The Honey Trap
by Karli Perrin
After catching her childhood sweetheart cheating on her, Sophia Hamilton is hell-bent on stopping other women from getting played like she was.
And so the played becomes the player.
Fast forward two years and Sophia is now one of San Francisco’s most successful honey trappers. Getting paid to expose cheating men has become the norm but just when she thinks she has seen it all, she is offered a unique proposition which threatens to turn her entire world upside down.
Mason Hunter is a hotel tycoon, millionaire and cheater. Or is he?
Sophia has six weeks to find out.
She quickly discovers that Mason isn't the only one keeping secrets and she becomes caught up in a tangled web of lust, lies and misplaced loyalties.
Lines are crossed. Rules are broken. The real Mason Hunter is about to be exposed.
The hunt is on.
The Honey Trap by Karli Perrin centers around 24 year old "honey trapper" Sophia, and 27 year old CEO Mason. When Sophia went to surprise her long time boyfriend, she walked in on him with another woman. After a week of crying, her anger turned to vengeance. Wanting to help other women escape their cheating partners, she signs on to become a honey trapper: flirt with unsuspecting men, and if they kiss her, or ask her to their place, she leaves, and sends the evidence to the spouse. Two years go by when she gets offered a very lucrative proposal with unusual circumstances: spend six weeks with Mason to get the evidence of his cheating ways for his wife. But things aren't as they seem with the married couple, and as Sophia spends more and more time with the handsome and sweet Mason, she quickly learns that he isn't the bad guy, but his scheming wife. With an iron clad contract that can land Sophia in a lot of trouble, how can she save Mason from falling into his wife's trap? And can she save herself from falling for him, and risking potential heartache?
The Honey Trap has been on my TBR for a while now. I first came across the story on Chapters - An Interactive Romance book app. It's a short and sweet story, with an original concept. It's not spectacular or anything, but the writing is good, the flow felt natural (despite me feeling that their relationship was moving too fast), and the banter was top notch, and quite frequently had me laughing. It holds up technically, and it was an entertaining read, so major points for that. I think my only complaint about it was the steamy scenes felt very ... choppy. There is a line, where a steamy scene can be described too much, and not enough, and it just wasn't enough for me. The sexual tension though - woah boy.
The Honey Trap filled in my short gap between Ruthless Boys and ASITE, and yet I didn't feel like it was a filler for time. It was entertaining, and I genuinely liked the romance in this book. Is it going to be one of my favorites? No. Not that is matters in the end. It did the job - it entertained me.
Any interaction between Buzz and Mason
The allergic reaction
Sophia and Mason's texting
Buzz dragging Mason along to spy on Lori
Their first time
Sophia giving Mason his grandfathers watch back
She has zero interest in men unless they’re fictional. She once told me that book boyfriends were God's way of apologizing for men in real life. I spent a whole week wallowing in self pity until I woke up one morning with a clear head and knew what needed to be done. I needed to chop off his dick. But since I've never been cut out for prison, I settled on pinning up hundreds of posters around our neighborhood. It had a photograph of him accompanied by the following - MISSING: Scott Parker's respect for women. If found, please shove it up his lying, cheating, good for nothing ass. $1,000,000 reward. The search is still on. Buzz: "Guess who got laid last night?"
I turn around to see Buzz walking towards me, high-fiving people on his way.
Mason: "Your mom?"
Buzz: "Close. Your mom. Don't worry, we cuddled afterwards." Buzz: "Turns out that Victoria's no angel. You should see the rest of my body."
He begins to unzip his pants.
Buzz: "Look what she did to my..."
I hold my hands up.
Mason: "Woah, woah, woah! I'll pass. Just cover it up, it's unprofessional."
Buzz: "My neck or my..." Mason: "Both!"
Buzz: "Okay, Dad." Mason: "Hey, if I'm your dad, does that mean I get to fuck your mom? Don't worry, I'll make sure I cuddle her afterwards." Lori: "Sophia?"
Lori: "You're going to add him to your Pinterest board, aren't you?" Lori: "Rate him out of ten, boost his ego."
Sophia: "I'm not going to rate him out of ten, he's standing right in front of me."
I say it purposely to peak his interest and it works. He raises his eyebrow and leans his head to one side.
Mason: "Please go ahead. Don't let me stop you."
Sophia: "Well this is a little awkward."
Mason: "It's only awkward if your answer is below a six."
Sophia: "No pressure then?" Mason: "None at all."
Sophia: "I need a minute to think. Something this important requires careful consideration."
Mason: "I understand. Take as much time as you need."
