I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Honeymoon Heist. I am a true blue romantic who devours romance novels by the gallon. There is something about the road towards ultimate love that has me captivated—whether it’s tumultuous and full of battles or a sweet romance that builds with tenderness. When I read the back cover to find the couple already married I was slightly reluctant. “They already had their blossoming courtship,” I sighed. But I indulged myself and figured as a married woman there has to be love after the whirlwind romance?
Anna Jones Buttimore has done what few have accomplished in my opinion. She flipped the situation around by giving the characters a brief courtship and then a honeymoon with more twists than Lombard Road in San Francisco. The honeymoon becomes the romance on a real stage—reality. Too many times we are susceptible to Hollywood’s portrayal of romance, yet there is so much more. Life happens after marriage as the real discovery of who you married begins. Rodney and Clair Hewlett are on the epitome of self discovery in marriage.
I loved how their romance wasn’t perfect. He’s too plain, she too beautiful and of course her past with it ex-husband. They still dwell on the others imperfections, but their admiration for each other grows by leaps and bounds. Rodney makes mental notes of what Claire likes and dislikes and guides his future actions by those observations. Claire moves beyond seeing Rodney’s ordinary appearance to perceiving a capable man who achieves more than her handsome ex even could. They are true to life characters who fight as all couples do, but the endearing part is how much they adore each other afterwards. Their trials during this crazy adventure suit them perfectly. It pulls Rodney out of his shell into a less precise man and makes Claire rely on him more and recognize his worth.
My favorite scene is when Claire describes how holding hands during their courtship spoke volumes about each other. “As though they were desperate to touch each other as much as possible, they had held hands almost constantly. Claire found it amusing that they could almost communicate through their intertwined fingers. A squeeze could mean anything from ‘I found that funny’ to ‘I love you’ or even ‘I’m scared’.” Even a slight movement of their clasped hands could direct the other around.
I would highly recommend Honeymoon heist for two reasons. The heist, which takes you from underground caves to hiding away in cars in such a delightful and amusing way filled with comedy and action. But most importantly, to witness the growth of affection between to polar opposites creating a stable relationship in place of failed expectations. Note: This is an LDS novel, but the only religious references are to marriage lasting for eternity. Who wouldn't want that?