McQuiston, Casey. “Red, White and Royal Blue: A Novel”, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2019.
America’s First Son and the Prince of Wales
When Alex Claremont-Diaz’s mother became President of the United States, Alex was promptly seen as the American equivalent of a young royal (Interesting that this was not the case with Baron Trump). Alex is handsome, intelligent and charismatic, a great image of millennial-marketing gold for the White House. But there is a problem: Alex has an issue with the actual prince, the British Duke-of-Wales, Henry and when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, American/British relations take a dive.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers come up with a plan for damage control: A truce is staged between the two rivals. What began as a fake friendship soon grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have thought. Soon Alex finds himself in a secret romance with Henry that could upend two nations. I am well aware that this is a ridiculous premise for a book but I am also aware that something like this while not likely could possibly happen. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that it is such fun to read. It is outrageous and it is also romantic, sexy, witty, and thrilling (a kind of chick lit for gay guys).
The storyline is simple: “A rivalry between the son of a U.S. president and the Prince of Wales turns into a whirlwind romance ” But in between the love scenes, we can picture a world where coming out is simple with no self-loathing and where fan fiction and Twitter aid relationships and the government of this country is in the able hands of a liberal president and Congress. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic and we know this because we can read their poetic emails that are funny and steamy. There is clever plot devices and quick wit throughout the novel.
The drama involves political rivals, possible betrayals, and even the queen but it’s the frank and unforgettable romance between these two young men that keeps us reading. We grow to love the lovers and so not want to say goodbye when the story is over.