Review: The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren

Title: The Honey-Don't List
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 308 Pages
Published March 2020
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 received my copy of THE HONEY-DON'T LIST from our amazing blogging/writer friend Tay, as a Secret Santa gift for last month's holidays. I was super excited to open it (in addition to the adorable Romance Novel-scented candle she got me!), because anyone who has been around the blog for awhile knows that I am a HUGE fan of Christina Lauren's novels. So, needless to say, I was eager to dive into another sweet, swoon-worthy love story penned by two of my favorite authors of all time. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, the story follows Carey and James, the assistants to Melissa and Rusty Tripp, AKA some of the biggest home designers in the game (think Chip and Joanna Gaines). But what the public doesn't know is that there is more to the Tripps than meets the eye -- in fact, they're actually pretty terrible behind the scenes, dealing with sharp words, backstabbing, scandal, and more. But Carey and James find themselves in a particularly tough situation, where they have to accompany the Tripps on their book tour even though the very foundation of their marriage is cracking, which they have to hide from the public. And on top of that, as Carey and James deal with the chaos, they find themselves getting closer...and feelings start to develop. <3 

I really loved reading this book! This was actually the first book that I finished in 2021, and I loved being able to start off the new year with a sugary sweet rom-com filled with laughs, swoons, secrets, and all sorts of chaos. It kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end, and the fact that it was only about 300 pages long meant that the entire book flew by. Reading this book was such a blast and I loved seeing the "behind the scenes" into Rusty and Melly's drama that the general public doesn't get. And watching the romance blossom between Carey and James had me swooning from start to finish as well!

The only thing that I wasn't super on board with in terms of this book was how quickly James and Carey went from barely even tolerating each other and almost never speaking, to realizing that they had really intense feelings for each other. It felt like there was no buildup to it at all, and even though I went into the book knowing that the romance centered around the two of them, it felt like it happened a little bit out of nowhere for me. But that's the only part of the book that I wasn't super on board with -- the rest, I absolutely loved.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading THE HONEY-DON'T LIST, and I'd absolutely recommend it to any Christina Lauren fans looking for another novel of theirs to pick up. If you're looking for a quick, sweet read filled with lots of laughs and even more swooning, then as usual, look no further than a Christina Lauren book! 


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