eARC Review – The Honey Don't List

Title: The Honey Don’t List

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication date: March 24th, 2020

320 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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…

Review

**Thank you to Edelweiss, Gallery Books, and Christina Lauren for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Friends! I was SO STOKED to have the chance to read and review this title early and it did not disappoint! Christina Lauren has done it again with an amazing romance novel that will have you swooning well after you’ve closed the book.

The Honey Don’t List follows Carey, the assistant to Melly Tripp a home design wizard with her husband Rusty, who does the remodeling and renovations. She has worked for them for 10 years and is very devoted to the couple, even though they are not as perfect as social media would have it seem. James McCann is running from a bad experience at his last job, and took this gig with the Tripp’s as an opportunity to be an engineer, but instead got stuck being Rusty’s assistant. He is not happy with this development to say the least. Carey and James must keep their bosses’ marriage together while doing press for their new book and Netflix TV show, which turns out to be harder than anticipated…

As usual Christina Lauren creates a book with many layers, which they are so adept at revealing at the perfect time. Carey and James start off as enemies but soon become teammates on the journey of keeping their bosses’ image intact, as it benefits both of them. During this time, they get closer and their bond gets deeper – they learn each other’s secrets. James helps Carey with the pieces of her life she isn’t ready to face yet. They are so sweet together and I just can’t get over it.

The Tripp’s are crazy town and it makes this book so very entertaining. Their marriage is a complete disaster and I love the irony of them releasing a marriage advice book while theirs is in shambles. I really disliked both of the characters honestly, they both are tragically messed up and even worse together.

I loved everything about this book, and it had all the elements of a perfect adult contemporary romance book. I also love the nod to mental health and work, because work really can have a negative effect on your wellbeing and it’s nice to see that story told in a book. If you love Christina Lauren books, go preorder your copy because it is worth the hype!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Idiot

“My new mantra was trust God, clean house, help others.” 

Title: Idiot

Author: Laura Clery

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication date: September 24th, 2019

256 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

From YouTube star and Facebook Video sensation Laura Clery comes a collection of comedic essays in the vein of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby and You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein.

Laura Clery makes a living by sharing inappropriate comedy sketches with millions of strangers on the Internet. She writes songs about her anatomy, talks trash about her one-eyed rescue pug, and sexually harasses her husband, Stephen. And it pays the bills!

Now, in her first-ever book, Laura recounts how she went from being a dangerously impulsive, broke, unemployable, suicidal, cocaine-addicted narcissist, crippled by fear and hopping from one toxic romance to the next…to a more-happy-than-not, somewhat rational, meditating, vegan yogi with good credit, a great marriage, a fantastic career, and four unfortunate-looking rescue animals. Still, above all, Laura remains an amazingly talented, adorable, and vulnerable, self-described…Idiot.

With her signature brand of offbeat, no-holds-barred humor, Idiot introduces you to a wildly original—and undeniably relatable—new voice.

Review

Brave. I didn’t feel brave at all. I felt scared out of my mind. But I suppose bravery is not being unafraid, it’s being shit-your-pants-scared-out-of-your-mind and doing the damn thing anyway.

laura clery, idiot

So, I recently started watching Laura’s videos on YouTube and I find her and Stephen to be so funny and witty. One specific video told the story of how she met Stephen and she re-enacted it. At that point, I realized she was sober and and addict, and so was Stephen. At the end of the video, she never even finished the story but instead said to go read the book. So I did! Kudos to Laura for that level of advertisement.

I don’t often read memoirs, so when I do I need them to be interesting enough to hold my attention and well written enough to make it worth it. And folks? Idiot brought both of those things. Laura’s stories were well written, easy to understand, and a breeze to read through. Her writing is very straightforward and no nonsense, albeit the events she is writing about are shocking and scary at times. Her story and path to recovery is harrowing and terrifying, but also sadly common. She speaks often of her support system to get her to her relationship with Stephen, and even the ups and downs of that relationship as they both relapse and put each other through hell.

I wasn’t sure how well Laura’s on screen persona and humor would translate into written words, but it WORKED. I wouldn’t say it was laugh out loud funny, but more of just humorous enough to keep the storyline going. The humor of Laura’s story is more a dark and twisty humor, where you nervously laugh at something decidedly not funny that is told in a funny way – if that makes sense.

I respect the hell out of Laura for putting her past and present on blast like this. It can’t be easy to write down all your demons and past terrible decisions for the world to see. It’s not something I would be able to do myself, and it was an honor to read about Laura’s life.

If you enjoy memoirs, I highly suggest picking this up. TW for addiction, drug/alcohol abuse/possible sexual assault.

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – My Favorite Half-Night Stand

“I should have been more offended. But I only have one emotion, and it’s hunger.”

Title: My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication date: December 4th, 2018

384 pages

3.75/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Review

You’re honestly too good for me, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want you anyway.

Christina lauren, my favorite half-night stand

I’m back with another CLo read! I picked this up from Barnes and Noble because it was one of their half off sale books and I’ve loved all the CLo books I’ve read so far. Whereas this one was not my favorite, I still enjoyed reading it and I will still read everything they have, and will, write!

Millie is a college professor with not a lot of luck with dating. Neither does her 4 best friends, all straight men who also can’t seem to navigate the dating scene. Millie’s never considered any of her friends as possible romances, until she drinks too much wine one night and jumps Reid’s bones. Reid lets it happen, and they both end up confused afterwards. The gang decides to make a pact to use a dating app to find a date to the university’s black tie gala, and they can’t take each other. Millie doesn’t have much luck, so she creates a fake persona on the site and matches with Reid. She tries to play it off so he realizes it is her, but he doesn’t. What started as a fun gag gets out of hand, and Reid is starting to like her alternate persona more than her. What’s a girl to do when her best guy friend wants to date the fake, online version of her?

My major, major critique of this book is the catfish plot. It really doesn’t seem believable that this would happen. Also, Millie was kind of an annoying character as she got bad at Reid for being into the alt version of her… which is still actually her? It got a bit confusing what she was mad about after awhile. While this is happening, the real her is also still sleeping with Reid?? So confused.

The hook up happened too soon, as in the first 2 chapters. We barely have any information on these characters and they are already boning. It’s hard to believe they “never considered it before” when it happened almost immediately.

Frankly, the side characters were scads more interesting than Millie and Reid. I wanted more information on the other 3 guys, and hell even Reid’s parents after the scene where they all visit for Reid’s birthday. The side characters were somehow more fleshed out than the main characters, and I was rooting more for them than Millie and Reid.

Outside of all that, I still love CLo books. I read it all in one day and their books are always easy, breezy books that I don’t have to think so hard about. I love reading them after a heavy Fantasy novel just to come back to earth and real life. But honestly, this book just made me want to read The Unhoneymooners again.

Happy reading, folks!