The Honey Don’t List is the latest release from my favourite writing duo Christina Lauren. Since I discovered their books last year, I now buy every new book they release without even looking at the blurb. I had a long wait for this one as it took a month for it to arrive in Australia from the Book Depository.
The Honey Don’t List is about Carey and James, two assistants to a married, renovating/decorating TV duo named Melissa and Rusty Tripp. Carey has been working with the Tripps for a decade from their humble beginnings running a homewares store to their meteoric rise as TV home renovation darlings. The Tripps used to love each other, but now they can’t stand to be in the same room together and are forced to keep up appearances for the cameras. They have also just released a book on marriage, so they need to stay together.
James is an engineer who applied for an engineering job on their show, only to find himself relegated to being Rusty’s assistant. He wants to quit but can’t due to his disastrous last job, making it impossible to be hired anywhere. When the Tripps hit the road on a bus for their book tour, Carey and James find themselves with the thankless task of keeping the two stars from killing each other and revealing the true state of their marriage to the world. Along the way, James and Carey find that working so closely together gives them a new appreciation of each other. It may lead to something more – if their bosses don’t ruin it for them.
The Honey Don’t List has a great premise, two assistants who don’t really get on trying to keep their bosses on the right track. But for some reason, although I devoured this book, I found that it was more stressful than romantic. Both Melissa and Rusty Tripp are really not very nice people and a lot of the book is their story. Melissa takes advantage of Carey all the time and doesn’t give her the credit she deserves for her work. Rusty is an alcoholic womaniser who doesn’t elicit any sympathy. So, setting up a love story with Carey and James against this backdrop didn’t really work for me. The two falling in love in such an environment felt a bit forced to me.
It was still an entertaining read, but not one of Christina Lauren’s best efforts. If you want to read some other books of theirs, I suggest you try The Unhoneymooners, Dating You Hating You, My Favourite Half-night Stand and Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating.
Verdict: An entertaining, romantic read – but it didn’t quite hit the spot for me.