I take a step back and begin to peruse every single inch of him. I start at his feet and slowly rake my eyes upwards. His suit is tailored to perfection, accentuating his broad chest and strong shoulders. What is it about men in suits? Even though every inch of him is covered, I can't help but wonder what's underneath. By the time our eyes meet, I'm pretty much a puddle on the floor.
he asks, his voice noticeably huskier than before. Very.
Sophia: "Hmmm, I guess so."
Mason: "So what's the verdict?"
Sophia: "A solid six point five."
Mason: "I'll take it." Mason: "I thought you two were over for good this time."
Buzz: "We are but it was Thursday yesterday."
Mason: "What's that got to do with anything?"
Buzz: "Throwback Thursday. I'm allowed to sleep with my exes, no strings attached."
Mason: "I'm seriously contemplating firing you for saying that." Buzz: "Why do you think Fifty Shades of Grey is so popular? The main character is a moody bastard who treats that poor chick like shit but hey it's fine because he's an alpha male."
Mason: "How do you know so much about Fifty Shades of Grey?"
Buzz: "I went to see the movie." Mason: "Why?"
Buzz: "Because I knew there would be hundreds of horny women leaving the cinema at the same time as me."
Mason: "You're such a creepy bastard."
Buzz: "I think the word you're looking for is genius." Mason: "Even if I was back in the game, I would never follow your lead."
He nearly chokes on his beer.
Buzz: "Even if you were back in the game? Have you heard yourself? You're either in denial or full of shit. I'm leaning towards the latter. You wouldn't have chosen a table directly opposite the door if you weren't back in the game. Your legs wouldn't be nervously bouncing up and down if you weren't back in the game and don't get me started on that fancy-ass cologne you're wearing. Not only are you back in the game, you're about to bat for the fucking Yankees, my friend."
He holds up his bottle of beer. Buzz: "On behalf of the entire female population, welcome back." She hands me my usual Jack and Coke without having to ask.
Tarryn: "Anything else?"
Mason: "Just a beer, please."
She rolls her eyes.
Tarryn: "Let me guess, you're here with Buzz?"
Mason: "Afraid so."
Tarryn and Buzz used to be good friends until the night he took her little sister’s virginity. He swore that he had no idea she was a virgin until afterwards, not that it would have stopped him. I regularly remind her that it could be worse…he could have ended up being her brother-in-law. That always seems to make her feel better. She gets a bottle of beer from the fridge and removes the cap.
Tarryn: "Can I spit in it?"
Mason: "You know what Buzz is like, he would probably like it." Tarryn: "I bet he would, the asshole." Buzz: "The ladies were keeping me company seeing as though you ditched me."
Lori: "You're a big boy, I'm sure you can be left alone for ten minutes."
Buzz: "You're right. I am a big boy. Very big."
Lori: "Yeah, what are you, about six foot four?"
Buzz: "I wasn't talking about my height, sweetheart."
Lori: "I know, I was joking. Just like you were joking about being big, sweetheart." Mason: "Seriously though, I'm sorry if I came across as rude yesterday. I wasn't having the best day as you could probably tell."
Sophia: "Yeah, I kind of guessed when I saw you assaulting the bench."
Mason: "I'll admit that wasn't one of my finest moments."
Sophia: "I hope you didn't take it out on your furniture when you got home."
Mason: "I didn't go home,"
I know, your wife has already told me.
Sophia: "Couldn't trust yourself?"
I joke. He shakes his head.
Mason: "I couldn't take the risk. I really like my coffee table."
Sophia: "That's very sensible of you. And what about tonight?" Mason: "What about it?"
I drop my gaze then look back up at him through lowered lashes.
Sophia: "Do you think you’ll be able to trust yourself?" She shakes her head.
Sophia: "He probably walked in, saw me, and then left."
Mason: "I'm pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened."
Sophia: "It might have, you never know."
Mason: "Trust me, it didn’t happen."
Sophia: "How are you so sure? Wait a minute..."
She gasps, feigning shock.
Sophia: "Oh my god, it was you, wasn't it? You were my blind date?"
I play along, holding both of my hands up in surrender.
Mason: "You've got me."
Sophia: "So you're horny guy sixty nine?" I laugh.
Mason: "Yes, yes I am." Buzz: “We’re going to the movies.”
Mason: “I think I’ll pass. I’ve got some work stuff to catch up with.”
Buzz: “Okay, I guess it’ll just be the three of us then.”
Mason: “The three of you?”
Buzz: “Me, Lori and Sophia.”
My ears prick up at the sound of her name.
Mason: “When and where?”
Buzz: “I thought you have work stuff to catch up with?”
Mason: “I thought I fired you last week but for some reason you keep showing up. You know I’m not paying you anymore, don’t you?” Buzz: "You’re my best friend. If you’re in a mess then I’m right there with you, shovel in hand.”
Mason: “A shovel? To dig my grave?”
