George Washington was America's first king. Now, in Katharine McGee's American Royals (Random House, ages 12-up, $18.99), the first female heir, Beatrice, prepares to take the throne. Before she is crowned, Beatrice must choose a noble husband (even though she loves her guard); when presented with a "terrifyingly slim folder" of suitors, she chooses Lord Teddy Eaton--who recently kissed her sister. Katharine McGee's YA alternate history gushes with electrifying emotion, mixing scandalous secrets and political intrigue for a thrillingly addictive read.
Millie Quint decides to spend her senior year of high school abroad after she discovers her kind-of-friend/kind-of-girlfriend kissing someone else. Her school of choice is Gregorstoun, a fancy boarding school in the Highlands of Scotland. Millie finds the school utterly entrancing but is less than enthused about her roommate, a literal Scottish princess. Friendly or not, Millie and Flora have to live together. Rachel Hawkins's Her Royal Highness (Putnam, ages 12-up. $17.99) is a sweet and funny enemies-to-lovers YA romance romp.
In Casey McQuiston's adult novel Red, White, & Royal Blue (St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99), 20-something national heartthrob and First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz gets into a scrap with the dashing but insufferable Prince Henry of Wales--destroying the cake at Henry's brother's wedding. Damage control means playing the incident off as friendly roughhousing. The operative word there being friendly. With clever comedic timing and a self-possessed charm, McQuiston constructs rich sexual tension between two young men who ostensibly hate each other. Passion characterizes every moment of this smart, mischievous novel. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness