ARC Review – The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Title: The Honey-Don’t List

Author: Christina Lauren

Publication Date: 24 March 2020

Genre: Romance

Number of Pages: 320

Anticipated 3Summary: From Goodreads: 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…”

img_0646Review: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher (Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster) and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes on your favourite home renovation show? Do you ever wonder what your favourite reality TV couple is like when the cameras stop rolling? The Honey-Don’t List offers a glimpse into this world as it follows Carey and James, the personal assistants to the Tripps, as they try to prevent the truth about America’s favourite home renovation couple from getting out.

The Honey-Don’t List is a fun, enjoyable, and quick read. My favourite thing about this book was the two main characters, Carey and James. I thought they both had great character development, and I was impressed with how much Carey grew as a character. I liked how they were both in the same boat, desperately needing their job, even though they were frustrated by the entire thing. I felt bad for Carey, mainly because the family that she was so loyal to took her for granted. I also thought that James was cute with his wardrobe and being constantly dressed up for the job he wanted, not the job he had.

Another thing that I liked about this book was how unlikeable the Tripps were. I found myself constantly annoyed with Melissa and Rusty and wanting to throw my book because of how awful they were. I also found that their unlikability made watching their relationship and empire crumble so much enjoyable, which made this book a lot of fun to read.

One thing I wanted more of was the relationship between Carey and James. They had a few great moments, especially the moment by the pool, but I felt like it wasn’t enough. I thought that there was potential for a lot of chemistry, but their relationship felt kind of rushed. I felt that their story had a lot of potentials, especially with the co-workers who don’t like each other to lovers trope and the forced proximity trope, but it fell flat because it was rushed. I think that maybe if some of the scenes with the Tripps could have been replaced with scenes between Carey and James, their relationship would have had more time to develop, and I would have enjoyed it more.

Another thing that I liked about the book is that there was a bit of a mystery going on. Every so often, the main story would cut away to a police interview with Carey or James. Based on the story, I knew that something happened with the Tripps, but I didn’t know what exactly happened. These mysterious interviews made me want to keep reading, and once I found out what happened, I was shocked and scandalized by it.  

Overall, I thought that The Honey-Don’t List was a fun read. It wasn’t my favourite book by Christina Lauren, but it was still enjoyable.

Rating: 3.5 Stars!

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