Posted in Book Review, Guest post, Summer Impulse

What Inspired ‘The Honey Trap’? -Mary Jayne Baker

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Guest Post

What Inspired ‘The Honey Trap’? Mary Jayne Baker

Although I only started writing my debut novel The Honey Trap last October, I suppose the embryo of the story goes right back to the early noughties when I was studying English Literature at Durham University. I’d always been attracted to writing contemporary romance in the Mills & Book vein, and one day I decided what the hell: I was just going to do it. So I came up with a heroine, Angel, a feisty red-haired journalist who knew her own mind, and a hero, Sebastian, a dark and mysterious aristocrat with a troubled past. I drafted a plot, wrote about 4000 words worth of scenes – and then I decided the whole thing was dreadful and gave up.

Ten years later, I revisited the characters and plot – and gave up again. It was only last year, when someone gave me the sterling piece of advice that I should stop worrying about the quality of my writing and get on with it, then worry about editing afterwards, that I finally sat down to write what became The Honey Trap.

The characters and plot changed a lot from the original story idea I’d come up with back in my early 20s. From being a well-respected journalist, Angel became someone rather more junior, a newspaper intern just starting out in her career. Sebastian, now more usually known as Seb, changed from being an aristocrat to an acclaimed British film director, and from being dark and tortured to someone rather more fun and sweet. I populated Seb and Angel’s world with a cast of secondary characters – Angel’s love-to-hate boss Steve, Seb’s glamorous actress wife Carole and Angel’s fun, witty and supportive friends Leo and Emily.

Another thing that changed as I wrote was the genre. Although I initially intended the book to be contemporary romance, a lot of humour crept in, with cheeky banter between the characters abounding, and about a third of the way through I could see what I was really writing was romantic comedy, so I went with it.

Although I’m neither a journalist nor a film director, I mined my own interests and experiences pretty shamefully to provide material for the book. In the wake of the recent phone-hacking scandal, which I followed closely, I wanted to focus on Angel’s choices in the morally ambiguous world of the redtop paper she works for and this is one theme of the book. I also loved the idea of the main couple bonding over a shared love of vintage film, which is a passion of mine – the scenes where they watch old films such as The Apartment in Seb’s 1920s cinema, The Hippodrome, were some of my favourites to write. And finally, because he wouldn’t get off my keyboard and I thought it might appease him, I wrote my cat in! Harpo the cat becomes Groucho in The Honey Trap. He’s very proud…

Writing my first novel was an interesting experience. I tried to write 2000 words every day, which is no small commitment while also working full-time as I can only really write in the evenings, and I don’t think I was quite prepared for how much the plot and characters would take over my life and dreams. I found the experience addictive though – having once started writing, I’m now finding I can’t stop! I have another two completed manuscripts that I’m currently editing, and another first draft almost complete, plus I have recently signed with a literary agent.

Butterfly Heaven

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?

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Amazon UK

Amazon 

Flowers - My Review

The Honey Trap

‘The Honey Trap’ is an interesting, insightful expose of the gutter press and the fallout of their actions. Not your usual romantic comedy material but it works. The story explores the current obsession with celebrity status in a humorous way and the well thought out plot holds your interest.
Angel, a journalist intern finds out that ‘making it’ in her chosen career means compromising her moral integrity and possibly losing self respect in the process. Seb, the reclusive anti hero is instantly attractive to Angel and the heat between them is undeniable and often explosive. The sex is more explicit than usual in romantic comedy but as this forms the basis for the story that is a given. There is a good balance of romance and passion between our unlikely couple but the chance for a happy ever after for Angel and Seb is in doubt right to the end.
Angel’s objectionable boss, stereotypical, ‘old school’ editor, Steve easily manipulates her into making questionable choices. His sexist and homophobic behaviour doesn’t make pleasant reading but is essential for the plot’s authenticity and Angel’s out of character behaviour, in agreeing to be the bait in the honey trap.
A different interpretation of a popular theme, making an overall enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Author Bio

 

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature in 2003, she dallied with living in cities including London, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales.

She lives with him in a little house with four little cats and a little rabbit, writing stories about girls with flaws and the men who love them. You can usually find her there with either a pen, some knitting needles or a glass of wine in hand. She goes to work every day as a graphic designer for a magazine publisher, but secretly dreams of being a lighthouse keeper.

More information can be found about MJ on her website at http://www.maryjaynebaker.co..uk You can also follow her on Twitter, @MaryJayneBaker, or like her Facebook page by going to Facebook.com/MaryJayneWrites

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

The Honey Trap – Mary Jayne Baker -4* Review #SummerImpulse

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Poppy - Blurb

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?

Available  to Pre- Order

Flowers - Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon 

Winter My Review

The Honey Trap

‘The Honey Trap’ is an interesting, insightful expose of the gutter press and the fallout of their actions. Not your usual romantic comedy material but it works. The story explores the current obsession with celebrity status in a humorous way and the well thought out plot holds your interest.
Angel, a journalist intern finds out that ‘making it’ in her chosen career means compromising her moral integrity and possibly losing self respect in the process. Seb, the reclusive anti hero is instantly attractive to Angel and the heat between them is undeniable and often explosive. The sex is more explicit than usual in romantic comedy but as this forms the basis for the story that is a given. There is a good balance of romance and passion between our unlikely couple but the chance for a happy ever after for Angel and Seb is in doubt right to the end.
Angel’s objectionable boss, stereotypical, ‘old school’ editor, Steve easily manipulates her into making questionable choices. His sexist and homophobic behaviour doesn’t make pleasant reading but is essential for the plot’s authenticity and Angel’s out of character behaviour, in agreeing to be the bait in the honey trap.
A different interpretation of a popular theme, making an overall enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

5* Review- Sue Fortin -The Half Truth -#SummerImpulse

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Blurb - Coastal

Every marriage has its secrets…

Tina Bolotnikov, widowed after her husband, Sasha, is killed in a car accident, relocates back to her hometown on the south coast of the UK, to bring up her young son. Her life back in London with her adored husband is now nothing but a memory; a history to pass onto her son.

DS John Nightingale saw his partner killed in the line of duty and has made it his personal and professional quest to bring to justice the Russian gang responsible. Five years on and the killer is still free but as reports come in of Sasha Bolotnikov’s brother returning to the UK, John is tasked with tracking him down and following him to the seaside town of Littlehampton.

Tina finds herself an unwitting connection to a world she knew nothing about. She thought she knew her husband. She thought their past was the truth. But now as the investigation draws her closer to DS Nightingale, professional lines are blurred and crossed, and only he holds the key to her future.

Buy Links  - Coastal

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My Review - Coastal

 

The Half TruthSuspenseful and sinister from the first page, this crime orientated, romantic suspense draws you into a world of organised crime and the dedicated police squads that track them down.
Five years after her Russian husband, Sasha, died in a an accident Tina is rebuilding her shattered life, her young son Dimitri, who her husband never saw, is her reason for getting up in the morning, She is determined he won’t miss not having a dad.
John Nightingale is still guilt ridden by his partner’s death. The chance to capture his murderer means invading Tina’s life and possibly destroying it again but he owes it to his partner doesn’t he?
Both Tina and John are strong characters, he appears in Tina’s life at a time when she is ready to consider moving on, but there is a strong conflict of interest, which makes any future for the couple unlikely.
The plot is realistic and the characters’ reactions believable. Tina and John wrestle with their consciences and realise life is all about shades, rather than stark right or wrong. Angst and emotional soul searching contrasts with adrenalin filled action scenes.
This story is easy reading but it will provoke your emotions right up to the end.

The Half Truth by Sue Fortin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Half Truth by Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

4* Review- Caroline Storer- The Roman’s Revenge – #SummerImpulse

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For wealthy merchant Metellus, nothing is as important as his desire for revenge. Ever since his father’s death, he’s been planning to wreak vengeance on those responsible. So when he rescues the daughter of his sworn enemy, Livia Drasus from a shipwreck Metellus sees an opportunity to set his plans in motion.

…is fair game in his planned revenge!

Making Livia his wife is the perfect way to get close to her family. What Metellus doesn’t expect is the fire that burns so passionately when he takes feisty Livia to his bed! Falling for his wife was never part of the plan, and soon he stands to lose more than he ever thought possible. Now Metellus must decide, is gaining his revenge worth risking his heart?

Buy Links 1

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My Review 2

The Roman's Revenge

The Roman Empire immediately conjures up images of war, occupation and riches but this story is primarily is about revenge. Roman society’s political intrigue, the importance of reputation and the back stabbing ethos are well defined. As are the consequence of falling foul of society’s whims.
Metellus seeks revenge for his father who fell from grace after the political manipulation of Livia’s father. A tragic accident aids Metellus’ revenge. Essentially a noble man, Metellus does act dishonourably towards Livia on many occasions and uses her feelings for him to his own advantage. Strong willed Livia refuses to be the pawn in his revenge fest.
An interesting historical tale enriched with sensual tension between Livia and Metellus against a background of malicious gossip and deception.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Roman’s Revenge by Caroline Storer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Roman's Revenge by Caroline Storer

Caroline Storer

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

You’ll Find Me in Manhattan – Jill Knapp – 5* Review #SummerImpulse

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Blurb 2016- 2

Amalia and Olivia have found themselves at a crossroads. Their last year in their Master’s program at NYU is proving to be a trying one, and on top of that, Olivia has to balance planning a wedding AND managing the unwanted input of her estranged mother – who doesn’t even like her fiancé!

