Book Buzz Episode 36 – Red, White & Royal Blue and Mortal Follies

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Air date: Feb. 11, 2024

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Red, White & Royal Blue

Mortal Follies

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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the assistant director of collection services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz.

Today's reading recommendations are both from the romance genre, one of my absolute favorites.

First, we’re going to hear from Danielle, library associate at the Mariner Library, for an unexpected love story that starts in the White House. Take it away, Danielle.


Romance novels are not often found in my to-be-read pile. However, after a recommendation from a trusted library coworker, I took a chance on “Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston, and I have no regrets. In fact, despite my reservations, I sincerely loved and laughed at this charming tale.

I immediately became invested in the characters and their tumultuous lives. At the center of the drama is Alex Claremont-Diaz, whose mother happens to be the President of the United States. As a sudden national celebrity, Alex loves to tease and manipulate the public with fake romances and newsworthy behavior. But a legitimate feud with his British equivalent, Prince Henry of Wales, becomes the most sensational story of all.

Alex and Henry are encouraged to maintain a superficial friendship for the benefit of the public. As they inevitably grow to learn more about each other, resentment and disdain evolve into something more. The secret of their feelings for each other becomes harder to maintain, and the twists and turns of what happens next are so engaging that I found it hard to put the book down.

This romance was a royal delight and provided a welcome break from my usual reading routine. The writing is captivating and witty, with characters that are far more complex than expected. I highly recommend “Red, White, and Royal Blue” to any reluctant romance reader.


Thanks, Danielle! I didn't know politics could be so heartwarming and adorable.

Next, let’s hear about a love story in 1800s England, from Bridget, collection development librarian. Go ahead, Bridget.


Do you love a regency romance, but wish there was more peril? Or perhaps the magic of a minuet and a moment stolen in the gardens simply isn't enough? Then why not give “Mortal Follies” by Alexis Hall a chance, a sapphic romance brimming with fae mischief and danger.

In a magical version of England in the oh so fashionable city of Bath we find Miss Mitchellmore, a young woman in her second season on the marriage market. But things are off to a bad start when she finds herself cursed, all manner of ills befalling her from the embarrassing to the deadly. To her rescue comes Lady Georgianna Landrake, cruelly nicknamed the Duke of Annadale, sharp-tongued and mysterious with a cloud of scandal hanging over her own head. Yet, Miss Mitchellmore finds herself drawn to Lady Georgianna ... even if she is everyone else's number one suspect in laying the curse to begin with. Can Miss Mitchellmore break the curse before it is too late and break down Lady Georgianna's emotional walls? As if the season wasn't busy enough!

“Mortal Follies” is romantic, sweet, and remarkably funny. That last point is definitely helped by Hall's narrator, who moves mostly unseen throughout the events of the book, as is standard for a famous wanderer of the night. I truly don't want to spoil any more of their identity, as I was so surprised when I realized that I shouted in delight and want that for everyone who reads this spectacular book.


Thanks, Bridget! I hear that if you’re a fan of “Bridgerton,” you’ll love this one.

Our recommendations this week are: “Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston and “Mortal Follies” by Alexis Hall.

Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations — interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.

Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.

Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER.

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