Christina Lauren comes to the blog with their latest – a behind-the-scenes look at a Home Improvement show couple and the people who manage
The Honey-Don’t List
I’m officially OBSESSED with the “fixer-upper” type shows – but only the couples ones. With the ‘designer’ wife who is artistic and has a specific design aesthetic, the goofy but talented and hard working husband, and the many different ways they look at these houses. Less interesting but more fun (if for the arguments and whinging over budgets) are the ‘prep the house to stay or sell’ shows – they just make me wonder just how difficult the ‘stars’ are. And Christina Lauren took their powers of two and dove in. Carey has worked for Melissa and Rusty Tripp since the beginning, and done every job. Now she’s an integral part of the ‘team’ and spends most of her time calming the storm that is Melissa, while trying to manage her own issues with a muscular-skeletal disorder, which is worsened by stress and lack of sleep – two key components of her job. Perhaps the real twist for Carey here is that the salary and the health insurance she gets is stellar, and as Melly and Rusty know of her issues – they allow her the time to go to the doctors for treatment – but she can’t leave because of the insurance.
James is a structural engineer – hired on the spot by Melly after his firm went into the headlines in spectacularly bad fashion, and he’s set to ‘wrangle’ Rusty, with vague promises of engineering work to come. He bristles at the jibes that Carey throws his way about being an assistant – his education and background are suited for so much more. But he’s sharp and clever, and soon is bristling at the way Melly treats Carey, the frequent kerfuffles he has to drag Rusty out of, and finally, trying to help the two maintain the appearance of a happy marriage when it is anything but – AND they are on a book tour to promote their book on marriage.
A bit different from the other books from this duo that I’ve read, the reveals were a bit predictable where Carey was concerned, but having James be the one who is crushing on Carey, and her pushing him away is a twist that I didn’t see coming, even as she will admit that he calms her and sees her for who she is – despite her trying to always stay in the background. With some epic “uh-oh” moments that the two of them are involved in, and a police interrogation, it’s going to take some spectacular fireworks for Carey to find her own two feet, and for James to take a stand. There’s plenty going on here, and Carey’s medical condition and struggles with it, and subsequently her self-esteem, are cleverly portrayed and depicted, and there really couldn’t have been a better ending for this light, quick read that provides a lot of laughs – if for the ridiculous imagery brought up in the moments of utter tension and marital strife.
Title: The Honey-Don't List
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Published by: Gallery Books
Published on: 24 March, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
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…
From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.