The Honey Don’t List

Christina Lauren

I had to squeeze in a romance for Valentine’s Day. I picked this one based upon how well the cover fit the theme.

Quick Synopsis

The Honey Don’t List is a romance about two assistants to a married couple with a hit HGTV show who must keep up their bosses’ appearance of a happily married couple while they embark on a book tour.

Publisher’s Synopsis

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.

Book Review

Christina Lauren was one of, if not the, first romance authors I read as an adult. I have really enjoyed all of the books of theirs that I have read up until The Honey Don’t List.

The Honey Don’t List is a forced proximity romance about two assistants to a married couple with a hit HGTV show who must keep up their bosses’ appearance of a happily married couple while they embark on a book tour. I recently read another book – Weather Girl – about two employees that try to unite their formerly married bosses to keep the peace in the workplace. And I must say, for me, Weather Girl was much more enjoyable.

The Honey Don’t List is written similarly to other Christina Lauren books. It was not the writing I did not enjoy. Instead, I found the two bosses immature and insufferable. I usually do not have a problem with unlikeable characters, but these two really annoyed me. One of them was even emotionally abusive to her assistant. The bosses were simply spoiled brats with no concern for each other or the people around them. There was no redemptive arc for them or growth. This put a major damper on both the story and the tone of the book, particularly the beginning of the book where the bosses were the focus. If you are looking for a light and fluffy romance, The Honey Don’t List is not it.

The romance fell short for me as well. It was a bit instant love. They had never really had positive interactions until they set out on this book tour. After spending only a few days in forced proximity, they were smitten with one another. It felt a bit haphazard and sudden. I did not feel like the romance had a chance to properly develop. While I liked both the protagonists as people, I just did not find the romance completely plausible or relatable. Plus, the male protagonist was not fully developed.

Overall, The Honey Don’t List was missing the spark that I have found in other Christina Lauren books. I think if you do not mind unlikeable and annoying characters, you will enjoy this much more than I did.


Overall Rating

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 2 out of 5.

Character development

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Honey Don’t List



Publication Date
March 24, 2020


Storygraph Rating
3.41 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.51 stars

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