The Unhoneymoonersby Published 14 May 2019
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.
The Unhoneymooners Reviews
"When I signed up for this honeymoon, I had no idea it would involve so much nudity."
Raise your glass to another winner from Christina Lauren! *clink* This writing duo features my go-to gals when it comes to romantic comedies. Seriously, I can't remember the last time an author consistently made me chortle so hard or forced me to sustain multiple gut busters in a row. Last time I checked, we could all use a few more good vibes all over the world, and if you're looking for another feel good time, this is your stop. Get off the TBR bus right now; hurry or you'll miss it!
I immediately connected with Olive and her plight to fight the system that forces prejudice against the curvy girl. Seriously, a female lead who not only inhales cheese curds at the fair and makes no apologies for it, but also holds anyone accountable who tries to fat shame her? This girl is my hero. Olive and Ethan are the "unlikeliest couple" ever, which means of course they have to get together, because this is my all time favorite trope. Let's give a standing ovation for the enemies-to-lovers plot! Ethan is a seemingly OCD/stuffy know-it-all, who honestly came off as a standard dick in the beginning. But Chelsea, isn't there some underlying reason why he's coming across as such a shallow turd muncher you ask? Obviously, but we'll get there in due time. This pair contains the only two people at Olive's sister's wedding who didn't come down with an unfortunate, fancy case of food poisoning. Sister Amy insists that Olive take the non-refundable, all inclusive honeymoon to Hawaii, while brother Dane insists that Ethan takes it. Even though Olive and Ethan despise each other, they are both stubborn as an ox and refuse to let the other have all the fun, so they agree to commit fraud and enjoy a free vacation while spending as little time as possible around each other.
We all know how this story goes, and I think one of the reasons I pick up these books is for the familiarity and predictability they provide. Even if everything in my life is going haywire, I can count on these two people going through the motions to hit me right in the feels where I need it most. I'm sure you can guess how 99% of this book will turn out, but what I can't emphasize enough is just how laugh-out-loud hilarious it was journeying alongside of Ethan and Olive. The shower changing scene, anyone? While the plot seemed a little less zany and more believable than Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, I felt the snappy dialogue and witty humor was most on point with that previous story than some of their others. *side note, you can say it's unbelievable that twins would end up dating or marrying brothers, but I had a ballet teacher who married her identical twin's brother in law. Hope your marriage is still going strong Miss Jamie, and if not, I apologize for bringing it up here.*
The reason I went with a 4 star instead of a 5 star rating is a bit complex, and I'll try to unpack it below, complete with spoiler tags. While I understand that this is fiction, I felt conflicted about how the book ended. Once Olive and Ethan return from the "honeymoon" and insert themselves into real life mode, they have some issues that they have to deal with involving family members on both sides. On the one hand, I love how we see Olive grow as a person, taking ownership for her shortcomings and choices in life, and becoming ok with who she is and finding who she wants to be in her professional career. This portion felt deeper than in previous "fluffy" novels, which perhaps raised my expectations on how the ending would handle her and Ethan's "disagreement". [spoilers removed] Obviously, this is just personal preference, and a small blot in an otherwise delicious, steamy, feel good romp. Highly recommended for anyone who needs a good laugh and a story you can fly through in record time.
*I received a review copy via the publisher.
Holy shit I loved this so much. Christina Lauren is one of my favorite authors and I was absolutely STOKED when Gallery Books sent me an ARC of their latest romance The Unhoneymooners. I think I honestly have a new favorite from them. This one or Autoboyography is my favorite book from this author now, ahhh.
This is an adorable rom-com that follows this girl named Olive who is chronically unlucky, and her twin sister Ami who is absurdly lucky. Ami is marrying this guy named Dane and Olive can't stand Dane's brother Ethan. At Ami and Dane's wedding, the entire wedding party gets food poisoning except for Olive and Ethan who didn't eat the fish, so Ami tells Olive to take her nonrefundable honeymoon trip to Hawaii and Dane tells his brother Ethan to take the trip: so Ethan and Olive take the trip to Hawaii together. This romance has a lot of my favorite romance tropes: hate to love, slow burn romance, fake dating/fake marriage, it really has it all. I am absolute trash for the fake dating trope I just love it so much and this book does it sooooo well.
It's been along time since a romance novel has made me so giddy. I just adore the hell out of Olive and Ethan both, and this book reminded me of one of my all time favorite romances: The Hating Game because their banter is so on point. Like for real, this is one of the funniest fucking books I've ever read, I giggled out loud many times, and I devoured this story is two sittings. I could not put it down. Their chemistry is so contagious, I was grinning form ear to ear the entire time I was reading this. This story would make for the perfect rom-com beachy movie. I could picture it all in my head so vividly.
