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?
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thank you so much to St. Martin's Press for an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I requested this book because it sounded like a fun, light read that I could enjoy over a weekend. After picking it up, I became immediately obsessed with Alex and Henry's story and couldn't put it down until I found how how it all ended! This book is everything I didn't know I wanted in a romance novel and I completely binge-read it. I literally ran to my computer to write this review so that I could get all my giddy, happy thoughts written down to share what I loved about it.
One of My Favourite Love Stories
I feel like this book was such a breath of fresh air and I absolutely fell in love with Alex and Henry's love story. Reading about them stumbling through their friendship and getting to know each other, Alex coming to understand himself better, their emails (THEIR EMAILS!!), the way their relationship progress, and all of the sexy scenes in between just made my heart so happy. They seem like such opposites until they dig under the surfaces of their public images and really get to know each other, and I'm so happy that we got to see them go through that. They are both massive public figures and watching them trying to figure out how to have a relationship, and what that relationship actually means, makes for a fabulous love story.
Witty and Fun
I was honestly grinning throughout so much of this book. Alex is somewhat self-centred but completely not self-aware, which leads to some pretty great revelations for him when he starts to understand aspects of his life better. I love his entire relationship with Henry and the many, many hilarious antics they get into, either alone or with their friends. Alex really forces Henry out of his shell, and Henry calls Alex out on his intensity. Even the sexy moments are a battle of wits, making them both adorable and funny to read! Because this is an ARC, I can't quote from the book, but I've seriously written down so many funny moments and quotes that all the characters do or say in this book.
Everyone Needs a June or Paz in Their Life
Ahh June and Paz; it's hard to say who I loved more when it came to secondary characters (Zahra and Nora were also in the running, but June and Paz ultimately made the top of the list). June is the protective and supportive big sister that everyone wants. As an older sister, I loved everything she did to support Alex and how their relationship is such a big part of the book. Although she and Alex are really different personalities, they are such close siblings and I loved reading at it. Likewise, everyone needs a best friend like Paz (Henry is so lucky)! Someone who brings out the best in us, isn't afraid to be themselves, and is a genuinely amazing person to have in their lives. We don't spend a ton of time with him, but any moment with him (specifically when him and Henry are road-tripping to Wales ) is amazing.
Not YA, But Not A Traditional Adult Romance
I want to be clear that this is not a Young Adult book (despite the adorable cover) but it's also not a traditional Romance. I feel like that needs to be clarified because I was a bit confused about age-range when I was reading. The characters are in their 20s and do have sex, so it seems like this book falls under the new title of "New Adult" that I've started seeing on Goodreads. I would definitely recommend it to adults over teens if that helps with the distinction.
I absolutely adored reading it and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Romance, LGBTQ+, or just a funny story about two men falling in love. Red, White & Royal Blue comes out on May 14th and I'm so excited for it to get here so everyone can love it as much as I do!
FINAL RATING: 5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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