Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Posted May 14, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Red, White & Royal Blue

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: M/M Romance, New Adult Romance, Romantic Comedy
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Released on May 14, 2019
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

America’s First Son finds himself in royal trouble, but this morphs into his own fairytale romance with a true Prince Charming.  McQuiston delivered an entertaining and engaging new adult romance set against the first circle of American and International Politics.


Red, White, & Royal Blue is a standalone and starts out as an amusing enemies with big smiles for the cameras, surprising texting friends, and finally to secret lovers as Alex, the First Son with political ambitions of his own, mistakes attraction for supreme annoyance whenever he catches sight of staid Prince Henry.  Alex’s impulsive nature lands the pair of them needing to make nice in front of the press or cause strained relations right when his mother’s campaign for a second term is heating up.  Slowly he figures out that Henry isn’t like he’d assumed and through texts and phone calls, they are friends.  Until Henry ups the ante and Alex’s eyes are forced wide open to the fact that he’s not straight and a certain prince is done waiting for him to get a clue.

It’s been a while since I read a New Adult romance and I’ve not read many stories that the main players are Millennials.  Because of this, it took me a bit to get into this one.  Old Fogey Me found Alex a bratty know-it all for the longest time.  It was when he starts seeing Henry and I could see them balancing each other out as a couple that I could appreciate him more.

The romance is complicated because a gay prince and a first son working out his sexuality and sneaking around with said prince during his mother’s campaign kept the tension up.  The romance has a sweet quality as this pair figure themselves out while figuring out love.  As they fall hard, I held my breath wondering when and how they would be outted and what the fallout would be.  It happened, but I thought it was well done.  I was cheering for things to work out like a fairytale ending of course.

The story is all from Alex’s point of view and focuses on him the most, but the way the author told the story, Henry was revealed a bit more with each text and contact.  There is a lot of humor in this one- Alex babysitting the turkeys cracked me up and Alex with his sister and the VP’s granddaughter were fun.  But, there is a lot of political ideology from Alex and the others and the behind the scenes of a presidential family and campaign work.  It was all really interesting and was as strong an element as the romance.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the romance is only one of the elements of the story thought, yes, it is a big one and much swooning can be had.

All in all, it was humorous, but also engaging.  I’m not usually one for New Adult, but I loved how this one was written and the characters and romance were portrayed.  I can definitely recommend it to those who want a solid NA M/M Romantic Comedy.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #52
Literary Pickers #89 socks
Magical OWLs RAT #6 Defense Against the Dark Arts- title beginning with ‘R’
Romance-opoly #20 LGBT Lane


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

This sounds wonderful! Lately, I’ve been getting into M/M so I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one.
Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

This would make a great gateway to M/M pick, I think. 🙂

2 years ago

Sounds really fun! I don’t mind new adult if it’s done right.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

I think because it was away from the college scene that it worked better than usual for me.

Angie Elle
2 years ago

I wish I liked this book as much as you did. It ended up being a DNF for me. The first son just never grew on me, and the book felt hostile.

I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m jealous of everyone who did. LOL

Great review.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Alex was a brat and I had the urge to pop him on the back of the head quite often. He definitely was carrying a lot of know it all arrogance.

Nah, don’t worry if it didn’t work for you. We all have those popular books that just do not click.

2 years ago

Oh yes I’m hearing great things about this one

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

It’s not fabulous, but it is still pretty good for what it’s trying to do. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

Being almost 50 myself, I find younger characters to be bratty a lot of the time. I’m glad you ended up liking this one though.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Haha! That is exactly how I get which is why I generally avoid new adult and millennial romances.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I’ve been eyeing this book. I’m glad to hear that it had a swoony romance, humor, and went behind the scenes with politics. I enjoy New Adult, so I’m going to be checking this one out for sure! Thanks for sharing!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I think you’d have a good time with this one, Lindy. 🙂

Carole rae
2 years ago

Sounds good, but I would have issues with Alex

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Yeah, he could be a hard pill to swallow at times. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I’ve heard good things about this one, and it does sound fun. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, too! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It was an interesting blend of light and fun, romantic discovery, and the heaviness of the political scene.

Liz @ Bent Bookworm
2 years ago

This sounds so absolutely adorable. I don’t know why I haven’t bought a copy yet!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It sure was. Hope you like it when you get the chance, Liz.

2 years ago

OMG, the turkeys! That was hilarious. You are dead on with the fact that we did get a bit of Henry’s POV via the letters, emails, and texts, and that all definitely added to my enjoyment of the story. I feel like if there had been a bit less politics, this could have been 5-stars for me, because, as you mentioned, the romance didn’t own the story, but seemed like a part of it. I picked up this book expecting a romance with some politics, and the romance that was in there was amazing and wonderful, and I just wanted… Read more »

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam@WLABB

I agree that it wasn’t as focused on the romance as I was expecting. I felt I had to let people know that. Haha, yeah, those turkeys…