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Ratings and Reviews (3 7 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
7
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    4,5 very hot stars!

    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 When the characters are secretive and withdrawn and they hold everyone at the arm's length the possibility that the reader will feel that distance to the characters is a possibility as well.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
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    Loved it

    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!
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    Mysterious. Emotional. Hot.

    Whew! The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon is a fantastic romantic suspense / mystery in the Games People Play Series. I was sucked in from the beginning and could not put it down until I knew who was the guilty. My emotions were all over the place with this one. I love that we get to follow the clues along with the characters in this story. Along with the murder mystery, The Pretender follows the romance of Harris and Gabby. Two very flawed characters looking to fit somewhere and with someone even if they don’t realize it. The pace of the story was spot on and I found myself hanging on to each word. I felt like I couldn’t read it fast enough yet I had to go slow enough so I didn’t miss anything. Harris and friend Damon come to Tabitha Island to keep the heat off Gabby, who is falsely being accused of killing her sister by her uncle. Of course, they come in undercover sort of. Sparks fly between Gabby and Harris in a primal, physical way and eventually in an emotional way. They take a different path to love then a lot of people. The intimate scenes are smoking hot! Dimon does a fantastic job with the show of those scenes. As with any series, I adore characters from past books and Wren (from The Fixer) is always a presence in any of the books in the series. The scene near the beginning with Wren, Emery, and Harris was fantastic. It shows so much of each of their personalities. Just perfect. I was glad to be introduced to Damon, another Quint Five member, and hope to read a book about him in the future. If you are looking for a romantic suspense and/or mystery book that will catch you from the very first page and won’t let you stop thinking about the characters until after you finish the book, give The Pretender a read. While it is part of a series, each book can be read as a stand alone with its own plot.
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