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Sunday, February 26, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books - The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Angel is an ambitious journalist. She's an intern at a rag, desperate to get ahead. When her editor asks her to honey trap a famous film director Angel is reluctant, but after he promises her a career advancement she decides to put on that skimpy black dress and seduce Sebastian. He's a married man and if she can help uncover a cheater, she won't be doing anything wrong, will she? Angel just has to go far enough to get a few compromising photos, but she hasn't counted on actually liking Sebastian.

When photos of Angel and Sebastian are all over the tabloids Angel knows she's done something she won't be able to easily forgive herself for. She's ruined a marriage and she's made other people's lives miserable, was that really the right thing to do? When a few weeks later she has to meet Sebastian again for work Angel is afraid she will never be able to leave the scandal behind her. What has she done and how can she limit the damage?

The Honey Trap is a fun and sexy story. Angel is sweet and kindhearted and she wants to help everyone. Even though her boss asks her to do something she's uncomfortable with he's also done her a favor in some ways, he taught Angel a lot more about herself. She speaks her mind, she's confident and she's brave, which I loved about her. After honey trapping Sebastian she knows it isn't the kind of job she'd like to do on a regular basis. Angel has a strong moral compass and is a woman to admire, which is exactly why Sebastian says yes to a night with her in the first place. He's a surprisingly nice man. He's talented, down-to-earth, generous and gentle too, something Angel didn't expect him to be. There's plenty of chemistry between them and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to them after the steamy, but distrustful and somewhat sleazy way they've met.

The Honey Trap grabbed me from the start. I loved reading about Angel's private life. She has interesting friends and I liked how passionate she is about old movies. I loved Mary Jayne Baker's enthusiasm for Sebastian's work and her descriptions of his movies are vivid and thorough, I had the feeling I actually watched them instead of just read about them. The Honey Trap is a story about celebrities and fame and I liked that there are very few clichés, Mary Jayne Baker's point of view is refreshing and it kept making me smile over and over again. Both romantic books and movies are supposed to have wonderful happy endings and The Honey Trap has a fabulous finale. I highly recommend this amazing endearing story.


If you love romance and like movies as well as books you shouldn't miss The Honey Trap. It's a perfect books for readers who enjoy the combination of glamour combined with real life, romantic gestures and funny scenes.

About Mary Jayne Baker

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.


Quick questions

1) Name five random facts about yourself.

- I have four cats (one of whom, Harpo, made it into The Honey Trap as a character)
- My favourite way to celebrate good news is with fish and chips and prosecco
- I'm currently knitting a Tom Baker Dr Who scarf
- My favourite book is Wuthering Heights
- I used to play in a brass band (the unglamorous euphonium, if you must know!)

2) Which three features does a good romantic story have to have?

A natural chemistry between hero and heroine that makes you sincerely believe they're perfect for each other.

A strong, funny, likeable heroine the reader wants to be friends with
A happy ending!

3) Describe Angel and Seb in six words each.

Angel: witty, flawed, feisty, fun, warm, compassionate
Seb: sexy, cheeky, funny, passionate, magnetic, loyal

4) Name four things that inspire you.

I get story inspiration from all over the place: I think people have started to worry when they see me lurking around with a pen in my hand! Mainly I'd say family and friends, overheard conversations, human-interest stories in magazine and newspapers and eating cheese before bed...

5) Where do you write and where do you read?

I work full-time as a graphic designer in my day job, which includes quite a long commute, so I do a lot of writing on the train. When I'm at home I like to write in the bedroom, wearing my special writing hat so my partner knows not to disturb me! Unfortunately my cats are no respecters of the writing hat...

6) What's your favourite place in the world?

Yorkshire! I love my gorgeous home in the Dales, wouldn't swap it for anywhere.

7) Name your three favourite settings for a story.

The Honey Trap is set in London because the heroine works for a major national newspaper, but usually I like to set stories within small, close-knit communities, often villages or small towns where most people know each other. I find these provide so many rich opportunities for characters to interact. Gorgeous scenery is a must too, and I love anything quirky or colourful. I think my top three locations would be the Yorkshire moors, the British coast and the Lake District.

8) What's the best writing/reading snack or drink?

Am I allowed to say wine?! Actually I think my favourite snack would be olives - healthy, delicious and easy to eat one-handed so I don't have to stop typing! And of course, like every writer since the dawn of time, lots and lots of coffee...

9) Describe in one sentence what true romance is like for you.

The closest friendship you'll ever know.

