I started seeing this book everywhere on Instagram, and romance is a genre I have had a few misses with (and have to say I don’t typically pick up). HOWEVER, there were just so many readers raving about this one, even those who, like me, aren’t avid romance readers, so i thought I best give it a try and see for myself…
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, Instagrammable 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?
Blurb from Book Depository.
I hate to say this started a little bit slow for me, and I think I blame the dreaded ‘hype’ for that. Thankfully, once I got to know the characters I couldn’t stop turning the pages, they are all so fabulous & the friendship dynamics are stellar. This book has a cast full of imperfect but loveable teens, each with their own unique personalities that don’t fall in to your typical romance cliches (though I guess what would I know??), which makes it all the more readable as you don’t feel like you could be reading just any romance.
(This bit might be a spoiler but also if you’ve read the blurb and know it’s a romance read then like…I can’t imagine you haven’t guessed, so ON I GO…) As Alex’s bisexuality dawns on him, it was beautiful to read his friends and family accepting it as a fact of his life, and have it in no way change their perception of him. We need MORE LGBTQ+ main characters in YA & New Adult I say! NORM THAT SH*T UP! IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY HI.
And the characters in general, oh the characters. They are all so different but each a delight in their own way to have alongside you on this read. I could identify parts of my early-20s-self with each of the main four, and they all have a special place in my heart because of it. Side note, Nora chatting to Alex as he realised he was actually bisexual and that’s where all his ~feELiNgs~ for Henry were coming from…I literally LOL’d. She’s such a beautiful, honest, and hilarious character. I feel like we could all do with a friend like Nora, and a sister like June. Those girls would go to the ends of the earth for Alex, and each other, and anyone else goo din the world it seems. WHAT BEAUTIES.
Of course, being romance, there are some steamy scenes, and maybe I’m naive or *new to the romance scene* but like…I possibly could have done with a few more cute flirting & talking scenes between Alex and Henry amongst all the raunchiness 😉
I think, in the end, I devoured this book in two to three days, and my heart was full the entire time. Full of love for the characters, for their navigation of new relationships & figuring themselves out, for the beautiful friendships between them, and for the beautiful way it was written.
Now, BRB while I find myself a ‘History, huh?’ t-shirt…
Read if: You’re after a romance that isn’t a cookie-cutter story, and want to fly through a light book with heart.
Page Length: 418
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Have you read RW&RB? What did you think?
If not, do you read the romance genre at all? Let me know in the comments!