Summary from Goodreads:
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
This review is spoiler free.
eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
“History, huh? Bet we could make some.”
Content warning: alcohol use, mentions of drug use, (consensual) sex scenes, forced outing, panic attacks
I feel like I should start out this review by saying that this is one of the most powerful books I’ve read all year. At the end of this book, I was so happy and overwhelmed and feeling a lot of things and it was a lot for me. I know that I didn’t expect a romcom book to leave me with all of those feelings, but it did and I am honestly really happy about it. Now, let’s talk about all of the things I loved about this book (spoiler alert: literally everything) and why you should read it (you really should).
I feel like I always start my reviews by talking about the plot, so let’s do that. It was amazing. The plot of this book really kicks off when Alex Claremont-Diaz, FSOTUS, attends a royal wedding where he accidentally falls into Prince Henry and it becomes a media scandal. In order to fix all of the negative media reports, Alex and Henry have to fake a friendship that eventually turns into real friendship and then romance. That’s right, this book has royals and enemies to lovers, what more could you want? Anyways, every part of this plot was phenomenal. I’ve seen others say it was really slow, but I never felt that way, I was enthralled from page 3 to the end.
This book was downright hilarious. I rarely laugh out loud with books for whatever reason, but this book made me laugh out loud so many times I lost count. I have countless highlights on the ebook that are just things that made me laugh, its amazing. There were whole scenes (*cough* the turkey scene *cough*) where I was just laughing the entire time. It wasn’t unnatural humor either, it was very natural and didn’t ever seem forced in the slightest.
The characters of this book are literally so amazing. Even the minor characters are so well developed, real people. No one is a perfect stereotype, everyone seems like a real flesh and blood human being that has insecurities and flaws and is just trying to do their best. Alex, the main character, was amazing. Throughout the book you can see him change and develop and become a better person as he has to grapple with betrayal, a sexuality crisis, and a major change in life plans, and so many other things. Prince Henry, the love interest, is also so well developed and you get to see him slowly become more comfortable with himself and embrace who he really is and it is wonderful.
As I said before, all of the minor or side characters are also amazing and fleshed out, but so are all of the relationships among all the characters. Alex’s sister, June, and the VEEP’s granddaughter, Nora, make up the famous “white house trio” and they all have a great, fully fleshed out dynamic. Alex’s relationships with both of his parents are very well explained and explored and completely realistic. Even members of the secret service and other members of the white house staff are well established and wonderful, I honestly can’t get over it.
Another amazing thing about this book was the politics aspect. Given that this book is about a prince and the FSOTUS, it didn’t surprise me that politics came up a lot, but what did surprise me was how well done it was. It calls out a lot of the problems with modern politics (Henry has a line about how all politicians do is say “thoughts and prayers” in the ARC and it was A+) but doesn’t leave things with a negative outlook. A very large part of how empowered I felt at the end of the book was how it ended with a positive political outlook. This book was a really great reminder that even when it seems like it, there are people genuinely fighting for the good of everyone and we just have to find them and fight for them. Since I know that some people do not like when politics are a prominent part in books, I just want to say that I never saw the politics as “being in your face” or “forcing views down your throat,” it was very much just another plot element if that makes sense.
Overall? This book is absolutely amazing. It is so soft, funny, vulnerable, uplifting, and adorable. The relationship is so sweet and heartwarming and I love it. While this book has its heavy moments (I almost cried, like, many times. If I was a person who cried while reading books I definitely would have cried), it is overall so happy and so fun. It helped me calm down from a panic attack once, which is a pretty big deal because almost nothing other than one specific TV typically calms me down afterwards. Anyways, to conclude, you should all read this book when it comes out (next! Tuesday!) and then tell me all your thoughts and opinions.