I’m somewhat committed to Christina Lauren’s newest novel.
The Honey Don’t List, the latest novel by popular author duo Christina Lauren, follows Carey Douglas, the assistant to a couple famous for their home remodeling show. Unfortunately for Carey, her bosses aren’t getting along despite their upcoming book on their rock-solid marriage. To ensure the book’s success, as well as their upcoming new show, Carey is forced to accompany the feuding couple on their book tour with the couple’s other annoying, but cute, assistant.
This was the fourth Christina Lauren book that I’ve read. Going into this book, I didn’t set my expectations too high. While I find myself interested in the synopses of Christina Lauren’s books, the execution always falls flat for me. While The Honey Don’t List didn’t knock my socks off, I overall enjoyed this story and thought it was one of the better plotted books of this author duo.
Like many other books by Christina Lauren, I was initially interested in this book because of the plot. There are many HGTV power couples (Joanna and Chip Gaines), and divorced couples (Christina and Tarek), who captivate viewers every week. Additionally, there’s an air of distrust with some design shows for their shoddy work, staging, and quick remodels. Unlike some of Christina Lauren’s other books where I found the execution of the premise fell flat, this book delivered what it promised. All of these behind-the-scenes aspects that people who watch home improvement shows wonder about are featured in this book.
Additionally, I enjoyed how this book was paced compared to some of Christina Lauren’s other books. I read The Unhoneymooners earlier this year and found the plot to be all over the place. While I do think the ending of this book comes across as a little too melodramatic, I think the final article included in the book justifies its purpose. I could have done without the police reports throughout the book, but I did enjoy how article on the couple, as well as social media, were incorporated throughout the story.
Another aspect that I enjoyed about this book were the relationships, more so the relationships between Carey and her bosses rather than the romantic relationship. Carey’s first job was working at a store owned by the Tripps, and while they provided many opportunities in her life, they also took many opportunities away from her. Additionally, I liked seeing the dynamic between Melissa and Rusty Tripp, especially on camera versus off camera. As for the romance, it was pretty standard. While I liked James as a character, the relationship in this book isn’t especially memorable or the most interesting dynamic presented in the story.
While I overall enjoyed The Honey Don’t List, I didn’t have a particularly strong connection to any aspect of the story and it lacked something extra to make it stand out from other similar books. The best way I could describe this book is formulaic. This book presents all the necessary elements to make a coherent and easy read. On the other hand, in a romance, there’s a large focus on the main character and the relationship that they develop with the male lead. Unfortunately for me, this was not the most interesting aspect of the book. In fact, this book may have been more successful with Melissa and Rusty as the main characters as they were more dynamic characters than the narrators who only watch the action take place rather than taking an active role in the story.
While I enjoyed this book more than some of Christina Lauren’s other books, I still wasn’t in love with it as I wanted to be after reading. I give this book three out of five stars.