The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren– I have read many of Lauren’s books. They are usually very enjoyable to me. Although I really disliked the last one, Twice in a Blue Moon for lots of reasons. I still wanted to read this book. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. It felt similar in a few ways to Dating You Hating You, work enemies of some sort that fall in love.
(CW: workplace sexism, emotional abuse by boss, disabled heroine)
There was nothing spectacular about this book for me. And I think that is a problem. All the CLo books are starting to feel the same, and not in a good way. Although with the sameness, the one thing that really stood out was the lack of grovel. The hero, James, does a bad thing and when the heroine, Carey, finds out she is rightfully upset. But then she just gets over it with a simple apology. Additionally, Carey’s boss Melissa is emotionally abusive and doesn’t deserve Carey’s forgiveness, yet she gets it too easily.
Carey has a physical disability that at times makes it hard for her to move her hands. I don’t have this disability or know anyone who does so it is hard to say how realistic it was handled. But James did take on a good carer roll for Carey.
Overall this book was fine but with all the sameness happening in CLo books, I think it’s time I take a break from them. I am going to try to skip the next few and maybe by then their storytelling will feel fresh to me again.
Messy by Katie Porter– I bought this up after I saw Lorelie Brown (have of Katie Porter) talking about it on Twitter, specifically about the sex in it (facesitting in the first chapter). The sex is explicit and there is a lot of it, if that is something you are looking for.
(CW: ailing & dying parent, emotionally distant parents, grief)
Harlow is an emotionally damaged young woman who accompanies her dying father to England. She connects with Alec, his one time best friend/bandmate. Harlow just wants answers about her life and where she comes from. She doesn’t feel loved.
The story on this was interesting. There are a lot of internal thoughts that are angsty as hell. It kind of reminded me of Charlotte Stein. Although at times the writing felt pretentious, which felt a little out of place because I didn’t get that Harlow or Alec were pretentious.
The sex was very sexy and very emotional. Alec and Harlow connected on all the levels. He saw her almost immediately and that is exactly what she needed. This is an emotionally heavy read and if that is not your thing right now, I understand, but it was a solid read that kept me engaged while I was reading it.