McQuiston, Casey. Red, White and Royal Blue. St. Martin’s Press / Griffin, 2019. ISBN 978-1250316776 421 pp. $16.99
I have been looking for something as good as The Royal We for years, and sorry, Heir Affair did not match up. BUT Red, White & Royal Blue might have surpassed The Royal We in writing, plot and snark.
Alex is America’s Mexican-American golden boy, and he meets his match in England’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Henry, who he’s long been fascinated with. They have an antagonist relationship that gets pushed too far when Alex and Henry are roughhousing a bit too close to Henry’s brother’s wedding cake, and Alex’s penance for creating an international incident is to make nice with the Prince and fake a friendship that turns into a real one, with snarky texts and late night calls. It isn’t until the Prince plants one on first Son that Alex has an inkling he might not be as straight as he thought.
Obviously, they have to keep the relationship a secret — neither of them are out, and Henry is expected to marry and and Alex’s mom is up for re-election. Alex has been planning to become the youngest US Senator ever, and it isn’t easy to be an out politician. A media shit storm ensues when their relationship is discovered.
This novel features texts and emails, scripts, powerpoint titles, and other ephemera as well as Alex’s narrative. The voice and pacing are perfect, and it’s lovingly written with wonderful attention to detail, and a healthy dose of White House & Royal life tidbits, American history, and millennial angst.
I bought the book, the ebook, and have read it a half dozen times.