Thanks to St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.
This book doesn’t really need an introduction, it’s one of the most hyped and anticipated contemporary romance books this year.
It’s essentially an LGBT romantic comedy/drama that follows Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the (female) President of the United States and Prince Henry of Wales.
In this world, not only is a woman the President, a Southern White Texan DEMOCRAT is the President. Just try imagine that for a moment. This probably isn’t even the least believable thing that happens in this book believe it or not.
I found Alex a bit of a Gary Stu to be honest. He’s smart, sexy, witty, beloved by all, destined for great things etc etc. I wasn’t super into his character and I found him insufferable for the most part. Basically he was a cocky git.
Henry was more complex and I enjoyed his character more. Alex and Henry are supposed to be sworn enemies for some incredibly petty reason that I’ve already forgotten. Despite this, after some flirty long distance text messages they are full on snogging before long.
This was one of my main issues with the novel. There wasn’t enough of a slow burn and once that tension was gone, I found it all a bit boring really. The middle section in particular really dragged for me and I struggled to get through it if I’m being completely honest.
This book has great representation and diversity, and the dialogue is, as a whole, witty and modern. The pop culture references work well within the context of the story although how they’ll age I don’t know. I found the politics managed to be both heavy handed and flippant at the same time, quite a remarkable achievement really.
The romance is sweet if somewhat simplistic at times. There just wasn’t enough angst for me and the sex scenes played it very safe. I didn’t even know what they were up to half the time.
Saying that, this book almost reminded me of Yaoi or fanfiction sometimes. Important issues experienced by gay men often felt trivialised, and at times I felt, as with Yaoi, it was written with straight white women in mind as opposed to the audiences it is trying to represent. At one point a joke is even made about Harry-Draco fanfiction which was kind of ironic as sometimes this book felt a bit like that.
I know this review will be completely drowned out by all the others and that’s ok, but overall this was how I felt reading the novel. Amused and bored sometimes, but also mildly uncomfortable.