Meanwhile, Amalia finds herself feeling more lost than ever as graduation approaches and her classmates begin making plans for next year. Still torn between Michael and Hayden, she finally makes a decision – but one that that will either box her in, leaving her always wanting more out of life, or finally breaking free to find the happiness and stability she’s always needed.

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon  UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

You’ll Find Me in ManhattanThe final book in the ‘What Happens to Men’ series continues the college adventures of Amalia and Olivia. It’s a while since I read book 2 but once I reacquainted with the setting and characters, I didn’t stop reading until I’d finished.
Even though it is Olivia who is planning her wedding to Alex, Amalia’s complex life dominates this story. Finally she gets what she has always wanted, only to find it’s not what she hoped it would be. A grumpy professor, an emotionally detached boyfriend and unwanted therapy all figure in Amalia’s ‘Masters’ year, she wonders if she can survive? Gradually she discovers who she really is and finds that she likes her, which makes for plenty of laughs, a few tears and a hopeful future.
This is a story of few characters but Amalia and Olivia are vibrant and realistic and the writing style is easy reading. This is a great ending to a fabulous series, definitely worth reading whatever your age.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

You’ll Find Me in Manhattan by Jill Knapp

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


You’ll Find Me in Manhattan by Jill Knapp

Jill Knapp

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Posted in Blogging Communty, Book Review, Summer Impulse

#Summer Impulse – Readathon – Harper Impulse

Summer Impulse Final

 This week I’m participating in the Harper Impulse readathon #SummerImpulse.

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The first of my reads was ‘The Reckless Love of an Heir’ by Jane Lark, I love her books, they delve into the less glamorous side of Regency England and whilst this story was more family orientated it still had its serious side and was a great read..

 Click on the link to read my review:

 5* Review The Reckless Love of an Heir

 In my #summerImpulse graphic I’ve also included books I’ve already read this summer from Harper Impulse,if you follow my blog you will have already read my reviews but if not the links are below:

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The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea – Jane Linfoot

Summer at the Comfort  Food Cafe – Debbie Johnson

A Family Holiday – Bella Osborne

One Last Summer at Hideaway Ba y – Zoe Cook

Escape to the Riviera – Jules Wakes

The Girl Who Lied – Sue Fortin

Found One Secret Baby – Nancy  Holland

Put It Out There – D.R. Graham

Summer Impulse 3

I’ve included a couple older books from authors I like that I  haven’t got around to reading and  a debut book from a new author, released on 19 August. I will post the reviews for these later in the week.

Happy Reading #Summerlmpulse

 

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

5*Review: Jane Lark – The Reckless Love of an Heir #Summer Impulse

Summer Impulse Final

#Summer Impulse

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Historical Blurb

“You are reckless, proud, spoiled and everything I dislike!”

For Lord Henry Marlow, the future Earl of Barrington, life is for living before he accepts his duty. No wager is too risky or challenge too dangerous – until a racing injury forces the Barrington heir to return home and prepare for his destiny. But the one thing Henry will not do is bow to his parents’ wishes and propose to his childhood friend and neighbour, beautiful Alethea Forth. And he’ll not put up with her disapproving sister, Susan, either, no matter how much he enjoys their verbal sparring…

Kind-hearted, bookish Susan Forth has always thought Henry arrogant and self-centred, and has never hidden her dislike of the rogue! But this injured, vulnerable Henry reluctantly brings out her natural compassion, and a shocking desire for the man who is expected to marry her sister! A stolen kiss leads to a forbidden passion – and for the first time in her life, Susan knows what it’s like to be reckless – with a man who is finally learning to care.

But when tragedy strikes, their secret love is all that holds them together – and could tear their lives apart…

Historical Buy Links

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Amazon

The Reckless Love of an Heir

 

Another lovely historical romance from the Marlow saga, whilst this story lacks the hard hitting seedier view of Regency society of the other stories, it definitely has its serious side. Two sisters, two families’ expectations and an unexpected tragedy all make this story every bit as good as the others and thoroughly enjoyable.
For regular reader of this saga, like me, it’s interesting to find out what happens to the offspring of the original Marlow family members we have met. Henry is the son of Robert Earl of Barrington (The Passionate Love of a Rake) and is every bit as wild and reckless as his father. He faces a similar crisis of conscience as his father did and certainly becomes a son to be proud of.
Alethea and Susan are complete opposites and Susan is much easier to like than her sister; though she is not without her flaws, the most obvious being living in her sister’s shadow.
Fraught with dilemma but deeply emotional the perfectly pitched sensuality between the couple is their only hope of a future together.
‘The Reckless Love of an Heir’, is an easy yet often poignant read, the perfect escape for a couple of hours.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

 

The Reckless Love of an Heir by Jane Lark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Reckless Love of an Heir by Jane Lark

Jane Lark

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Historical My Review

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

Put It Out There – 4 * Review – D.R. Graham – (Britannia Beach #1)

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Blurb - Coastal

‘Did you miss me?’

