The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren
March 24, 2020 by Gallery Books
Christina Lauren is one of those author duos that I keep on my auto buy list even though their books have gradually moved toward more semi-closed door romance and womens fiction rather than the hotter than hell romances I remember back in the day when they first started publishing together. I miss those down and dirty, filthy love scenes.
The Honey Don’t List starts out in a way that completely drew me in and made me want to read. Two people are being interviewed by the police about an “incident” that has already happened and the vague answers make you, the reader, want to know all about it. Then we are immediately introduced to Carey and James, assistants to Melly and Rusty Tripp, home make-over gurus who run a huge empire that includes tv shows, merchandise and published books. Their perfect marriage is also a sham.
I liked Carey and James. I liked their friendship and how they formed a partnership to get through the mess that was the road trip with the Tripps. I wasn’t blown away by their romance though. I feel like Melly and Rusty’s troubled marriage took over the whole story. Their shenanigans and drama overshadowed the softer, quieter romance between the main protagonists.
The ending was quite abrupt and I feel like there wasn’t enough grovel and apologies from certain individuals for their actions. I wanted MORE of the main romance and more resolutions between them, and less drama from secondary characters.
All in all, this was a so-so read for me. It was fun at times, but I wasn’t completely satisfied.
Final grade- C
Bench Player by Julianna Keyes
Charleston Thrashers #2
March 30, 2020 Self Published
I remember finishing the first book in this series, Team Player, and hoping that I’d get to meet the man who went to prison and caused all the upheaval with the professional baseball team this series features. Well… it’s here! LOL
Connor Whitman has just been released from prison after 2 years for insider trading. He knows what he did was wrong and that he messed up in a lot of ways. Now he just wants to get back to a semi-normal life and hopefully, find a way back onto the Thrashers roster. He just doesn’t know how to do that. Enter Allison, the public relations manager for the team. She needs to rehab Connor’s image and get him back on the diamond, not only for Connor, but also to save her job.
I really enjoyed Connor and Allison. They had this chemistry that just drew me in and kept me reading. I’m a big fan of sports romance so I was on board anyway, but add in a touch of grumpy meets stern/bossy with what felt like just a little bit of enemies to lovers and I’m all in.
These are mature (30’s) characters and were dealing with a lot of real to life issues. And while the story could have felt heavy and bogged down with the main plot, this author did a wonderful job of giving readers just enough humor, tender moments, and fun interactions between Connor and his teammates and Allison and her grandfather to keep it balanced. Also, Allison and Connor have some nice, steamy love scenes. Really nice.
Even if you have’t read the first book in the series I feel like you can dive right in easily and not be lost. I really enjoyed Bench Player and hope to see more in this world.
Final grade- B