Published by Gallery Books on March 24, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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…
My Rating: 3 stars
Christina Lauren won me over many books ago, and I happily continue to auto-buy each new release! The Honey-Don’t List is a solid read but definitely not my favorite from this writing duo!
This is an interesting book because it has one couple’s relationship imploding, kind-of leading to the main characters getting together. The story is told in the dual POVs of Carey and James; assistants to reality TV design stars, Melissa and Rusty. I like the idea of this book and can appreciate that it didn’t paint everything as flowers and butterflies, but it also left me wanting.
There just isn’t a lot of romance on paper. I feel like we get a lot more of Melly and Rusty’s unraveling and behind-the-scenes of their business than we get of the romantic build-up between Carey and James. Their banter is fun, but the chemistry lacked for me. The ending also comes on quickly and is rather abrupt. I didn’t get nearly enough of Carey and James as “Carey and James.”
Carey is a bit all over the place! As scattered as she is, I did mostly like her! She suffers from a disability that has affected a lot of her life choices; it’s great to see her develop with James’s help and to see the disability rep. James has a casual nonchalance for much of the book, and I generally enjoyed his character. The secondary characters, though…meh!
Overall, The Honey-Don’t List is a good read, perfect for contemporary romance fans who also like a dash of reality TV drama!
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. Please note that it, in no way, had an effect on my opinion or review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners and best friends Christina Hobbs (pictured right) and Lauren Billings (pictured left). The #1 international bestselling coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fifteen New York Times bestselling novels. They are published in over 30 languages, have received multiple starred reviews, won both the Seal of Excellence and Book of the Year from RT Magazine, been inducted into the Library Reads Hall of Fame, named Amazon and Audible Romance of the Year, a Lambda Literary Award finalist and been nominated for several Goodreads Choice Awards. They have been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Time, Entertainment Weekly, People, O Magazine and more. Their third YA novel, Autoboyography was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, followed by Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, and the Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal starred The Unhoneymooners, out May 2019.
Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. These days you can find her at her desk, writing or watching BTS videos. She grew up in Utah and is absolutely not old enough to be the mom of a 17 year old (right??), thinks she’s the luckiest person in the world to write books with her best friend, and is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter.
Source: Author Website