From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.
Carey Duncan 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Welcome to home improvement hell! For Carey Duncan, working as an assistant to married home renovation stars Melly and Rusty Tripp comes with some perks (great health insurance!), but even more challenges. Top of the list is the headache of trying to keep the volatile couple from imploding while promoting their new streaming series, but Rusty’s new hire, James McCann, is there to share the load—and a few stolen kisses. In a genre flooded with fantasy careers and CEOs who never seem to work, the depiction of a woman managing a stressful career while battling a chronic illness adds a welcome touch of realism to this fluffy rom-com.
Lauren (The Unhoneymooners) delivers a breezy, tongue-in-cheek rom-com featuring the beleaguered assistants to a pair of unhappily married reality-television stars. Carey Duncan has worked for Melissa and Russell Tripp since she was 16 and they were just starting out as the hosts of a home-improvement show. Ten long years later, Carey could likely have any design job she wanted, but loyalty to the Tripps (whom she sees as parental figures), fear of retribution, and the medical insurance that covers treatments for her muscle disease keep her in place. James McCann has only been Russell's assistant for a short time. An engineer by trade, James is ill-suited to managing the Tripps' meltdowns, but scandal drove him from his last job, and he'll take what he can get. Melissa and Russell's feuding gives rise to a series of ridiculous situations that endanger their brand, leading Carey and James to bond as they work together to keep America's favorite couple's fights under wraps. Playfully poking fun at the world of DIY TV, Lauren's romance is as insightful as it is irreverent. Readers will laugh out loud.
This is almost an anti-romance of sorts. During this intense journey we are experiencing the implosion of a marriage that started strong but when fame came knocking, Melissa, got lost. Rusty, her husband, is frustrated that his wife can’t see what is truly happening to their marriage and lashes out in a hurtful way. Their team realizes that they will need chaperones on their book tour to make sure everything runs smoothly and that they will place nice wit each other. This forces Carey and James, their assistants to attend when they were both looking forward to a week of vacation. Carey has been working for the Tripp’s for 10 years and has become an integral part of their success. The sad part is that she allows Melissa to bulldoze her which just reinforces her low self-esteem. James is desperate to rebuild his career after the firm he worked for imploded from a scandal. He was hired to be the engineer on the projects but ends up as Rusty’s assistant. Now Carey and James start out rubbing each other the wrong way but as the volatile book tour continues, they find themselves needing each other to survive the avalanche that is Melissa and Rusty Tripp. This is the romance, Carey and James’ slow burn during the turbulent book tour on a bus. The quiet moments when they find common ground in their passion for building as well as the beauty in their differences. But Carey’s journey to finding her voice and standing up for what she wants and what she is truly worth provides a wonderful reminder to each of us to not be afraid to pursue your passion. Will James find a way to be a part of Carey’s future? Or will his own ambitions get in the way? I enjoyed this book though it took me a while to really get into the rhythm of the story and be fully invested in the characters journey.
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
Romantic comedy mildly. Contemporary romance. Written from the viewpoints of both the hero and heroine in alternating, titled chapters.
Carey and James work as assistants to the Tripps. It’s up tp the two of them to manage the details of the famous couple in their public personas.
I really liked Carey and was rooting for her throughout. She “made” the company with her designs and organizational work. I really hated that Melly took such advantage and stomped all over Carey. James was more a question. He’s trying to build up his resume and doesn't want to be just an assistant and he can’t afford to just walk away from his job. I would have liked a bit more background on his prior job or why he couldn’t just start over. He’s only 26.
But moving on...the middle of the book was the best with the couple getting to know each other. James was good about noticing the little things and paying attention.
In the end it was enjoyable but not as good as other books by this author.
3.5 rounding up to 4 because it’s still a lovely romance happily ever after.
I received a copy of this from NetGalley. I also purchased a copy to share.
great characters and super touching story
haha so i read this the minute it came out. and now it’s 2:30 am because i didn’t stop reading. i love the storyline and the character development was perfect. would definitely recommend ❤️