The book that kept me up for 48 hours...
I have a confession to make...
I don’t do a lot of reading. 🤯
I know, I know, I hold myself out to be some kind of author. And authors are supposed to read, right?
I get all the arguments in favor of this, and they’re not wrong. And there was a time in my life when I did a lot of reading. But now I’m a working mom of three school aged girls, and I’m also an author. And I rarely have time for anything else these days – including reading. If I read much, I would have zero time left over for writing. Kind of defeats the purpose.
And here’s ‘fess-up numero dos...
I almost never, ever read romance.
That’s right, folks – I am a romance writer. And yet, I have little experience as a reader of my own genre. 🤔
But obviously, since I wrote one, I have a not-so-secret affinity for a sweet love story that also has just the right amount of spice. The good little demisexual that I am insists on being swept up in a swoony, romantic love story with a lovable male lead who falls, and falls hard.
But frankly, most romance novels I’ve encountered so far (and admittedly my acquaintance of them is quite limited) are rather silly. Especially the kind with covers featuring highly-chiseled studs and babes in various states of undress.
But HOLD THE FREAKIN’ PHONE...
Because at nine o’clock on Saturday night, I made the grievous error of starting a novel by an author I had never read before. Ladies and gentlemen, I couldn’t sleep all Saturday night nor all day Sunday, even though I finished it at precisely 6:58 AM Sunday morning. It was that good.
So what is the oeuvre that has me so hot and bothered?
Well, it may not be news to many of you, but it was to me; and it’s called The Unhoneymooners, by Christina Lauren.
Spoiler free synopsis: Olive Torres’ identical twin, Ami, is getting married. The groom’s older brother, Ethan Thomas, seemingly slighted Olive on their first meeting, and they’ve butted heads ever since (echoes of Pride and Prejudice, anyone?). But when the whole wedding party besides Olive and Ethan fall violently ill, Ami and her groom are unable to take their non-refundable, non-transferable honeymoon to Maui. So she somehow persuades Olive and Ethan to pose as the happy newlyweds and go, instead. Hilarity, dismantling of first impressions, and romance ensue.
Sure, there are tropes aplenty, and awkward scenarios of varying credibility where Olive and Ethan are quite literally thrust together. But the payoff made the suspension of disbelief more than worthwhile, and then some.
Let’s put it this way...
My husband finally kicked me out of the bedroom at 2 AM when I wouldn’t stop cackling him awake. 😂 The wit and intelligence of the writing and dialogue is enough to make me want to quit writing, because I suspect I’ll never be that good.
Olive Torres is lovably dorky, quirky, intelligent, and feisty, if a bit of a negative Nellie at times. And then! Then, there’s Ethan Thomas.
Every bit a match for Olive’s wit, intelligence, and (initial) broodiness, Ethan Thomas is a character Olive (and I) couldn’t help falling in love with. And I’m not too ashamed to admit that I fell hard. So hard, in fact, that even after going forty-eight hours straight without sleep, I still didn’t sleep well last night. I’m that obsessed. 😵
Olive and Ethan’s falling-in-love story is intensely sweet and swoon-worthy. 😍❤️ There were a few times that I wished I had a set of smelling salts on hand. A book hasn’t awakened feelings like that in me since… my own? 😊
And then – oh, then... there's that spice 🌶
Let’s put it this way, Dear Reader – the sexual chemistry and tension is core-of-the-sun-level hot. ☀️🔥 And all without being smutty, at least in my opinion (YMMV).*
I’d definitely rank this among the most hilarious, sweetest, sexiest, and overall best romance books I’ve ever read. I cannot wait to read more from this duo writing under the pen name of Christina Lauren – once I’m done basking in the afterglow of this one. Which may never happen, who knows. Le sigh.
And next time, I’ll be sure to stock up on the smelling salts. 😉
What did you think?
Have you read it? Are you planning to now? Let me know what you think, in the comments! And don't forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter for an exclusive sneak peak at the sequel to The Catch!
*The not-so-fine print...
(Actually, I could’ve done with a teensy bit more smut.) 😉
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