Returning home to Britannia Beach a year after her life was shattered is bittersweet for Derian Lafleur. Although some things settle back into place, others don’t click like they used to…especially her friendship with Trevor Maverty.

Derian suddenly wishes the boy next door would see her as more than just a kid sister type. She tries to be everything she thinks he’s looking for— bolder, more experienced – but is that who she wants to be?

With the fate of her family’s historic inn on the line and Trevor making life more complicated by the day, Derian struggles to manage her unexpected feelings, and deal with a past she’s not quite ready to leave behind.

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon 

My Review - Coastal

Put It Out There (Britannia Beach, #1)

 

Derian returns home a year after her father’ death, to find some things always stay the same, whilst others are subtly different. Derian has a gift, which confuses her. She matures emotionally in this story, as she accepts past tragedy, copes with change and discovers her inner strengths.
Romance or the lack of it dominates Deri’s life. Finding it where she least expects, leads to mixed emotions and false starts. When she accepts who she wants, they are annoyingly reticent.
Deri’s friends and family are interesting, realistic characters, who bring Britannia Beach to life. The language and heat level are appropriate for the intended readers. The ending completes this chapter of Deri’s young life but leaves un- answered questions for the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Put It Out There by D.R. Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Put It Out There (Britannia Beach, #1) by D.R. Graham

D.R. Graham

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay – Zoe Cook – 4* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

Lucy, hi. It’s Tom. How are you? It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to get in touch but it’s hard to know how to after so much time. I hear you’re doing really well up there. I knew you would be.

You should come here, you know, back to Hideaway bay. Come and see everyone, see how little it’s all changed. Feel the sand between your toes, the Cornish sea breeze on your face. When the sun hits the surf in that way it does, it’s as magical as ever.

That’s why I’m writing to you, actually. I want to get the gang back together again, one last time before…well…just one last time. You should come too. The four of us, a summer on the beach, like old times. We all want you here for it. I want you here for it. It’s been so long since I saw you.

I still think about you.

Tom.

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember

This story gets better with every page you read. The first few chapters, authentically set in London’s celebrity and media culture, highlight Lucy’s superficial character. Lucy‘s self destruction imminent, as she seeks the ultimate career high.
There are references to drug taking, which I disliked but this are important indicators of Lucy’s deterioration and the culture she is part of. Similarly, smoking is a legacy of her teenage.
Flashback chapters in Hideaway Bay feature teenage Lucy and introduce the other three friends, who are linchpins of this story. Lucy wants to escape the seaside town, even though most people would love to live there. The phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve have until it’s gone’, comes to mind.
This story has plenty of surprises that inform Lucy’s current emotional state. The cast of characters both in Hideaway Bay and London are vivid and believable. For me, it is the last quarter of the story that tugs at the heartstrings. The twist is unexpected and poignant. You really care because the characters are like old friends by this time.
Well written women’s fiction, a lovely balance of humour, romance, sadness and secrets in a charming seaside setting.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

ne Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

Zoe Cook

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

3* Review: Found: One Secret Baby – Nancy Holland

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Winter Blurb

LA lawyer Rosalie Walker will do whatever it takes to protect her adopted son. She promised his mother before she died that she’d look after him and keep him safe from his paternal family. So when delectable Morgan Danby walks into her office in search of his nephew, she must keep the baby in her care a secret—even if one look from Morgan makes her want to share everything with him…

As a favour to his step-mother— the woman who actually raised him, unlike his real mother who abandoned him as a child—successful businessman, Morgan is searching for the son of his incarcerated step-brother. He can tell Rosalie is hiding something and the temptation to seduce her for her secret is strong, but will he be able to handle the consequences once all is revealed…?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

Found: One Secret Baby

 

If you enjoy the secret baby trope, with a liberal sprinkling of passionate romance, this story will appeal. Rosalie is an independent, strong character, who has always put her life on hold for people she loves; first her chronically ill mother and then to bring up the young son of a friend who tragically died. She is genuine and selfless and an easy character to root for.
Morgan is from old money and used to getting what he wants. Ruled by duty, he is determined to locate his step brother’s child. He keeps his heart hidden and pushes the emotional and physical abuse of his childhood, to the back of his mind. This makes him appear brusque and unfeeling but when you see things from his point of view, it’s clear he is an emotional man.
The simple plot has elements of menace, which make you shudder, balanced by lots of light-hearted moments with the charming Joey and Rosalie. The romance between Rosalie and Morgan is stormy and full of misunderstanding but the ending is romantic and satisfying.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

 

Found: One Secret Baby by Nancy Holland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Found One Secret Baby by Nancy Holland

Nancy Holland

 

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