Buzz: “No, smarty pants. To shovel all the shit away.” He looks up from where he’s now sitting on the floor.
Mason: “Do you know CPR?”
My eyes nearly pop out of my head.
Sophia: “Why would I need to know CPR?”
Mason: “You won’t but I was just wondering if you would know what to do.”
Sophia: “I know the basics.”
Mason: “That’s good. Maybe I can give you a refresher lesson some time. You know, when I’m not busy having an allergic reaction.”
Sophia: “You’re going to teach me CPR?”
Mason: “Yes. You know, mouth to mouth resuscitation and that sort of thing.”
Sophia: “So you’re having an allergic reaction but still hitting on me?”
Mason: “I’m just being responsible.” Mason: “So I’m not dead after all?”
Buzz: “I fucking hope not because if you are then I must be too. Either that or I can talk to dead people which I definitely didn’t sign up for.” Mason: “I ruined everybody’s evening. Damn pine nuts.”
Buzz: “Don’t say that, it’s not your fault that you’re nuts about her.” Mason: “How long did it take you to come up with that?”
Buzz: “Nut that long.”
I press the call button on the remote next to my bed.
Buzz: “What are you doing?”
Mason: “I’m going to ask the doctor to give me another dose of whatever that stuff was so I don’t have to listen to you anymore.”
Buzz: “Okay, okay, I’ll stop. No need to bust a nut.”
Text: Mason: Hey Mason, it’s Mason. Thanks for not dying yesterday. Death by ice cream would have been pathetic. Please find your way back to me soon because I’m irresponsible and haven’t backed you up in a really long time.
I grab a bottle of water and wince when I swallow the tablets the doctor gave me. I feel one thousand times better than I did last night but I still have a lingering headache and sore throat. I guess that’s what happens when your throat constricts. I head back to my bed and turn Netflix on. I start browsing the latest shows when my phone vibrates beside me. I open up the text message.
Sophie: Death by pine nuts, actually.
Sophia: No. It’s Sophia. I forgot to give you your cell back after I called the ambulance yesterday. How are you feeling?
Mason: Ah, I remember now. I’m feeling a lot better now that I can breathe.
Sophia: Yeah, breathing is pretty important.
Mason: I’m sorry we didn’t get to watch the movie.
Sophia: I’m sorry I almost killed you with the ice cream. I laugh at that.
Mason: Thank you for staying with me last night. A minute passes before she responds.
Sophia: I’m not going to turn down the chance to ogle hunky doctors.
I’m caught off guard by how jealous that makes me.
Mason: Every cloud has a silver lining. Same time next week? I could try the Nutella ice cream.
Sophia: Aww, that’s sweet of you but I’d rather you stay alive.
Text: Mason: How old were you when you lost your virginity?
Sophia: 18. What about you?
Sophia: How was it?
Mason: I can’t remember. It was over so quickly.
Sophia: And is that your personal best?
Mason: Nah, I can last at least five seconds longer these days.
Sophia: Lol! Good to know. Mason: "How long has it been?"
Buzz: "Three days."
I feign shock.
Mason: "Three days? Three whole days? Have you checked that your dick hasn't fallen off? Will you even remember how to use it?"
Buzz: "Don't worry. I’ve been training it every day. I've been watching so much porn that I almost spit on my hotdog the other day before eating it."
Mason: “You’re disgusting.” Mason: “At least I don’t have to get tested for STD’s once a month.”
Buzz: “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Mason: “And it’s better to use a condom than have herpes.” Buzz: “Shhhh! I can’t believe you didn’t silence your phone before you came. What a rookie.”
Mason: “Sorry. I’m not familiar with the rules of stalking.” Buzz: "Dude. I sexted my mom."
Mason: "What?” Buzz: "You heard. I sexted my mom. My own mother. The person who brought me into this world. How the fuck am I supposed to look her in the eye ever again?"
I have to stop myself from laughing but it's really difficult when he looks so distraught.
Mason: "Can you give me some context or am I supposed to fill in the blanks myself?"
Buzz: "I was drunk and horny."
Mason: “You've just made it sound ten times worse."
Buzz: "I was supposed to text Lori. My mom is straight underneath her in my contacts."
Mason: "How bad was it?"
Buzz: "Dude, it was bad. So fucking bad." Buzz: “I would like to dedicate this next song to my sweetheart, Lori.”
He points at her and she groans when several people turn around to look.
Buzz: “I can’t think of a better song to sum up my feelings for you.”
Lori: “Oh here we go,”
she says as he starts to sing Hot In Herre. Sophia: “I thought you were a good boy.”
Mason: “I am, most of the time. But I also have a bad boy streak.”
Sophia: “Oh, really?”
Mason: “Mmmhmm. I can be very bad when I want to be.”
