What could be worse than being left at the altar? Probably letting your mother and sisters convince you to go on the honeymoon cruise you meticulously planned, but Doug can’t seem to stop crying long enough to figure it all out. Plus, he is still uncertain where the honeymoon suite is, but he’s pretty sure he’s in the right corridor and why is there a naked man standing in the hall anyway? Doug might be flustered, but he still offers the guy a robe and tries to help him before bursting into tears and embarrassing himself, yet again. Doug is just over it all and, to make matters worse, he still can’t believe the man he trusted with all their wedding plans, not to mention his heart, sent him a text telling him, “never mind” on the day of their wedding. It’s just all too much.
Tripp will never again follow his boyfriend into the hall to try and resolve an argument. Wait, who is he fooling—of course he will, because that is just what he does. Despite his best friend cautioning him not to “fall in love” again, Tripp wants to give his current boyfriend every chance to unplug himself from the business that consumes his every waking moment and instead focus on the two of them and building their floundering relationship, such as it is. If only Tripp didn’t love being in love so much. Still, the guy who tried to help him is pretty cute and, lucky him, married and on his honeymoon. Tripp would love to be on a honeymoon—fat chance that will ever happen, at least not with his current boyfriend.
As one thing leads to another, Tripp finds himself suddenly single and alone, and Doug is ready to get the first flight out at the next stop. But then Tripp comes up with the crazy idea of pretending they are married and before Doug knows it, they are happy coupling it on excursions and around the ship and life is looking just a bit better. If only this fantasy could be real.
I absolutely adored Honeymoon Sweet by Allison Temple. The second book in her Out and About series, this novel definitely reads like a standalone and is just terribly funny and delightful. I wanted to wrap Tripp up and keep him forever and the magic he creates for poor Doug by turning a disastrous affair into a beautiful vacation is enough to make Tripp one of my all-time favorite characters. It isn’t that Tripp had no flaws, but he certainly had both self-deprecation and unadulterated happiness in spades. He is the best friend and the love of your life all rolled into one. He never takes himself too seriously and he is genuinely invested in making Doug as happy as possible. I think between the incredibly funny nicknames Tripp comes up with for Doug and his listing reasons why he always seems to be getting himself into trouble romantically, I could not stop myself from falling in love with him.
Poor Doug—he is absolutely devastated at being humiliated and left on his wedding day at an empty altar and so he should be. His fiancé is a real piece of work and I say that with all certainty, even though we meet him only briefly during the story. The author does such a good job of having Doug relive moments in his past where Calvin, the ex, just smothers Doug with supposed love and concern, but really only accomplishes trying to mold him into the person Calvin feels he should be. As a result, Doug loses himself and becomes a man he no longer recognizes and doesn’t really like. When Tripp comes into his life, Doug can’t help but see the true Calvin and, compared to the lovely Tripp, he’s also a real loser.
The week these two spend on the cruise is filled with passion, fun, and all the marvelous stuff a fantasy whirlwind romance should have. Yes, this is definitely insta-love, but there is also heaps of comfort, healing, genuine friendship, and the best trivia game of all time. Honestly, I just couldn’t stop laughing. I seriously couldn’t find any flaws with this story. I normally am not a huge fan of insta-love, but this author made it work by establishing right away that Tripp just wanted to see Doug happy because Tripp is a genuinely nice guy. With every scene playing out with that goal in mind, the feelings that grow between our two guys actually seem realistic and not made up just to have them fall in love.
I definitely highly recommend Honeymoon Sweet by Allison Temple to anyone needing a few moments’ escape from reality and a good jolt of just plain happy. This is an easy read with limited angst and lots of steamy, yet fun, moments where we see just how much a little kindness and care can lead to healing and love.