The Honey-Don’t List
by Christina Lauren
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Number of Pages: 320
Source: Net Galley ARC
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 3/21/20 to 3/23/20
Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.
James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.
Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s always worth giving an author (or, in this case, authors) more than one chance. While I enjoyed the first book I read by them, I wasn’t exactly super gung-ho. Sure enough, when I gave them another try and read Twice in a Blue Moon a couple of months later I loved the story and fell in love with their writing style. That hasn’t changed with this book. I adored the characters and the storyline, and the author’s melded everything together beautifully.
There is a moment when Carey and James are first starting to see beyond their own noses to realize there is a connection between them that is so perfectly written. The analogy the authors use along with the flow of the story will speak to everyone, regardless of age or gender. It was a true delight to read.
Carey’s job is so stressful, and the events leading up to their road trip so outrageous, that you can’t help but feel sympathy for her. As for James, there is a bit of time I feel he brought things upon himself. After all, Carey tried to warn him. But in James’ head he is doing the right things and I can’t fault him for that. Eventually, even though he started the ball rolling on all of this, the tension they all have to live with is punishment enough.
I enjoy the way the story is pieced together with snippets of a police report and Twitter comments from random fans. The only problem I had was sometimes the voices of Carey and James weren’t clear. The story in alternating points of view and, on occasion, I’d forget whose chapter I was reading. Yes, this is a problem. But I still very much enjoyed the story and it didn’t happen too terribly often to take away from the story.
I know this writing duo has written a lot more stories than what I’ve read so far and need to eventually add them to my lineup.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**