Today we have the blog tour for The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon! Check it out and get your copy today!
Title: The Pretender
Author: HelenKay Dimon
Genre Romantic Suspense
About The Pretender:
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.
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Harris climbed the last few feet to the second-floor window of the redbrick four-story town house. Breaking in had been no easy feat. The property sat on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC, known as Millionaires’ Row. The street was home to embassies and billionaires. Private security roamed the neighborhood, protecting the international powerbrokers and diplomats.
It was the perfect target, seemingly impenetrable between the guards and alarms and high walls with locked gates. Naturally, he couldn’t resist.
He knew from experience the back of the property provided the most cover. Scaling the side gate to get there had been the only answer thanks to the fancy new lock and corresponding keypad that would take too long to crack, especially with it being nighttime and roving patrols moving around. The uneven spikes at the top of the gate added some excitement but he’d long ago figured out how to maneuver around those and jump to safety.
A light clicked on the minute his feet touched the back patio. He didn’t make that mistake twice. He pressed his back against the wall and slid the rest of the way. The back double doors were locked and protected with computer alarm pads. He could see the motion sensors in the upper and lower corners of each door, plus the deadbolt lock into the floor. The home security was no joke. He could break it, but he’d need time, planning and equipment.
That left one direction to go—up. He preferred to start a few houses away, jump roofs then rappel down, but this way also worked. The added flair of entering through the second story would make the climb worth it.
With a throw, he hooked the metal end of his gear to the edge of the roof ledge and set off. The rope dug into his palms through the gloves, but he kept climbing. Once he reached the right height he debated shattering the glass as he dangled outside the floor-to-ceiling dining room windows. A part of him expected to be caught, so why prolong the journey trying to figure out how to get around the window sensor? But the challenge of getting away with it had excitement spiking inside him.
Adrenaline pulsed through every vein as he used the thin blade in his slim black toolkit to cut a hole in the glass. Despite working with some speed, he was careful not to rattle the window. Then came the slow ease of the piece of metal he held in front of the sensor at just the right speed, just the right time, to trick it into thinking the seal hadn’t been broken.
It was tedious work, especially as he balanced twenty-five feet in the air with neighboring backyards facing him. He could be seen at any time, but that only added to the thrill.
With the sensor covered, he reached up through the window and unlocked it. Sliding it high enough to fit through the open space, he slipped inside the impressive house.
His feet touched the hardwood floor with only the barest tap. He untied the safety rope from his waist and headed for the bar set up at the far end of the room. The glass jangled as he picked up the decanter and lifted the topper for a quick sniff. Whiskey, just as he expected.
After pouring a glass, he walked over and sat down at the dining room table. He removed his gloves and set them down next to a stretch of rope he’d used to anchor his weight on the climb.
And then he waited.
Less than a minute later the light at the top of the curving stairway flipped on. He didn’t see or hear anyone. Another light under the oven hood cast a soft glow on the nearby kitchen and bounced off the expansive marble countertops, highlighting the fact he was alone.
The alarm didn’t whirl to life. Not that he thought he’d hear it anyway. This place definitely would have a silent alarm.
“Tick tock.” He whispered the words as the swirled the liquor around in the heavy crystal glass. He had no intention of drinking it, but holding it fit the mood.
“What the hell?” Racing footsteps followed the male voice. He came down and rounded the corner holding a gun. Stopped as if he’d been hit with a brick.
Yeah, Levi Wren was home and very much awake. Well, he was now.
Harris was enjoying every second of his surprise visit so far.
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About 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: www.HelenKaydimon.com