Monday 7 November 2016

Extract: The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker

TITLE: The Honey Trap
AUTHOR: Mary Jayne Baker
PUBLISHER: HarperImpulse

PUBLICATION DATE: November 3, 2016

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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 expos√©, 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?

Extract from Chapter 24 – Dancing

She cocked her head to one side when a new song came on the record player. ‘Oh! I love this one.’

Seb smiled a soft little smile into her green eyes, twinkling with candlelight and appreciation while she listened to Nat singing ‘Unforgettable’.

‘Stand up, Ange.’


‘Come on. Humour me.’

‘Er, okay.’ She lifted herself off the blanket and followed him out of the organ pit to the empty space between it and the row of chairs, wondering what unpredictable thing he was going to do now.

Seb turned to face her. ‘May I have this dance, Miss Blackthorne?’ he asked as he bent forward into a solemn bow.

Angel couldn’t help laughing at him looking up at her with merry eyes. She dropped a passably gracious attempt at a curtsey in return and held out her right hand to him. ‘Well… I believe I have a space on my card, Mr Wilchester.’

She stifled a gasp when he took hold of the hand she was offering and wove his fingers through hers. He curled his left arm around her waist, keeping her back from him at a little distance. All of a sudden he was touching her, holding her. She knew she should pull away, give him the kind but firm little speech she’d prepared after her conversation with Emily, but… she closed her eyes, absorbing the song, letting the moment wash over her.

Unforgettable, that’s what you are. Unforgettable, though near or far…

She sighed as he began swaying her gently to the hypnotic ebb and swell of the music she loved. ‘I didn’t know you could dance,’ she murmured, feeling suddenly shy. She could feel his thumb tip stroking softly along the curve of her hip, and she tried to slow the feverish pounding that had sprung up in her chest at their sudden contact.

‘I can’t,’ he whispered. ‘Don’t let it get around, but I’m making this up as I go along.’

Angel opened her eyes and raised them to his, smiling. ‘I won’t tell if you don’t.’

Abandoning all resistance now, she let Seb draw her into him and wrap her in strong arms, rocking her body dreamily in time to the softly crackling record. She knew she should stop it before things went any further, but all power to remove herself from those arms was gone. She rested her cheek against his chest and felt him bury his face in her hair, breathing deeply. He made a little noise when he caught her scent and pressed her tighter against him, as if scared she might slip away.

She drew out a long, blissful sigh, allowed herself to get lost in the moment, in that beautiful old tune and the comforting warmth of Seb’s arms while they held her. She felt him press his lips to the top of her head, letting them linger there as the dance went on, but she had no strength to pull away. She inhaled deeply against him, relishing the smell of his woodsmoke-chocolate aftershave as it owned her senses.

Angel laughed as he twirled her like they did in the old-time films, then swung her back along his arm’s length and into a tight embrace.

…like a song of love that clings to me, how the thought of you does things to me, never before…

She could feel his warm, deep breaths against her ear. He brought his hand up to her face, drew light, caressing fingertips along her cheekbone, then moved them up into her hair. She shivered when he brushed the auburn strands back behind her shoulder, stroked along them tenderly, curled one strand around his finger. Her cheek, resting against his as they danced, was damp now from his tears.

‘I love you,’ she heard him murmur into her ear in a barely audible whisper. ‘God, Angel, I love you so much.’

What did he just say? She jerked out of the dream, wriggled free from his embrace and jumped back as though she’d been stung.

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