The Unhoneymooners Book Review, Novel by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners Book Review: Synopsis 

“The Unhoneymooners” is an enemies-to-lovers romance novel written by bestselling duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings under the pen name Christina Lauren. It tells the story of Olive Torres, who has notoriously bad luck, and her nemesis Ethan Thomas. When Olive’s identical twin sister Ami and Ethan’s brother Dane get food poisoning at their wedding from bad shellfish at the seafood buffet, Olive and Ethan are the only people unaffected. They reluctantly agree to use Ami and Dane’s non-refundable Hawaiian expenses-paid honeymoon package, while pretending to be newlyweds themselves to take advantage of the free vacation.

Olive has suffered through a series of unfortunate events recently, including losing her job due to company layoffs. When she runs into her attractive former boss on the plane to Hawaii, she panics and tells him that Ethan is her new husband. Ethan’s ex-girlfriend Gigi is also spotted on the plane, so he plays along with Olive’s little white lie. Olive, determined to avoid Ethan during the trip, acts as tour guide for Ethan’s benefit when Gigi approaches.

The mutual hatred and forced proximity lead to tensions between Olive and Ethan. Olive in particular struggles with her perception of Ethan as her nemesis, especially when he turns on the charm and she finds herself attracted to him. They call a temporary truce for the sake of enjoying their free Hawaiian honeymoon, but soon their fake relationship starts to feel surprisingly real.

After overcoming conflicts involving Ethan’s brother Dane and his unwanted advances toward Olive, as well as their own insecurities, Olive and Ethan return from their “un-honeymoon” as a real couple. Olive realizes that her chronic bad luck has turned around now that she has opened her heart to love.

The Unhoneymooners Main Characters

Olive Torres

The Unhoneymooners Book Review - Olive Torres
  • Unlucky identical twin of Ami
  • Suffers from constant bad luck personally and professionally
  • Works in pharmaceutical sales but dislikes her job
  • Described as klutzy, embarrassing, with “amazing boobs”
  • Her nemesis is Ethan

Ethan Thomas

The Unhoneymooners Book Review - Ethan Thomas
  • Brother of Dane, the groom
  • Best man at Dane and Ami’s wedding
  • Initially cold, aloof and cynical toward Olive
  • Very attractive with muscles, abs, biceps, etc.
  • Revealed to be nice once Olive gets to know him


  • Olive’s lucky identical twin sister
  • Marries Dane in the beginning
  • Finances entire wedding through contest wins
  • Wins Hawaiian honeymoon trip for her and Dane
  • Later portrayed as a strong woman who stands up for Olive


  • Ethan’s brother and Ami’s groom
  • Falls ill from food poisoning at the wedding
  • His honeymoon with Ami is given to Olive and Ethan
  • Later makes unwanted advances toward Olive

The Unhoneymooners Themes and Tropes

At its core, “The Unhoneymooners” is a romance novel that utilizes common tropes like the “enemies to lovers” dynamic and a case of mistaken identity between the main characters, Olive and Ethan. They start off as nemeses who mutually dislike one another. When Olive’s twin sister Ami suffers from food poisoning at her wedding to Ethan’s brother Dane, Olive and Ethan as the only non-sick wedding guests reluctantly agree to use the free Hawaiian honeymoon trip themselves. Forced proximity allows them to see new sides of each other, moving from enemies to friends to eventually lovers.

As they play the role of loving newlyweds to take advantage of the free vacation expenses, the fake marriage trope comes into play as Olive and Ethan realize they enjoy the role. Miscommunication and insecurity threaten their burgeoning relationship, until Olive in particular undergoes character growth and learns to take control of her perpetual bad luck. No longer seeing herself as the “unlucky twin,” she opens her heart to Ethan as well as new career opportunities.

Other themes involve the close sisterly bond between Olive and her twin Ami, who remain loyal and supportive of each other despite conflicts over Ami’s groom Dane. The turbulence in Olive’s romantic life with Ethan is juxtaposed with the solid foundation of familial love between the sisters. In the end, the romance between Olive and Ethan serves as a classic wish fulfillment love story, while Olive also finds self-confidence and fulfillment internally.

The Unhoneymooners Writing Style

The writing style of Christina Lauren sets an engaging, humorous tone from the very first lines. The descriptions utilize clever phrasing like calling Ami’s meet-cute story a “romantic comedy (gag)” and saying she financed her wedding through a “series of internet contests (double gag).” This establishes the book’s somewhat sarcastic but lively narrative voice and foreshadows the fake honeymoon gag to come between Olive and Ethan.

The dialogue also contributes substantially to the comedy and chemistry between the two main characters. Their mutual disdain comes across through witty banter like when Olive says “Those of us who aren’t summoned by the Dark Mark consider honesty to be a virtue.” The quippy comebacks and olive branches like Ethan’s admission “You always look great” reveal the growing attraction underneath their sparring.

While the light tone dominates, emotionally heavier moments emerge like Olive’s recognition that she needs to take control of her chronic bad luck. But the resolution returns to the bubbly rom-com vibe of enemies turned lovers against a tropical paradise backdrop. The blending of humor and heart is signature Christina Lauren style. While the plot hits familiar tropes, the engaging characters and writing add freshness.

The Unhoneymooners Book Review: Final Verdict

With its sunny rom-com tone and appealing tropical setting, “The Unhoneymooners” makes for a delightful light-hearted read. The enemies-to-lovers romance might feel familiar, but Christina Lauren keeps things fresh with witty dialogue and a protagonist willing to evolve. Readers will be charmed by Olive and Ethan’s humorous banter masking their attraction, even as their fake honeymoon starts to feel seducingly real.

Those who enjoy classic romantic comedies in book form will find the formulaic tropes comforting. The ultimate wish fulfillment in Olive finding happiness in career and love makes it easy escapism. Chick lit aficionados will appreciate Olive’s confidence growing in tandem with her connection with hunky Ethan.

Some plot points do stretch believability, like Olive’s twin Ami financing her entire elaborate wedding solely through Internet sweepstakes wins. But readers seeking an amusing beach read rather than stark realism won’t be bothered. The escapist tropical scenery and hot romantic tension outweigh any plot weaknesses.

With quippy dialogue, steamy chemistry, and lightweight fun, “The Unhoneymooners” succeeds as diverting vacation reading. It’s likely to please romance lovers seeking an enjoyable happily-ever-after rather than complex literature. Christina Lauren delivers an enticing fake marriage tale making it easy to temporarily indulge dreams of a luxury getaway and chance at forever love.

Author Profile

Susanna Nicholson
Susanna NicholsonReader, Writer
I spend my days immersed in the world of books, finding solace in their pages. In my spare time, I transform into a critic, penning reviews that unravel the magic and mystery of each story. This passion for reading is not just a hobby; it’s a part of who I am.
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