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“Sexy, emotional, funny . . . Dimon gives it all to her readers.” —New York Times Bestselling Author Jill Shalvis
They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, and Harrison Tate is proof. Once a professional burglar, he now makes a lawful living tracking down stolen art. No one needs to know about his secret sideline, “liberating” artifacts acquired through underhanded methods. At least until one of those jobs sees him walking in on a murder.
Gabrielle Wright has long been estranged from her wealthy family, but she didn’t kill her sister. Trouble is, the only person who can prove it is the sexy, elusive criminal who shouldn’t have been at the island estate on that terrible night. She’s not expecting honor among thieves—or for their mutual attraction to spark into an intense inferno of desire.
Under the guise of evaluating her family’s art, Harris comes back to the estate hoping to clear Gabby’s name. But returning to the scene of the crime has never been riskier, with their hearts and lives on the line.
About the Author
Helenkay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a . . . divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over thirty novels, novellas, and shorts to numerous publishers. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues, and her books have twice been named "Red-Hot Reads" and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. But if you ask her, she'll tell you the best part of the job is never having to wear pantyhose again.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fourteen months ago, Harris Tate entered the main house on a private island to steal a painting. Instead he discovered a murder victim taking her last breaths. Now Harris returns to the island in Chesapeake Bay to prevent the sister of the murder victim from being charged with the crime. Assuming the role of art appraiser, he gains access to the main house and other portions of the estate. Gabby Wright knows the truth. She didn’t kill her sister. Or any of the other crimes her uncle would like to lay on her shoulders. Secrets. Games. Pretending. Harris and Gabby each are experts in all of these. It’s delightful to discover them explore the art of revealing as well as concealing. And yes, the murder is solved in the end.
This seductive and intense tale continues the intriguing series that has been one of my favorites this year, each installment highly anticipated. If you allow me to fangirl for a moment with HelenKay Dimon's stellar writing - the smoothly flowing stories that have strong, capable, and smart characters are well written, the puzzling plots thoroughly thought out, and chemistry between the alluring characters, both protagonists and the secondary characters, is a tangible force impossible not to notice. The witty, crafty dialog carries the stories forward, giving insights to the characters, and always manages to seduce my mind and make me smile. She is one of the authors I was reading before I was publishing my reviews and I'm delighted and excited about each new book published. And The Pretender didn't disappoint either. The investigation of the murder is tense and tricky because of the main stage is a private island and the turbulence of the family drama and tragedy playing on the side involves the main characters as well. As the plot thickens, it is obvious that the culprit is a known character, most likely currently on the island, and prepared for drastic measures to keep their secrets. The relationship between Harrison Tate and Gabrielle Wright is precious and so natural, it felt like they have known each other always. Both of them have had a challenging foundation for their lives, with childhood experiences no one would envy or wish upon anyone, making it hard for them to trust or let people in. Yet when Harrison and Gabby come together, it feels like the bond between them is innate. The need to open up and share the secrets they never ever talk about is urgent. And with all the lies, secrets, and half-truths there is raw honesty, fragile and gentle tenderness, sincerity between them that is enriched by the searing hot passion igniting since the first touch. When the characters are secretive and withdrawn and they hold everyone at the arm's length the possibility that the reader will feel that distance to the characters is a possibility as well. There were a couple of instances in the first half of the story, that Gabby and Harrison kept their inner turmoil from me as well, I felt I couldn't connect with them. But as the story progress, I was invested to find the murderer, to find the culprit behind the attacks, and definitely allured by the charming characters. A thrilling and engaging continues into the enjoyable, riveting series, yet easy to read as a stand-alone book since it does not require you to know the previous cases. ~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
THE PRETENDER is the third full length instalment in HelenKay Dimon’s contemporary, adult GAMES PEOPLE PLAY erotic, romance series focusing on a tight knit group of life-long friends, known as the Quint Five, whose business it is to investigate and ‘fix’ whatever has gone wrong for the rich and famous. This is former professional thief Harrison ‘Harris’ Tate, and Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Wright’s story line. THE PRETENDER can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Told from dual third person perspectives (Gabby and Harris) THE PRETENDER focuses on the hunt for the truth. Fourteen months earlier, while on ‘assignment’ to procure a missing piece of art Harrison Tate walked into the aftermath of a fatal attack against Tabitha Wright- a woman left for dead by an unknown assailant. Running from the scene of the crime Harrison will come face to face with Gabby Wright, the victim’s sister, and the woman with whom he would fall in love. Fast forward to present day wherein Harrison must return to the Tabitha Island to prevent Gabby’s uncle Stephen from destroying her life, having blamed our heroine for everything that went wrong. What ensues is the building relationship between Gabby and Harrison, as they endeavour to uncover the truth, along with Harrison’s partner Damon Knox, about the death of Tabitha Wright, and the potential fall out when the truth about Harrison’s presence, and his appearance fourteen months earlier, that could have stopped months of grief and accusations against our story line heroine. Gabby Wright has struggled to come to terms with the brutal murder of her sister but as the primary suspect our heroine is no closer to proving her innocence in light of the truth. As her uncle Stephen continues to accuse our heroine of killing Tabitha, an investigator /auditor is called in to itemize the contents of the house on Tabitha Island, and find evidence that will prove Gabby is guilty of the heinous crime. Harrison Tate, a man whose guilt about that day fourteen months earlier, found our hero on the run, in the hopes that his identity would not be revealed but Harrison’s friend and ‘fixer’ Wren forces Harrison to face the woman in an attempt to prevent further harm or accusations thrown her way. As Gabby, Damon and Harrison search for the truth, a series of break-in, fires and threat aimed at our heroine begin to take their toll. The relationship between Harris and Gabby is one of mutual and immediate attraction but Gabby suspects Harris is lying about his true reasons for coming to the island. Their physical relationship begins soon after Harrison arrives on the island, a relationship that could be destroyed by the truth. The $ex scenes are intimate, seductive and intense, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. THE PRETENDER is a story of romance and suspense; of mystery and betrayal; of forgiveness and falling in love. The premise is entertaining and engaging; the characters are edgy and tragic; the romance is energetic and passionate. My only complaint is the lack of background information about our leading hero. THE PRETENDER is a provocative, moving and intriguing story line.
The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon is book Three in the "Games People Play" series. This is the story of Harrison Tate and Gabrielle 'Gabby' Wright. I have not yet read the previous books, so for me this was a standalone book. Harrison once was a really good bad thief but now he has turned himself around tracking down stolen art along with doing a little side jobs with a thread of his past life. Gabby is a rich girl but tries to play past that and her family. When her sister is killed everyone turns to her as possible suspect but Harrison knows different. When on a side job he happens upon Gabby and knows that she isn't the one to blame. There was an instant attraction between Gabby and Harrison from the first. But can he help clear her name and possible move toward something more? Exciting read!