Christina Lauren first stole my heart a fews ago when I read Roomies. As soon as I finished, I sprinted to the bookstore to buy a few of *their other works (*yes, Christina Lauren are two people: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). When I want to cry, I pick up Love & Other Words. When I need to restore my faith in love, I reach for Autoboyography. And when I want to laugh out loud, The Unhoneymooners always put a smile on my face. My point is that I’m a huge fan…so when I found myself not loving their newest book, The Honey-Don’t List as much as their previous works, I thought I might have been coming down with something🤒…
Recap: This one follows two assistants, Carey and James, as they try to keep the husband and wife duo they work for, Melissa and Rusty Tripp (think Joanna & Chip from Fixer Upper on HGTV), from blowing up on each other while on a book tour (they’re having major marital problems due to Rusty cheating). And as Carey and James spend more time together, sparks begin to fly between the two.
Let’s start with what I loved:
–Our leads Carey and James. Individually, they were great. I thought Carey’s growth in particular from the beginning to the end was really great to read.
–The storyline in general. I blame this on my love for the movie Set it Up. THDL had a similar vibe and could’t help but root for Carey and James as they tried to find their way both professionally and romantically, while also struggling to reel in Melissa and Rusty. I also really enjoyed the set up of why their bosses aren’t getting along and how the weight of their collapsing relationship interrupts James and Carey’s lives.
What I didn’t connect with:
–The resolution of Carey’s relationship with Melissa and Rusty. I thought the idea of Melissa stealing Carey’s designs was very interesting, but I would liked to have seen more from their relationship by the end. AI didn’t mind that the relationship between Carey and the Tripps wasn’t resolved completely by the end, I just wished there would have been more from Carey and Melissa’s conversation when Carey confronts Melissa. I didn’t need for Melisa to completely take ownership for what she did, but I would liked to have seen her have somewhat of a heart-to-heart especially since Carey thought of Melissa as family (or at least have a heart-to-heart with Rusty).
-The second half of the book. While I enjoyed the set up of the characters and situations in the first half of the story, all the resolutions ended up missing the mark for me in the second half of the story (i.e. James and Carey’s relationship, Carey’s relationship with Melissa and Rusty).
Rating 3/5 stars
Steam Level: 🔥
*I received an arc courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.