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A Rom-Com Read, Cocktail in a Can, But I Prefer Bourbon #FoodieReads

I can honestly say that I have never read a rom-com. I've watched plenty of them. Sometimes you just need some silly giggles.

Like a rom-com movie, I asked myself, is it plausible? Maybe. Is it ridiculous? Most of the time. But it is enjoyable? Absolutely! And often times, the more silly the antics are - think When Harry Met Sally - the more memorable it is. The Unhoneymooners is just such a book.

So, I was glad that The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren* was in my to-read pile. I cannot really remember who recommended it or how I ended up with it, but at the end of an exhausting day when Zoom meetings bookended all of my other activities, I was happy to collapse on my bean bag with this book in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other. I read it in one sitting.

The Enemies-to-Lovers trope has a long history. Think Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and others. The reason it persists is because that's probably how most love stories go. Love at first sight is very rare and sort of boring! A little conflict is always entertaining, right?

On the Page

Olive (not Olivia!) Torres seems to have been born under an unlucky cloud. She was once trapped inside a claw machine when she was 6 years old. "I spent two hours inside the machine, surrounded by a lot of hard, coarse-furred, chemical-smelling toy bears. I remember looking out through the handprint-smudged plexiglass and seeing an array of frantic faces shouting muffled orders to each other. ...Fast-forward twenty-six years and - thank you, YouTube - there's still video floating around. To date, nearly five hundred thousand people have watched it and discovered that I was stubborn enough to climb in, and unlucky enough to catch my belt loop on the way out, leaving my pants behind with the bears" (pg. 5).

On the other hand Ali, her twin, though only four minutes older, seems to float on a cloud of good fortune. "No one in our enormous family was surprised, then, when she successfully planned a posh wedding with two hundred guests, a seafood buffet, a chocolate fountain, and multicolored roses spilling out of every jar, vase, and goblet - and has shelled out, at most, a thousand dollars. My sister works her ass off to find the best promotions and contests. She reposts every Twitter and Facebook giveaway she can find..." (pp. 3-4). She won everything from her sister's Skittle-hued maid-of-honor dress to an all-expenses paid honeymoon to Maui.

But when everyone at the wedding, minus the two who don't (or can't) indulge in the free all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, succumbs to food poisoning, someone has to use the non-transferable vacation. So Olive and Ethan, the groom's brother, head to an island paradise together. The only catch: they don't actually like each other. Add to that situation they are end up at the same resort as her new boss and his ex-fiancée and they really have to embrace their (faux) newlywed status to not be discovered as committing vacation fraud.

Their witty banter, snorkling trips, couples massage, and a few too many tropical drinks later reveal the truth we all knew was coming: they are actually crazy about each other. But don't let that spoil the fun or stop you from picking up this book. I laughed out loud during certain parts which wasn't ideal since Jake was asleep next to me.

And for its inclusion in #FoodieReads, there is plenty of food from the cheese curds that caused a misunderstanding between Olive and Ethan when the first met to the lasagna Ami makes when she sets up her husband and lures all three of his mistresses to the house. Shared meals provide lots of fodder for more hilarity. So, this wasn't great literature. But it was a fun way to pass the evening.

In the Can

Awhile back, friends were having a virtual Hawaiian vacation - since we're all sheltered-in-place for the coronavirus pandemic - and picked up these mai tai cocktails in a can. She gave me a four-pack of them and we still had one in the fridge. Even though rum and I are not friends - I'll take a bourbon or gin cocktail over rum any day - I found it a fitting pairing with The Unhoneymooners. 

"About halfway back to the hotel, we pull into the dusty lot of Cheeseburger Maui - which boasts $1.99 Mai Tai Wednesdays. This is thrilling as it is Wednesday and I am broke" (pp. 209-210).

Truth be told, I took a photo with the can, poured it for Jake, and made myself a drink with a spirit I prefer: Grapefruit &Thyme Bourbon Smash.

In the Glass

Ingredients makes 1 cocktail
  • 5 sprigs fresh organic thyme
  • 1 organic kumquat, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic granulated sugar
  • 4 to 6 cold whiskey stones
  • 3 ounces Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 grapefruit slice for serving
  • 1 sprigs fresh organic thyme for serving
  • sparkling water

Place the thyme sprigs, kumquat halves, and sugar and add to a cocktail shaker. Muddle to release the juice from the kumquat for at least 60 seconds. Pour the bourbon, grapefruit juice and bitters to the shaker. And stir for 20 seconds.

Fill your chilled glass with ice or whiskey stones and strain the cocktail into the glass. Top off with sparkling water. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and a sprig of thyme. Serve immediately. Cheers!

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in August 2020: here.


  1. Sometimes a mindless read is just what you need. No thinking, just enjoyment.


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