I’m not the first Cannonballer to review this one, and I’m sure I won’t be the last. It’s fun, smart, and sweet. Is it all that realistic? In some ways, absolutely, and in others no. But do you really think I picked something like this up for the realism? No! It’s about how I thought it would make me feel, and I was right! The tone of the book suggests a happy ending, and you’re dang right you get it!
The premise of Red, White & Royal Blue is simple enough: Alex, first-son of the (female!) president of the United States has a beef with Henry, the Prince of England. After an altercation between the two is caught on camera, the two governments decide to create a PR spin about the two spending time together and being close friends. And once they actually do start spending time together, well… their relationship may suddenly become a sticking-point in the image of the royal family, and in Alex’s mom’s bid for re-election. Can they keep their relationship a secret as needed? Do they really want to, in the end?
That’s right, y’all, we’ve got a classic enemies-to-friends-to-lovers tale on our hands baybeeee (one of my favourite tropes, tbh) and a forbidden romance to boot. It’s one of those things where you just want to yell, “Why do you think you’re so obsessed with this person? You realize you don’t actually hate them, right??” The writing itself is very funny, though it does hit on the serious side at times: although these are fictional characters, they do live in our real world and thus have to deal with real-life issues. It really does poke fun at our current times (if maybe a bit on the nose and heavy-handed at times), giving a wink to a world that maybe we don’t entirely live in yet, but will one day be a reality; it’s not perfect but, like I said, happiness is indeed found in the resolution, and isn’t that a sigh of relief?
Additionally, it’s not just Alex and Henry who bring this story to life, being wonderful little counterpoints to one another; there is also a great cast of supporting characters, many of whom are well-developed. They bring new flavours to the story, and add new stakes as you can tell that Henry and Alex really care about the people in their lives. While maybe they act on their impulses and do some selfish things, it is clear that these two and not the center of the universe, however it might feel to them: there are bigger things at play, and in ways that feel very real.
So I don’t have much more to say about this novel than, if you want something kind of cheesy, cheeky, and romantic, then definitely read this book. Does it come across at times like something that you could see someone writing as a fanfic about two world-known personalities? Sure. But like I said, it’s not about real people so it doesn’t feel weird. This is a fantasy, and I’m happy to have lived in it for a little while as I read this book!