I love Olive's mexican family which reminded me so much of my own. I love her relationship with her twin sister Ami, they were totally adorbs. I also loved how her parents have been separated for so long but never divorced, and her gay cousin Diego. The closeness of their family and the way they supported each other through everything just reminded me so much of my own family and it was just really sweet. Also, Olive's unlucky streak was entertaining as hell and she has some really great stories about unlucky things that have happened to her I was cackling. I tend to be more of a pessimistic person too like Olive so I found her general attitude towards life really relatable.
Ethan is my favorite kind of male love interest: he's strong but soft and he seems so rough around the edges but once you get to know him he's a total softy, and he's a cute drunk and he wants to see the best in people and he respects women and he's crazy passionate about his nerdy job and I just adored the shit out of him.
I just loved this so so so so much. I've found a new all time favorite romance/OTP/book. I just want to run around recommending this book to everyone and I want to reread it immediately upon finishing it which is always a good sign. Don't skip this one in May!
Book 1 of the Contemporary-a-thon is complete!
I can treat this trip like an actual vacation on a tropical island.
Yes, it’s with my nemesis, but still, I’ll take it.
Guys, I don't think it's working out. I'm trying so hard to get on the Christina Lauren fanwagon, but there are just lots of little things that aren't floating my boat.
The Unhoneymooners is not bad at all. It's quite funny and enjoyable for the most part, actually. It's just... well, I'll start with the first thing I noticed. This is only the second Christina Lauren book I have tried, with the other being Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, and yet right away I realized that the characters were virtually identical. Both Olive and Hazel are klutzy, embarrassing heroines who don't know when to stop talking, each with notably amazing boobs. Ethan and Josh are both aloof, cynical guys who supposedly view their respective heroines with disdain until they, um, don't anymore. And they are both - I'm quoting here - boob men (curious - does this boob thing come up in all their books?).
Boob joking aside, Olive and Ethan could just as easily be Josh and Hazel. They read like the same couple. Also, I see a lot of reviewers talking about this promised "enemies-to-lovers" romance, but I'm just not that convinced. I am a sucker for the love/hate relationship thing, I'll be honest. I don't know why. Add it to my list of issues. But whether it's Jardan or Spuffy or the good old Fitzbeth, I'm all for a bit of "I hate you, let's fuck" angst.
Olive and Ethan, though, are not enemies. Sure, she calls him her "nemesis" and declares how awful it's going to be going to Maui with him, blah blah, but it seems pretty clear to me from the beginning that they really love bickering with each other. They don't hate each other! They're not enemies! Their first conversation makes them seem like an old married couple bitching at each other. In fact, I find it weird how Olive basically fabricates some faux-hatred at the start, but is later very easily forgiving when, in my opinion, Ethan was completely in the wrong.
So far this has definitely sounded more negative, but it is a fun, easy read. I like how both Olive and Hazel are unwilling to apologize for who they are and the way their bodies look. I like the back-and-forth between Olive and Ethan:
“Ethan, I’m a terrible liar.”
“Really? You hid it so well.”
“It’s never been my strength, okay? Those of us who aren’t summoned by the Dark Mark consider honesty to be a virtue.”
I also really liked the single perspective of this story. Seeing as almost every romance novel these days has multiple perspectives, I must be in the minority on this one, but I actually find it much easier to enjoy a romance and fall in love with the object of the MC's affections if I'm reading a single perspective. Getting inside the other person's head dampens some of the tension for me.
Oh, and I also liked the super hot massage scene. For obvious reasons.
Hell, I don't even know at this point. It's not like I'm not having a bit of mindless fun with these books, but with so little time to read, do I really want to keep spending it with 3-star reads? Huh. Maybe I'll try one more.
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Gah you want a steamy,summer romance? Look no further!
When all but two weddings guests contract food poisoning at a wedding in Minnesota, they help out the bride and groom by going on their honeymoon for them. It just so happens that the two guests are the bride's twin sister, Ollie, and the groom’s brother, Ethan. Of course, Ollie and Ethan hate each other. Of course, both are extremely attractive people. Of course, under all of the hatred they really do like each other. When forced to share a hotel room for 10 days, the inevitable happens: they fall in love. But there are complications that threaten to tear them apart.
While the romance between Ethan and Ollie plays a large role, this book is really more about Ollie learning to embrace life and stop focusing on the bad. She is smart, bristly and extremely protective of both herself and her sister. She feels like she attracts bad luck and as a resultdoesn't trust when good things happen to her. She undergoes quite the transformation, which was nice to read!
The Unhoneymooners checks off all of the boxes I have come to expect from Christina Lauren books: A plucky protagonist, fun quirky plot, hot sexual tension, and of course, plenty of romance. This wasn’t my favorite CL novel but it did the job! It felt a little safe and formulaic-- I like when CL pushes the boundaries and goes in an unexpected direction, but I still found The Unhoneymooners a satisfying read!
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review.