ROMANCE

Red, White, & Royal Blue.

Griffin: St. Martin’s. May 2019. 432p. ISBN 9781250316776. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250316783. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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DEBUT Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of U.S. President Ellen Claremont, doesn’t consider Prince Henry of Wales his arch-nemesis, not exactly. It’s just that Henry is a generic blank canvas with zero personality and a truly unfair resemblance to a real-life Prince Charming, and Alex can’t help despising every bland thing about him. After the two have a very public confrontation at a royal wedding, damage control is required from both sides of the pond. In order to maintain friendly international relations, Alex is forced to pretend to be longtime best friends with Henry. When the two actually spend time together, however, they learn that there is much more to the other than they’d realized. As a contentious reelection campaign for Ellen looms on the horizon, Alex and Henry tentatively forge a genuine friendship, which grows into more, until reaching an inevitable boiling point.
VERDICT With a diverse cast of characters, quick-witted dialog, and a complicated relationship between two 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. For fans of Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan’s The Royal We, as well as Alyssa Cole’s “Reluctant Royals” series.

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