Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Dates Read: February 2, 2020
Format: NetGalley eARC provided by Publisher
“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…”
I am such a fan of CLo, and so I was so excited to be approved to read an early copy of this new one from the dynamic duo. Unfortunately, this one just fell a little flat for me.
The book started off so interesting, a little bit of mystery/intrigue and being told from 2 POV’s plus some other fun tid-bits thrown in throughout. I really enjoyed reading the chapters from Carey’s perspective. I thought her character was very well done, complex, and intriguing. I related to her quite a bit. I also really enjoyed the banter and snark between Carey and James, and I did enjoy their part in the story.
That being said, I found that the mystery that pulls you in at the beginning of the book falls quite flat and the build up seemed to be all for nothing. I also wasn’t a huge fan of James’ character. I felt that he just wasn’t quite developed as well as Carey and you could tell. Both of these things really made the story pretty ‘meh’ to me. The last 30% of this book really felt like a let down, and wasn’t as developed or there wasn’t as much depth to the ending as I would have expected. I kept waiting for it to WOW me, and it just never came.
Overall it was an easy read with some funny and romantic moments, but it just fell a bit short for me in the end.
*Special thanks to NetGalley, Christina Lauren and Gallery Books for the advanced eARC in exchange for my honest thoughts and review*