10) Which three things make you laugh?

My best friend Bob (with him and not at him, I promise!), Father Ted, PG Wodehouse's Jeeves stories

11) Name four things you like to do besides reading and writing.

I like to knit and crochet, go hiking up on the moors, to the theatre when I can afford it, and pub nights with friends.

Regular interview questions

12) What's the best writing advice you've ever been given and what advice do you give aspiring authors?

The piece of advice that finally made me finish a book rather than giving up after the first few thousand words, which I had done a few times in the past before finally finishing The Honey Trap, was "push on into the white space". I had a terrible habit of going back over my work, expecting it to read like a polished finished product rather than a first draft, and consequently giving up when I decided it was worthless. It was only when someone told me not to expect perfection but just get all the words out until the story's told that I finally did it. I've heard first drafts described as the clay which is then modelled into the finished book, and that's a pretty good way of thinking about it.

My advice to other writers would be a development of that. Don't worry about creating perfection: just push on until you've told your story. Set yourself a manageable word count every day - 1000 words, 2000, whatever you think is achievable - and stick to it. Just remember, you can't edit nothing: you need those words on the page before you can craft them into the book they're going to become. Never give up, never surrender...

13) What are the key ingredients of a good funny story in your opinion?

Good question! I'd say a sense of the absurd would be one thing, and the characters' willingness to laugh at themselves, which makes them both funny and likeable. A strong, witty voice for the central character is another must.

I also like it when characters seem to form natural double acts with each other, because I write - and like to read - a lot of dialogue so I enjoy that back-and-forth. And then there's finding the unusual in everyday settings, or the everyday in the unusual. For example, I'm a big fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, and I think one reason it works so well is that although it's in a rather surreal version of deep space, there's a very British everydayness to the characters and situations.

14) Which book changed your life and why?

Probably Catch-22, which I first read as a teenager. Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, with a reeling chronology that matches the main character's confusion, it really brought home to me the insanity of war and the human capacity to find humour in even the bleakest situations. I like to read it every few years to remind myself, and it still has the power to make me laugh and cry.

15) What are your plans for the future?

Writing-wise, I've got lots going on at the moment. I've just finished editing one manuscript, a music-themed romcom set in a lighthouse on the Yorkshire coast, and I'm in the process of editing another. Plus I've got another first draft nearly done and I'm about a third of the way through the a fourth which I've been working on for NaNoWriMo this month. I don't seem to be able to stop writing at the moment! So while the future isn't exactly planned out, it's looking very bright and I can't wait to see what next year will bring.

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a signed paperback of The Honey Trap, Prosecco (if your country's customs will allow it) and a Grand Ferrero Rocher from Mary Jayne Baker.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I look forward to reading The Honey Trap! Xo

  2. The book review sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover and interview too.

  3. It sounds like a fun read, my kind of book. I can't wait to read it!

  4. I completely agree with Mary Jayne's appraisal of Catch-22. One of those books I keep returning to again and again.

  5. It sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. Thanks for the lovely review,looking forward to read The Honey Trap :)

  7. Looks like a fun book! Thank you for the contest!

  8. Thank you for the opportunity . Sounds like a fun read .

  9. Catch 22 has been on my TBR list for a long time.

  10. The book sounds amazing! And the chocolate is <3 ^Q^

  11. The Honey Trap sounds like a very interesting book. I love a little humor with my romance. Thanks for sharing.

  12. The book review sounds fantastic! I'm anxious to read it!

  13. I'd like to read this book because it also has humor in it :) I like to read about old movies too :)

  14. I enjoyed the review and interview.

  15. Yorkshire sounds nice

  16. I am looking forward to reading this book !

  17. This sounds like such a fun read!! Thank you for the giveaway.

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  19. This looks like a lovely book. The cover is so pretty!

  20. Love the sound of this book. Thanks so much for the chance x

  21. Thankyou for introducing me to a new author and book! Great interview and review! Jill Broussard;

  22. This looks like a fun book and I like the cover. :)

  23. this looks like a story I could really get my teeth into xx

  24. This sounds like a fun read!

  25. Sounds like a great book and a lovely giveaway thanks ♥

  26. The Honey Trap looks great.
    I love stories set in small, close-knit communities too.

  27. Definitely on my books to-read list!

  28. Sounds great! I would love to read it.

  29. This book sounds lovely and looks appealing.

  30. Cool, can't wait to read this! Looks like a great read.

  31. I like a lot of back & forth dialogue between characters, too.

  32. Good luck with the release!