Woo hoo, more Christina Lauren! Are you tired of me reviewing their books yet?
Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.
James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.
Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…
If I had to describe this book using one word it would be “cutesy”. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing! But it felt less plausible than some of their other books which ended up taking away some of my enjoyment. I think the inclusion of the HGTV-type show and the way Melissa and Rusty were written distracted me from the romantic plot line and I got a little lost. It was still a good book but it seemed like the romance and the TV plots were bumping into each other without making me feel very strongly toward either plot.
I ended up falling more for the smaller scenes between Carey and James than I did for the book as a whole. I really did like the romance between Carey and James. I’m always down for an enemies-to-lovers story and this one was adorable! Both Carey and James had great development throughout the book and I really loved seeing them open up to each other as the book progressed. They both felt like strong, flushed-out characters and I really liked both of them.
The book as a whole felt fairly predictable and many aspects were drawn out more than I would have liked. I love a strong female lead and it was just breaking my heart to see how poorly Carey was treated and how long she let herself be walked all over. It seems like if she had spoken up earlier the ending would have felt less rushed and the beginning of the book would have balanced out with the end of the book better than it did.
Of course one of the main conflicts between Carey and James all came down to a lack of communication, which kind of drove me crazy. It was still an enjoyable read but I love when there is some other block or conflict between characters. Communication issues seem like such an easy way to create conflict but it’s so overused and at this point all I do is roll my eyes and get a little annoyed with it. It just isn’t that exciting, considering it could have been avoided if they just talked with each other. It worked out in the story but I would have liked a different, saucier conflict instead of this.
This didn’t end up being my favorite by Christina Lauren but I still found it enjoyable. It was definitely predictable and the pacing was kind of janky but the characters were fun and the romance was really cute. It made for a fast and overall enjoyable read!