cover image The Honey-Don’t List

The Honey-Don’t List

Christina Lauren. Gallery, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-982123-91-8

Lauren (The Unhoneymooners) delivers a breezy, tongue-in-cheek rom-com featuring the beleaguered assistants to a pair of unhappily married reality-television stars. Carey Duncan has worked for Melissa and Russell Tripp since she was 16 and they were just starting out as the hosts of a home-improvement show. Ten long years later, Carey could likely have any design job she wanted, but loyalty to the Tripps (whom she sees as parental figures), fear of retribution, and the medical insurance that covers treatments for her muscle disease keep her in place. James McCann has only been Russell’s assistant for a short time. An engineer by trade, James is ill-suited to managing the Tripps’ meltdowns, but scandal drove him from his last job, and he’ll take what he can get. Melissa and Russell’s feuding gives rise to a series of ridiculous situations that endanger their brand, leading Carey and James to bond as they work together to keep America’s favorite couple’s fights under wraps. Playfully poking fun at the world of DIY TV, Lauren’s romance is as insightful as it is irreverent. Readers will laugh out loud. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Mar.)