Author: Christina Lauren
Length: 9 hours
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell, Deacon Lee
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Original Publication Date: 2019
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Adult fiction
Olive’s twin sister, Amy, loves sweepstakes and giveaways and contests. She’s getting married to Dane Thomas, and every aspect of the wedding and honeymoon are free, thanks to her incredible luck. Olive, on the other hand, is unlucky in just about everything: she lost her roommate, her job, and has to spend the day of the wedding with her enemy: the best man, the brother to the groom, Ethan Thomas. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning except Olive and Ethan, there’s only one thing to do: put aside their mutual hatred for a free 10-day honeymoon that Amy and Dane can no longer attend. Olive thinks her luck is finally turning up – until she runs into her future boss during her supposed honeymoon. Now, Olive must lie and pretend she and Ethan are married to preserve their free vacation. Olive can’t stand Ethan, but the longer they pretend to be a couple, the more she starts to actually like Ethan…a lot.
I know, I know. It’s October, and this is very much not a spooky book. I am aware. But none of my spooky audiobooks are available at the moment, so I mixed things up with this contemporary enemies-to-lovers romance. I honestly thought I preferred enemies to lovers in a fantasy over just a plain romance novel, but I was wrong – it’s always a good trope. No matter what.
The Unhoneymooners (I have a very difficult time trying to type that out…) is told in first person POV from Olive’s perspective. Most of the novel takes place in Maui, where Olive and Ethan are “honeymooning.” As someone who loves autumn and winter, even I was feeling a little vacation envy. A beach and island-y cocktails sound amazing right now… Much of the novel focuses on Olive and Ethan’s relationship because, duh, it’s a romance novel. But there are other aspects thrown into the plot that make it more interesting, like Olive running into her boss, Ethan running into someone from his past, and a few other events that I won’t mention for fear of spoiling the book. Basically, there’s plenty of Olive+Ethan, but also lots more to keep you interested. As far as spice goes, this one is fairly mild. Olive spends a lot of time admiring Ethan’s body (hello, muscles), and Ethan spends a lot of time stealing glances at Olive’s chest. When things start to get…physical between the two, there’s definitely some foreplay we are privy to, but they’re all fade-to-black scenes.
I very much enjoyed this novel way more than I thought I would going in. I do enjoy a romance novel every now and then, but I usually don’t LOVE them (with all caps). I LOVED The Unhoneymooners. Like, I devoured it. Within 24 hours. I usually don’t finish audiobooks so quickly, and true, this is a fairly short one, but still. I was addicted. I loved the dynamic between Olive and Ethan, and I enjoyed watching them slowly grow closer over the course of their 10-day vacation. I loved all the awkward scenes (yes, even I, who gets severe secondhand embarrassment), loved the early snarky scenes, but loved even more as they fell for one another. I was all swoony heart-eyes, guys.
I go pretty easy on romance novels in terms of rating and reviewing them. I don’t need a lot for it to be a good read. I just need to enjoy the plot and love the characters’ love. That’s really it. And for me, The Unhoneymooners checked both boxes. I was hooked from beginning to end and I truly enjoyed myself. I want to thank BookTok for heavily recommending this book to me, because it was admittedly a nice break from all the spooky scary stuff I’ve been reading. Can someone win an island vacation for me now, please?