The Hone-Don't List the sweetest new romcom from the bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners - Christina Lauren

Partial transcript of interview with

James McCann, July 14

Officer Martin: Can you state your name, date of birth, and occupation for the record?

James McCann: James Westman McCann, August 27, 1990. Director of engineering for Comb+Honey Renovations.

Officer Martin: I have a note here that you’re an assistant to Russell “Rusty” Tripp?

JM: I occasionally help with assistant duties when our workload is overwhelming, but I was hired by Mr. Tripp to be the primary consultant for engineering and structural design. Can you please write that part down?

Officer Martin: It will all go on record, don’t worry. And where were you on July 13?

JM: I was with Melissa and Rusty here in Laramie, Wyoming.

Officer Martin: You’re referring to Russell’s wife, Melissa?

JM: Correct.

Officer Martin: Was anyone else there?

JM: Melissa’s assistant, Carey Duncan.

Officer Martin: Did you have any sense, before the night in question, that things would get out of hand?

JM: I think we all knew that by this point their marriage was on a pretty shaky foundation—no pun intended—but none of us expected it to get this bad.

Partial transcript of interview with

Carey Duncan, July 14

Officer Ali: Can you state your full name, date of birth, and occupation for the record?

Carey Duncan: Like, full full name?

Officer Ali: Please.

CD: Fine. Carey Fern Duncan. March 1, 1994, executive assistant to Melissa Tripp.

Officer Ali: And where were you the night of July 13?

Carey: I was in Laramie, Wyoming, with the Tripps.

Officer Ali: Can you state for the record who the Tripps are?

CD: Sure. Melissa and Rusty Tripp are the co-owners of Comb+Honey. But most people know them from their books or TV.

Officer Ali: Rusty would be Russell Tripp?

CD: Yeah, sorry. Melly—Melissa—only calls him Russell when she’s pissed.

Officer Ali: Can you list who else was present at the scene?

CD: It was me, Rusty and Melly, obviously, and James McCann.

Officer Ali: Was James McCann also employed by the Tripps?

CD: Don’t you have all this information already?

Officer Ali: Please just answer the question, Ms. Duncan.

CD: Do I …? Do I need a lawyer?

Officer Ali: That depends. Have you done something that requires a lawyer?

CD: Ever?

Officer Ali: In relation to the events that occurred on July 13 of this year.

CD: Oh. No. I wasn’t—it wasn’t me. You all know that, right?

Officer Ali: This isn’t a courtroom and you aren’t under arrest, Ms. Duncan. You aren’t obligated to answer any of these questions. I’m just trying to get a sense of the night’s timeline.

CD: James, Rusty, and I had just gotten back from the Hotsy Totsy bar. James and I went to get Rusty. It was sort of a mess, and Melly was pissed, and—

Officer Ali: I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We need to go back a little further.

CD: How far back do you want me to go?

Officer Ali: How about the beginning?

CD: I started working for Melly when I was sixteen. I’m not sure you want me to go that far back.

Officer Ali: Let’s begin with the end of their first television show, New Spaces.

CD: Yeah. Okay. That’s a good place to start.

When I was little, my family had a hen named Dorothy. My dad called her Dotty for short. She was a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte—fairly fancy chicken for our neck of the woods. Her terra-cotta feathers were tipped with blue, and so unusual in color they didn’t look like they were real. Dorothy stood out against the dusty background of our small Wyoming farm and was always the center of attention in the yard. She was prettier than the other hens, she was definitely noisier, and despite lower-than-normal fertility rates among the breed, she laid twice as many eggs. It’s not that the other hens weren’t perfectly good chickens; it’s that Dorothy was that much better.

She was also sort of a bully.

I’m always reminded of Dorothy when I look at Melissa Tripp. I realize how that sounds—comparing my boss to a chicken—but it’s the image that pops into my head every time I see Melly holding court, like she is right now at the party. Dorothy would strut around the coop, head high, pecking at everything she could reach and daring the other hens to come at her. Like her, Melly sweeps around the room, comfortable knowing every eye is on her, daring someone else to take center stage.

“Can I have everyone’s attention, please?” The crowd quiets as Melissa holds a Waterford champagne flute aloft, her bright blue eyes glistening with unshed tears. Melly drinks only when there’s no getting around it, and most don’t realize that there’s sparkling cider