Sophia: “And when do you want to be?”
Mason: “Whenever I’m with you.” Mason: “I believe that if you truly love someone, nothing will get in the way of it. Nothing can stop it. Not time, distance, money or deceit. You will love who you love.” Sophia: "Even though I loved him, it was never exciting. It was an ordinary, convenient kind of love. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I don’t want ordinary love. Not anymore. I want to drown in passion.” Mason: “You could have taken the words right out of my mouth. Emily thinks that I have given up on love but it’s the total opposite. I made the decision to leave because I’ll never give up on love. I don’t want to settle. Some people have okay jobs, okay relationships and okay lives and that’s fine, but I don’t want an okay life. I don’t want an okay love. I want a great love. We’re only here once. I would rather risk everything I have for the smallest chance that something amazing could happen. The next time I say I love you to somebody, I want it to feel different, like it’s the first time I’m ever saying it.” Sophia: "I like it when you say my name like that."
Mason: "Like what?"
Sophia": "All sexy and brooding. Wait, is that even a word? Brooding? It sounds funny. Have I just made it up? Brooding. Brooooo-ding. Oh my god, I've just invented a word. I need to write it down before I forget. I’m sure I have a pen somewhere."
I open my purse and take out my phone and lipstick.
Sophia: “Nope. No pen.”
Sophia: “Can I borrow your pen?”
Mason: “I don’t have one but…”
Sophia: “Pfft, call yourself a businessman? Lor, do you have a pen?”
Lori: “No, sweetie. Why do you need a pen?”
Sophia: “I’ve just invented a new word.”
Lori: “Wow! What is it?” I narrow my eyes.
Sophia: “Shit. I’ve forgotten. That’s Mason’s fault for not having a pen.” Buzz: “This is me. What you see is what you get. I’m impulsive and intense. I’m spontaneous and sarcastic. I’m loud and loyal to a fault. And I like to live my life the same way as I like to fuck - hard and fast. I know I’m not your usual type but you’re single for a reason, sweetheart. You can’t ignore your feelings forever. Jump aboard the Buzz train and I promise to give you the ride of your life.” Buzz: “It also doesn’t help that you’re Mary fucking Poppins. I can’t believe how much stuff you carry around with you. Have you packed the kitchen sink in there too?”
Lori: “No, but I have mace somewhere.”
Buzz: “Yeah well you’d have to find it first.”
Lori: “Hold still and I will.”
Buzz: “What the hell is this?”
He pulls out something shaped like a large bullet.
Buzz: “Why is it so big? And is that a switch?”
Lori: “It’s my BOB, idiot.”
Buzz: “What’s a BOB?”
Lori: “Battery operated boyfriend. Hold still.”
Buzz: “A fucking vibrator? Why the hell do you have one of those when you’ve got me?”
Lori: “Because I can turn a vibrator off.”
Buzz: “But it’s much more fun turning me on.”
Lori: “I can turn that thing on too, whenever and wherever I want. And it doesn’t talk.”
Buzz: “Hey, I can be as quiet as a mouse. I must admit, I do usually enjoy a bit of dirty talk but if you want me to be quiet then that’s fine by me.” Sophia: “I never want to hurt you.”
Mason: “Shhhh, get some sleep,”
Sophia: “You’re my game changer. She changed the rules but you changed the whole game.”
Mason: “Sweet dreams, Sophia.”
I close the door gently then press my forehead up against it.
Mason: “You’re my game changer too.” Sophia: “What does chapter fifty five mean?”
I ask, eyeing her T-shirt.
Lori: “A Court of Mist and Fury. If you know, you know.” Sophia: “I guess this is the hard part.”
Mason: “What is?” Sophia: “Saying goodbye.”
She kisses me one last time before reaching for the door handle.
Sophia: “Goodbye, Mason.”
Mason: “Until next time, game changer.” Mason: "This is a note from my grandpa. I’ve always kept it in here and it means more to me than the actual watch does. That’s why I was so upset when I thought that I had lost it. He gave each of his grandchildren a piece of advice. He told my cousin to live for the moment and never give up on her dreams. He told my sister to always be herself and to stand up for what she believes in. He could have chosen any piece of advice to give to me but this is what he thought I needed to hear the most. ‘There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.’ When Emily cheated on me, I was so close to walking away but this note is what made me stay. I tried to make the words fit the situation but I realize now that it was never about Emily. I forgave her because I deserved peace but I forgive you because you actually deserve forgiveness. You’re a good person and I know you were only doing what you had to do. I believe you came into my life for a reason but I’m sitting here now through choice. I choose you, Sophia. I will always choose you. It has taken me twenty seven years to find you and I’m not willing to let you go. It might be a bumpy ride but I can guarantee it will all be worth it in the end.”