In brief: Olive’s twin Ami is very lucky. Until she and the rest of her wedding guests get food poisoning. So Olive and best man Ethan have to go on the honeymoon. Only problem is they hate each other…
The good: Christina Lauren’s books are always fun, funny and delicious.
The not-so-good: The angst!
Why I chose it: Because I am a confirmed fan of Christina Lauren and I needed a pick me up book that wouldn’t fail me.
Publisher: Piatkus (Hachette)
Setting: Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Hawaii, USA
Rating: 10 out of 10
Christina Lauren’s books (written by Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) are on my ‘never let me down’ list. Their books never fail to remind me why I love to read – they are fun in word format. Light with wit, hilarious moments and the kind of angst you can feel seeping out of the pages kind of fun.
The Unhoneymooners is of course, no exception. It takes the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope and spins it into a story of food poisoning, Hawaii, lies and a great revenge plot. It is hilarious, sad and sexy. Olive, the heroine, believes that she is unlucky. Bad things happen to her, particularly when compared with her identical twin, Ami. Good things flock to Ami, down to the point where her wedding and honeymoon are pretty much paid for by winning competitions. But at the wedding, Olive’s luck seems to change even though she’s wearing a horrible dress and she is forced to spend time with the best man, Ethan. She and Ethan are the only ones who didn’t eat the seafood buffet…and now they are the only ones still standing at the reception. Ami tells Olive and Ethan to take their honeymoon in Hawaii, but as it’s a competition they must pretend to be married. Free trip versus time with Evil Ethan – it’s not like Olive is doing anything as she recently lost her job, so she goes on the trip with him. Pretending to be in a fake marriage only becomes trickier when Olive must lie to her future boss and Ethan’s ex is at the same hotel. But hate turns the other way in Hawaii – can a holiday romance survive the real world?
Yes, you might know the ending before you open the book but this journey is like a good rollercoaster – surprising and the ultimate thrill. The spark between Ethan and Olive could light up a whole city and their insults and fake names for each other are limitless. (Definitely a few insults to save in case of future need). Both are witty characters who also have a soft side that comes out in different, unexpected ways. I loved that Ami and Olive have an incredibly supportive family and that family love came through many times in the story. All the characters feel real – even seemingly perfect Ami has her own trajectory, which brings up a whole new level of feels (and ideas for revenge). Yes, some of the interactions are convenient for the story but isn’t that why we read fiction? To escape the mundane days where nothing happens and cut to the good parts? And there are a LOT of good parts here. Laugh out loud parts (it takes a lot for fiction to make me laugh, but these ladies have it in spades), sexy parts and good friends and family parts. The Unhoneymooners would make a wonderful rom-com for the screen (Netflix, you listening?).
I was excited on finishing this book to see that Christina Lauren’s new book, Twice in a Blue Moon, was close to release! (It’s now available). I love this pair for their books that make me happy. I wish they got more love in Australia!