I’m still on my romance reading trend and loving YA and contemporary romance a lot. My latest romance read is “The Honey Don’t List” by Christina Lauren.
I received a free e-arc from Netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review of this one. Read on for what I thought!
This was 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars on goodreads because that’s what I do. This is only my second Christina Lauren book. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it lacked some things that make me fall head over heels with romance books I’ve read and didn’t have me feeling many emotions along the way, which is what I look for.
What I liked
I enjoyed Carey and James’ characters and Carey’s character development over time. This book isn’t filled with romance, but I liked the premise. And I enjoyed watching their relationship develop. The dialogue is great throughout, and every character has a good amount of personality that makes you feel you get to know them. This book also didn’t feel super cliche like some romance does, so that made it much more enjoyable to read.
What didn’t work for me
The pacing. I felt the plot had a very slow start and then the rest was way too speedy. Some parts felt way too Magnolia/ Chip and Joanna Gaines for me (the books, the TV shows, the descriptions of Rusty and the Honey + Comb brand, how Melly hunts for the perfect antiques for staging). I wish it had more originality because the concept of the book would have been interesting on its own and didn’t need the connotations of famous home renovation couples.
A lot of the plot also bored me. There’s too much work drama and not enough romance in this for me. I also didn’t understand why there wee all the police interviews mixed in when it’s not obvious what “crime” has been committed until the very end. And then those parts didn’t really build to anything substantial? I did like the reviews / articles mixed in though – those added a lot to the story and every time I was reading them, I could tell something was about to go down. That anticipation really worked well in the book.
Who I’d recommend this to
Romance fans who aren’t looking for a ton of steam (it’s about a 4 on a scale of 10) and want a quick read that’s not overly cliche. I’ve heard some long-time fans of Christina Lauren have been disappointed by “The Honey Don’t List,” but I still enjoyed it and am glad I picked it up!