Every once in a while my coworkers get so excited about a book they convince me to read it, even if it’s outside my usual wheelhouse. This was one of those occasions. I'm not a big romance reader, but I do have a soft spot for stories the feature queer relationships, and I am a total nerd when it comes to politics, so I figured I'd give this one a whirl. I was not disappointed. In fact, I found this one hard to put down.
The romance in this one manages to be both steamy and also very sweet. McQuiston is excellent at character development - Alex and Henry are multi-faceted, engaging, and have great chemistry (a must for a romance). As an added bonus many of the side characters were also fleshed out and interesting, and some of my favorite moments happened in the quiet moments between characters just talking. (This book also actually made me laugh out loud a couple times, which is a rare thing for me.) Of course no romance is complete without some Bad Things happening, and when they did my heart ached. That's how I knew I had grown to love these complex, imaginary people.
If romance is the plot of the story then politics are the setting, and McQuiston was up to this task as well. The politics are engaging, and point toward the current political landscape in interesting and occasionally gut wrenching ways. And the wind-up to the big election at the end had me anxiously turning pages. I wanted to spend more time in this alternate universe. Reading McQuiston's afterward only made me love the book and its politics even more.
Unapologetically sweet, steamy, political, and queer, this romance indeed had me falling in love. If queer love stories are your thing, if you're a fan of the "I Fell in Love with a Prince" trope, or if you like books with a dash of politics mixed in with the sweetness and snark, give this one a shot. I’m looking forward to meeting McQuiston this May!