the trauma of "outing" as a driving plot device, absolutely. Were the secret service basically non existent and incompetent in this book. 100%.
Finally, I was actually the most surprised by the editing errors from a major book publisher. The very first sentence after "Rule Number One", (this is basically page 1) had a spelling error. I found that to set the tone to find quite a few more, and double sentences and trouble with tense. I assumed for the high $$ ebook price it would have been more professionally done.
Their parents are less than thrilled with the altercation, and in an effort to smooth over the politically embarrassing moment, Alex and Henry are forced to orchestrate a fake friendship for the next few months. Only the “fake” friendship begins to become something more as both Alex and Henry realize the other isn’t exactly what he seems. Friendship morphs into…romantic feelings? Kind of? Maybe? Which is especially confusing for Alex since he’s (mostly?) sure he’s straight. The two men must navigate their intense and complicated relationship, all while Alex’s mother campaigns for reelection in the States and the Queen scrutinizes Henry’s every move from the throne.
So. This was an interesting experience for me. I don’t usually read gay romance, but I have to say this was a really lovely book. Alex and Henry both are extremely well-developed characters. It didn’t take me long to feel like I knew them and was invested in their stories. The plot line itself is sweet and not as predictable as I was expecting. Plus, there’s a lot more going on here than “will they or won’t they?” That dilemma is solved pretty early on, and the second half of the novel is devoted entirely to delivering a much more nuanced message about the ethical boundaries of social media and politics, as well as the efficacy of how we interact with and support the LGBTQ community.
In sum, Red, White, and Royal Blue is a really charming book, and (can I say this without sounding ignorant?) I feel like I caught a glimpse into a life I know relatively nothing about and ended up learning a lot. I finished this one feeling happy, yes, but also a little more understanding and knowledgeable. What’s not to love?
Top reviews from other countries
Henry is described as being the third child of princess Catherine, first in line to her mother, Queen Mary’s throne. Therefore, her official title would be Princess of Wales. And once she is queen her ELDEST son, Philip, will adopt the title prince of Wales. However, the author seems to think Henry is the prince of Wales. And also, being the second son and third child to the first in line to the throne actually would realistically mean that the royal family wouldn’t care that he was gay, cause in the past few years they’ve updated it so that Bea actually would come before Henry in lines of succession, therefore Philip doesn’t even need to have kids.
I understand that the author is trying to achieve an escapist optimistic parallel to the real events of us politics. But to actually make our royal family look worse than they are is unfair. If you want realism and optimism don’t pain other countries in parallel and more negative way.
I also know is fictive. And not supposed to be representing the real royal family but if you’re going to claim it as a more optimistic and positive parallel universe for all those lost in a trump ruined country then please at least except hate REAL positivity taken from fact. It would just be a nicer read for British audiences.
It probably goes without saying that I was unable to finish this. I was absolutely exhausted with the sheer overwhelming *cringe* of it soon after Alex and Henry started their relationship which is in the first 25% of the book. After that the building, enemies to lovers romance (which was the only interesting, compelling part) falls incredibly flat, whatever tension simmered between the two men before simply burns out in a sad puff of very mediocre, juvenile smoke. It simply isn’t a compelling romance, even though it’s between a Prince and President’s son and it should all be very exciting. The sex scenes are...meh, okay? Not exactly titillating, quite the opposite really if you've ever read a sex scene in your life, but they’re there...sort of, if that helps? The goal might have been to avoid the explicit, but the result was a weird disconnect leaving me a bit confused about what had actually physically happened and the passion between them fizzled out in the text.
There’s also a LOT of dragging on and on about American politics, which is a bit of a snooze.
However, the biggest flaw is that most of the characters have the exact same personality and voice, and that voice is Tumblr circa 2016. It’s all very sassy, we’re so fabulous, ‘omg you didn’t know you were gay, is this something we’re pretending we didn’t know hunny yaaas lol’. It's so embarrassing, it's like a teenager binge watched Gilmore Girls, sat on TikTok for five hours then tried to turn it into a novel. It’s very grating very quickly. The saddest part is you could switch any of the characters out for another and I really wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Nora, June, Alex, Amy, Zahra, Luna, even Liam (who is in it for one conversation). They are all the exact same person, even though the author tries very hard to tell us that they are different, really...like this one is brainy...that one is smart...this one is clever. It's all just different ways of describing The Same Person. The only ones with different personalities are Henry and Pez (posh and sad, or extravagant dandy, respectively).
The author also suffers terribly from over-explaining the characters. Instead of showing me someone is X, Y or Z through their actions or words I am told it by the main character, who constantly narrates their traits, history and their relationship with other characters through the years all in one giant paragraph. Not to mention the traits and descriptions I was given of these characters didn’t always make sense with their actions. So why bother?
It's SUCH a bummer the characters and dialogue is so awful because the author is capable of some really lovely prose descriptions, I found myself going back more than once to re-read a sentence just to really see, and experience the emotion behind it. I simply cannot in good faith recommend buying this book for just that. RUN.
It's like the very best sort of pop music: well-written, catchy (in this case for its characters) and with just enough to say to make you remember it after the fact. It may not do a lot that's new or innovative - unless going down the royal romance path only to take a gay turn along the way is a departure - but in its democratic dream world it never allows itself to become too frivolous, realising that it still has a powerful message at its heart that very much bears repeating. It's not perfect; it stretches credulity, even within its own fantastic remit, a little too tautly at times. But it does have important things to say, and on the whole it says them well. It's also very sexy, for which it earns bonus points, and with which it sets itself apart from most YA and indeed 'adult' fiction, which is often far more reined-in in its depiction of sex scenes.
Overall, a very solid four stars.
It read like a bad wattpad book and rattled the expectations I had from the hype surrounding the book.
And then, it took me on the most fantastic rollercoaster of emotions that left me curled up in my bed, clutching my kindle to my heart. All because of Alex and Henry.
This book tugs at your heart, creeping in slowly like a puppy who only wants to be loved and in a matter of minutes, you come to this realization that you will go above and beyond for the puppy.
I am not a fan of enemy-to-lover relationships. Not sure why but I’ve never seen a realistic one that I could really buy. But this just knocked that dislike out of the ballpark and turned me into a fan.
(From this point on, there are very mild spoilers)
I shipped them the second they started bickering. Alex with his stupid ‘I secretly have a crush on you but will pretend to hate you’ remarks and Henry with his ‘I’m supposed to be stoic but you’re so freaking cute’. They made me laugh so hard, especially when they had to pretend to be friends and then when they realized they’d actually become friends. That scene with the turkeys left me gasping for air because it was just so hilarious.
The progression of their relationship was so well-done, especially with how they slowly came to a point where they were just comfortable being themselves with each other. And this was all without them even meeting.
And when they were going to meet again, I was clutching at my pearls with excitement. When I tell you that this book took me back to when I was a thirteen year old obsessed with reading, it was amazing how, as an adult, it is now rare that I find a gem of a book that leaves me sleepless, unproductive, and unwilling to do anything except reading.
My final note: those emails were the DEATH of me. Every chapter in the second half made me emotional and I will die for Henry and Alex. I will die for them.