The Honey Don't List
Book Review, Comedy, Galley Books, Romance

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren


Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…


Melissa and Russell Tripp are a couple growing apart in a very public arena. Their personal assistants, Carey and James are tasked with putting out fires for their bosses, which may be too much for their own budding romance.

For the most part James and I have kept to our own schedules since he joined Comb+Honey two months ago. It’s not that I dislike him, exactly, but the way he writes off my job as disposable and frivolous and treats me like I’m only intelligent enough for remedial assistant activities—unless he needs help performing one himself, of course—really pisses me off.

Carey Duncan has worked for the Tripps for ten years and is never credited for the designs she has created for their home redesign store and television empire. She has her reasons for staying with the Tripps, but she wants to take back her own life with less stress. During a promotional tour for their show, Melly and Rusty are a powder keg ready to blow at any second and Carey and her uptight colleague, James, must work together to keep their employers in line long enough to complete the tour. The last thing Carey expected was to fall for James.

Pop culture would have us believe that men look at women and immediately imagine them naked. That is not always the case, actually. As far as my job is concerned, I have generally been too busy and frazzled and worried about keeping it to think about Carey as a warm-blooded woman with responsive body parts. This morning is an exception. To be fair, though, the hotel does have the air conditioning on pretty high.

James McCann is not happy to be on this promotional tour with two of the most miserable and angry people he has ever seen. He planned to vacation in Florida with his family and now he is forced to babysit the Tripps. He is an engineer posing as a personal assistant. He is stuck in this godforsaken job because of shady dealings by the top dogs at his old firm and he needs to build his resume. But he’s developing a crush on Carey, the girl who quotes odd sayings, dresses down for every occasion and has bad eating habits.

James is button-down shirts, suits, and color-coded folders. Carey is Dolly Parton t-shirts, Funyons, and notebooks. Carey is “very clearly the Pigpen to his Schroeder”.  I laughed so many times at James and Carey’s playful banter. I was also appalled at how Melly treated Carey after Carey gave up her young life and sacrificed her talents to please Melly.  Being rich and famous does not always mean happy and content. On the other hand, don’t judge a book by its cover, it may surprise you.

Overall, this story stirs lots of emotions in the reader such as betrayal, lies, stress, love, laughter, and transformation. The authors do a great job delving into the ruins of a marriage made in public and discovering love in the most unlikely of places.

Thank you to Christina Lauren for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


The Honey-Don't List

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Christina LaurenChristina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

Follow Christina and Lauren on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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