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New Release Review! THE PRETENDER by HelenKay Dimon (Games People Play #3)

The Pretender
by HelenKay Dimon

“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.



The Pretender had a great start–Harris, who is someplace for slightly less-than legal reasons comes upon an almost-murder scene that quickly becomes a homicide; partly because of his actions there an innocent woman comes under scrutiny but he can’t come out and clear her without implicating himself–really, I’m not sure what Ms. Dimon could have done there to make me less likely to be able to put this book down in the first few chapters! Harris and Gabby and both highly likeable, and the isolated island setting and the mysterious things that kept happening kept the tension high.


A little further in–around 50%? 66%?–the story started dragging a bit, and I had a hard time exactly pinpointing why as it was more of a general feeling. Too much backstory exposition dragged out over too long of a time, drawing focus away from the more present danger? An intimate relationship that went too fast considering the lack of trust the characters had at the time and the danger at least one of them seemed to be in at the time? I’m not sure, all I know is that at some point putting the book down and doing something else became easier than I would have liked. Still, I did enjoy how the mystery ended and their HEA was sweet–overall this was a good read, even if I wasn’t riveted to the page every single minute.

This one worked well as a standalone–only two of the other series characters really play a part; the focus is heavily on Harris and his island mystery–and it definitely has me interested in picking up both earlier and future series books. I’m generally a big fan of Ms. Dimon’s writing–even if this one won’t make my favorites list, I do enjoy the characters she’s peopled this series with.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

Published in3.5 starsB-Book reviewsBOOKS!new releasespotlight
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