Ahhh, I couldn’t help myself here. This one was recommended to me and sounded far too good to pass up, and so off went the audible credit! ^_^
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?
“In terms of, like, sexuality, what does that make me?”
Nora’s eyes snap back up to him. “Oh, like, I thought we were already there with you being bi and everything,” she says. “Sorry, are we not? Did I skip ahead again? My bad. Hello, would you like to come out to me? I’m listening. Hi.”
“I don’t know,” he half yells, miserably. “Am I? Do you think I’m bi?”
“I can’t tell you that, Alex!” she says. “That’s the whole point!”
“Shit,” he says, dropping his head back on the cushions. “I need someone to just tell me. How did you know you were?”
“I don’t know, man. I was in my junior year of high school and I touched a boob. It wasn’t very profound. Nobody’s gonna write an Off-Broadway play about it.”
Honestly, that’s pretty much how it happened for me too, lol. True story. ^_^
I don’t know exactly what I was expecting on this one, but I definitely didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! I don’t think I was expecting as much snark, and swearing, and just sheer hilarity as there was, and so this one was almost an instant winner for me!
Alex Claremont-Diaz is the son of the President (the first female president too, goddamn it), and Henry is the youngest Prince of Wales. A bit of an international incident that threatens US/UK relations shoves them together as they must pretend to be best friends to calm the bad press. Their friendship becomes real before long, and then becomes something even more.
Honestly guys, this book kind of ruined me a little bit. It has all the ups and downs and so on and so forth that most romances do, and I was emoting really hard by the end. The last 2 hours or so of this book was a roller coaster of emotions. I will get misty-eyed occasionally about books, but this one actually made tears happen. I was honestly *very* curious how this one was going to achieve a happy ending, considering the position these two are in. Seems rather impossible, in these times. But this book takes place in 2020, and assumes that a liberal woman has been in office since 2016.
Alex and Henry were both so easy to cheer for. Secondary characters are also really awesome in this one though. I especially loved Nora, who is the granddaughter of the Vice-President, and part of the ‘White House Trio’ as Alex, his sister June, and Nora are affectionately known in the press. I also really loved Pez, who is Henry’s friend, and Amy, who is one of the secret service agents that protects Alex.
The narrator, Ramon de Ocampo did a great job bringing everyone to life. There are parts of the book that he puts just the right amount of snark in, or emphasis on some words or suchlike, and it made it a real pleasure to listen to. I sat down and gulped the whole thing in two sittings even though I never, ever wanted it to end.
So, all told, this was one of the most entertaining, enthralling, well-paced, and feels-jostling romance novels that I’ve ever read, and I think I loved it even more as an audiobook than I would have as a print book, because the narrator really gave it all kinds of flair when it needed it to just make it extra amazing. Probably one of my favorite books ever, now. Good god, I cannot believe this is a debut. 5/5 stars!
Also, as much as Sara ruins my TBR list with piles and piles of books, I have to thank her for this recommendation. THIS FEELS-RUINING RECOMMENDATION, SARA. Thank you! ❤