Title: The Honey Trap
Author: Mary Jayne Baker
Series: – –
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: 19th Aug
The trap is set – but which one of them is the bait?
Journalist Angel Blackthorne is looking for her next big scoop. When her sleazy editor asks her to use her charms on super successful – and married – film director Sebastian Wilchester for a juicy exposé, Angel thinks what the hell? There’s a staff job on the horizon, and, let’s be honest, no one can make a cheater cheat if they don’t want to, right?
After the scandal breaks, Angel tries to put the story – and Seb – behind her, but fate seems to have other ideas. A near miss at a premiere after-party and a shared love of vintage film brings the honey closer to the trap.
But what happens when pretence leads to passion, and a ‘kiss and tell’ becomes something real?
Source: ARC from HarperImpulse via NetGalley
I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure about this book when I started reading it. Angel’s boss is awful, sleazy and misogynistic, and her plan to catch Seb out is downright nasty at best. Yes, Seb is married but, because this is a romance, things are far from straightforward. Still, it’s a pretty tricky place to begin from and still somehow manage to make (most) characters involved appear to be likeable people.
Yet somehow Baker manages it. This is an enjoyable tale of the pressures and underhand tactics of the tabloid press, questionable ambition, the price of fame and deeper feelings that Angel tries so hard to fight.
It helps that Angel’s actions at the beginning are clearly out of character and she spends most of the book feeling bad about it and trying to atone. It also helps that the truth about Seb’s marriage is clearly not what people read about in the papers – I also really liked that he never once offers up some hazy excuse that he can’t explain. The truth does eventually come out, but before it does, their relationship is a strange mixture of forbidden, sweet and suppressed passion. There is a lot of chemistry between them, so if a high heat factor isn’t your thing, be warned that it does get steamy at times.
The characters are mostly well-rounded – apart from her nasty editor and the suspicious PR guy – and the story itself is fun at times, serious at others, as Angel battles with her emotions and juggles the changes in her career. Which I wished we’d seen a bit more of, since she’s supposed to be a classic movie fan, not a total film buff, so how did she handle some of the newer films? I also wish her go-to reaction to when things don’t go her way was not to ignore her phone. Especially when she has to admit there are grounds for some questions.
On the whole, though, this is a thoroughly enjoyable tale, with humour and warmth, plenty of chemistry and even an emotional moment or two. There are moral dilemmas, horrible bosses and even a touch of glamour to keep things rolling along. Plus, Seb is lovely. I will definitely be looking out for more from this author.
The Honey Trap is out August 19th!
Visit Mary Jayne Baker for more details.