I feel like I waited 84 years for this book to come out. I’ve been waiting to read it since the deal was announced and it. did. not. disappoint. I devoured this in a day. RED, WHITE, & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston is a New Adult romance that follows Alex, the son of the first female president, and Henry, the prince of England. The two are privately sworn enemies, but when a very public fiasco forces them to work together. To save international relations, they fake a friendship for the tabloids. Only that fake friendship quickly turns into a secret relationship that they must hide from the tabloids or risk upending the monarchy and Alex’s mother’s reelection campaign.
This book is rife with millennial humor, and I have not laughed out loud at a book so much in years. The cast of characters is absolutely amazing, easy to fall in love with and keep you on the edge of your seat rooting for them to get their happy ending.
Pick up this book if you like: humor, romance, LGBT reads, NSFW romance, endearing characters, sibling dynamics, turkey-related situational humor, and a breath of fresh air.
When I read CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black, I enjoyed it but wasn’t on the level of hype as everyone else until around the last third of the book. And then I read WICKED KING. I’m officially fully invested. Which is not to say that the first book isn’t good, I just really, really like all the court intrigue, conniving, and back-stabbing that takes place at the end of book one, which, to my immense delight, is the primary focus of book two.
Black’s world of faerie is dark and lavish and full of intricate details. The court machinations are such a joy to be surprised by. As someone who typically guesses plot twists before they happen, I’m always pleased when I’m surprised.
This is also a GREAT enemies-to-lovers trope. Jude is a mortal girl brought to live in faerie after a faerie kills her parents. In order to survive, Jude learns to play the game of court from a young age. The youngest prince of faerie, Cardan, torments Jude constantly to hide his feelings for her. (This is a little yikes, but bear with me.) Jude is awful. She is cunning and ruthless and will do anything to gain power for herself in a world that wants to give her none. Cardan is also awful. He is the youngest prince, will likely never rule, and he is spoiled and indulgent and the one thing he wants (Jude) he can’t have. The reason this works so well where other enemies-to-lovers fail is that neither of them is suddenly ‘forgiven’ for all their awfulness. They’re both still conniving, and they’re still enemies. Which makes for some very charged moments. And Black draws it out, makes you wait and long for them to just-kiss-already, and it’s so, so worth it.
Pick this up if you like: faeries, lush worlds, enemies-to-lovers, court intrigue, morally gray characters, and complex sibling dynamics.
WICKED SAINTS by Emily Duncan was one of my most anticipated reads of the read and it did not disappoint. The story follows Nadya and Serefin, who are on opposite sides of a holy war. Nadya is the last cleric to whom the gods speak and imbibe with their powers. Serefin is the High Prince of the neighboring country that practices blood magic, which is considered heresy by Nadya’s peoples. After Serefin hunts down Nadya and she narrowly escapes, Nadya joins forces with the enigmatic, can-we-really-trust-him Malachaisz, a blood mage who defected from his home country and is now determined to kill the king. There are so many ways anything and everything can go wrong with this plan, and the will-they wont-they chemistry between born enemies Nadya and Malachiasz sucks you in and keeps you reading to the very end.
Pick up this book if you like: theology, enemies-to-lovers, goth af magic, LGBT reads, Polish/Russian-based fantasy settings. You won’t be disappointed.