BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon

Bea's Book Nook, Excerpt, Giveaway, The Pretender, HelenKay Dimon

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 forty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Kensington, Harlequin, Penguin Random House, Riptide and Carina Press. 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. She is on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College. You can learn more at her website:

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Bea's Book Nook, Excerpt, The Pretender, HelenKay Dimon

Gabby debated venturing into a second discussion with Harris. The first one had her off balance. She’d gotten so good at ducking topics and engaging in subterfuge that when those go-to moves abandoned her, she got twitchy.

But the house wasn’t an option tonight and the guesthouse was off-limits, which left her with few refuges now that the sun had gone down. And he’d started a fire. She had almost no defenses against the famous Wright fire pit with its stone rock wall and submerged circle in the center of a special patio area built by the water’s edge.

Wishing she’d reached for a jacket, she wrapped her sweater tighter around her body and walked across the grass to the pit area. She didn’t have to announce her arrival because he watched every step.

The fire roared with life. He wore a zip-front sweater that molded to his arms, showing off every line. She’d never actually seen a muscle strain through clothing before but now she knew it was possible.

No way this guy sat at a desk valuing artwork all day.

The closer she got the more she could see. He had a bag of something on the bench next to him. The stick . . . and was that a marshmallow?

Ignoring seating protocol strangers usually followed and leaving a space, she sat down right next to him. The idea of yelling at him over a fire didn’t hold much appeal. “I’ve been watching you for the last few hours.”

He continued to twirl the stick as the edge of his marshmallow turned brown over the fire. “That sounds like a pretty boring day.”

“You have walked around the island and lingered around the outside of the main house. I’ve seen you by the water and at the boathouse.” Peeking in on him was no hardship. He moved with purpose. Long, sure steps that gobbled up the ground beneath him. Perfect posture and legs that went on forever.

She loved the way his pants balanced low on his hips, showing off his long torso. She didn’t know if he swam or rowed or played basketball, but whatever he did to earn a lean, muscular body like that, he should keep doing it because damn.

He looked at her and smiled. “You could have said hello.”

Uh-huh. He was missing her point. She guessed that was on purpose. “You didn’t go inside the house, Harris.”

“And . . . ?” He went back to staring at his stick and toasting the marshmallow.

“Your job is to appraise antiques and artwork. We keep that sort of thing indoors.”

“Ah.” He nodded as he reached into the bag and took out two graham crackers and set them on his lap.

His movements pulled her mind away from the conversation. She was trying to catch him in a lie and make him admit he was there to watch over her, not to value things. Instead, he mesmerized her with those long fingers and strong hands.

With a small shake of her head she forced her brain back to the topic. “You see my confusion.”

“I do.” With one hand he opened the paper on a chocolate bar . . . or tried to. “I’m actually waiting for the investigator.”


All that fumbling had her reaching over to help. She took the chocolate bar out of his hand and ripped the paper back. Broke off two chunks then handed them to him.

“Thank you.” He trapped one end of the stick between his knees. The marshmallow dipped down closer to the fire. “The items we were talking about are likely worth a lot of money. Poking around before the investigator gets here struck me as a way to get blamed for something I didn’t do.”

The marshmallow was on fire now. She had trouble concentrating on anything else. “You think someone will accuse you of stealing?”

“Your uncle seemed to have the blame gene.”

“Definitely.” For God’s sake. She grabbed the stick. A quick blow on the end and she saved the marshmallow from a fiery death. “So, your plan is to sleep outside all night?”

“I’ll venture into the guesthouse eventually. But this setup looked pretty inviting.”

“My parents added this when I was about sixteen. Tabitha had just turned nine and she loved s’mores.”

He put his chocolate cracker concoction together and handed it to her. “Of course. Who doesn’t?”

She waved him off. “Me.”

“What?” His eyes widened as his hand dropped to his lap. “That’s an outrage.”

Fake or not, the horror in his voice made her laugh.


Bea's Book Nook, Excerpt, Giveaway, HelenKay Dimon

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.

My review of The Negotiator, book #2.5
My review of The Pretender

Series: Games People Play #3
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: December 26th, 2017
Formats: paperback, ebook
Buying Links:  Amazon* | Avon Romance |Book Depository* | Google | iBooks* |Barnes & Noble
* associate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

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  1. This book sounds intriguing and captivating. The author is very talented and creative. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  2. This sounds like a really interesting book and series.


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