Ooh, I think this is the review where I reach my quarter cannonball goal! (Though I have an unofficial goal to get to a half cannonball.)
I really enjoyed The Unhoneymooners. Olive and Ethan are, respectively, the (twin) sister of the bride and the brother of the groom who are getting married when the novel starts. During the reception, everyone gets food poisoning except for Olive and Ethan; they were the only ones who hadn’t eaten from the seafood buffet. Olive’s sister Ami had won a nontransferable, nonrefundable honeymoon to Maui, and she her her new husband Dane (by the way, readers, we hate Dane) encourage Olive and Ethan to take their spot, although it means having to pretend to be married.
The problem with that is that Olive and Ethan hate each other. Or at least that’s what they each think. Although they had planned to spend most of their time apart once they got to Maui, they each end up running into someone they know and having to maintain the charade of being married. They realize they share some commonalities and begin developing a friendship. The novel is a first person narrative from Olive’s POV, and she very quickly begins to pay attention to how attractive Ethan is. They also realize they had some misconceptions about each other that led to their “hating” each other.
Of course, this is a romance novel so things can’t be smooth sailing the whole way through. When they get back home, issues with Ami and Dane’s (remember, we hate Dane) relationship have an effect on Ethan and Olive. But, again, this is a romance, so there’s a happily ever after.
I’m a sucker for verbal sparring and affectionate (or semi-affectionate) banter, and that was one of the things I liked about this book. Olive and Ethan can joke around a bit even when they are busy sort of disliking each other. I also really liked how Olive’s family is described. She has a huge extended family and they are all up in each other’s business, but they are also so clearly supportive of Olive and she clearly appreciates them.
The novel is told in present tense. This doesn’t bother me and I often don’t even notice, but I know some people find that a turn-off, so I wanted to mention it.