FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Penguin Group (via NetGalley).
Series: Aidan Falls #1
Publisher: Intermix on February 17, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
Have you ever had a boyfriend cheat on you? Did you call him out on it, even if he's the hometown hero? I did and managed to get my heart broken in the process...
Now, back home in Aidan Falls for the summer, all I want to do is keep my head down until next semester starts—a hard prospect when my ex, his ex, and the whole damn town can’t seem to let go of the past.
And that’s not even mentioning Micah Wyatt, the ludicrously hot new guy who seems to know all about my past, and he isn’t shy about wanting to trap me in a bet he's made to get the town pariah—aka me—under the sheets.
I know Micah is bad news, but that doesn’t make him any easier to resist. After all, I’ve had a taste of bad before, and I’m not sure I want to go back to being the good girl…
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Shelby wants nothing to do with her home town, but since her mom needs help at the cafe, she has little choice but to brave the summer at home until she can head back to college. But the town isn’t making it any easier for her. It seems that everyone here hates her since she trapped her ex-boyfriend and local golden boy into cheating on her. Everyone knows her business, and they aren’t making any secret of their judgement of her. Even the new guy, Micah, at the repair shop has heard all about it. But he seems more interested in her, not what she did or who she used to date, and if he wasn’t such a player, she might even like the attention.
When Micah bet his cousins he’d be able to get Shelby into bed, this easily could have turned into a romance novel filled with cliches. After all, you’ve got your golden boy ex, the new-in-town tattooed player and bad boy, and the all around good girl who’s been done wrong. But Honeytrap turns everything on its head and abandons most of the predictable.
When Shelby and her then-boyfriend Rex headed off to different colleges, she suspected he was cheating on her. Rather than simply calling it on it, though, she picked a pseudonym and headed for a chat room to find him. He took the bait, and their online flirtation quickly headed into cybersex territory. It was all the ammunition Shelby needed to bust him for the cheater she’d suspected he was, but it wasn’t nearly as rewarding as she’d expected. Rex’s friends and nearly everyone else in town turned on her, as if she’d committed a crime against him.
When Shelby meets Micah, he’s already got some awfully big strikes against him. For one, he’s the guy who got Rex’s new girl to cheat, so he’s not exactly looked upon nicely by the same people who’ve been making Shelby’s return home hell. Plus, he’s an unapologetic player. He knew the girl he hooked up with was taken, but he didn’t care, nor did he have any intention of letting it go past one night. Not exactly selfless or considerate. And now he’s made a bet with his cousins that he can get Shelby into bed, something he doesn’t seem the least bit ashamed of when Shelby finds out shortly after meeting him.
But Shelby’s an outcast in town, and so is Micah. And while she knows better than to get mixed up with someone who’s just as on the fringes as he is, there’s a certain comfort in the similarity of their situations. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s drop dead gorgeous and willing to spend time with her even as she rebuffs his advances. He also brings out a different side of her than she’s really been willing to show, and the chemistry between them is nothing short of explosive. His easy acceptance of her results in deeper feelings that seem to take them both by surprise, and by the end they seem to give each other new confidence and purpose.
The relationship between Shelby and Micah was a much slower build than I anticipated, but that gave it time for the feelings that developed to come across as that much more genuine. There were times that Shelby’s immaturity was a bit frustrating, but at the same time, her behavior was so in line with what I remember from that age that it felt very real. Micah’s attitude at first kind of disgusted me, but the more I got to know him, the less I could fault him for it. He couldn’t very well be a fine, upstanding gentleman after the life he’d led, and it seemed his behavior was in some ways a shield. Had Shelby fallen for him immediately, she never would have gotten past it to the real, lovable Micah.
About the only thing I never could make sense of was the small-mindedness of the townspeople. I know that small towns can be just as cold as they can be welcoming, and living in one is often like living under a microscope, with all your mistakes studied and dissected and gossiped about long after they should have been old news. But even having experienced that at its best and worst in the town I’m from, I just can’t see an entire town, adults included, turning against a girl who managed to prove her boyfriend was a cheater. In that way, the town was very two-dimensional and less realistic than the rest of the story.
All in all, though, Honeytrap is a great read, and the main characters are an intriguing bunch. Young adults are can be very polar and pack-minded in their thinking, and Rex and his friends perfectly embodied that. Shelby was easy to identify with, simply in that she was rather lost without her own pack, and Micah had more depth than I ever expected. Honeytrap is the rare new adult story that keeps romance standards without turning them into cliches, and rarely have I rooted more for a couple to find their way back to each other.