Monday, July 1, 2019

Her Other Secret by HelenKay Dimon

Is it the perfect escape?

Whitaker Island is more than a getaway. For Tessa Jenkins, the remote strip of land in Washington state is a sanctuary. Fleeing from a shattering scandal, she has a new name, a chance at a new beginning, and a breathtaking new view: Hansen Rye. It’s hard not to crush on Whitaker’s hottest handyman. At six-foot-three and all kinds of fine, he’s also intensely private—and the attraction between them soon simmers dangerously out of control.

…or a private trap for two lovers?

After a devastating family tragedy, Hansen finds the pebbled shores of the faraway island to be an ideal refuge. Letting down his guard for the sexy, impulsive Tessa is an unexpected pleasure. But there’s another newcomer to Whitaker. He’s no stranger to Hansen. And when he’s murdered, the crime casts a threatening shadow. As suspicion falls on Hansen, all his secrets are about to collide with Tessa’s. Now the pasts they were determined to outrun are catching up to them. So is a killer who’s putting their love—and their lives—on the line.

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Book 1
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Avon Romance

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a fun and exciting story and a great summer beach read. A murder on an isolated island must be solved before there are more victims. Together, Tessa and Hansen help the island’s only policeman wade through island gossip, conflicting stories, and dark secrets to find the killer.

On an island where no one is what they seem and everyone seems to have a secret past, it is difficult for readers to know characters well enough to relate to them or like them. Tessa is a likeable character but like most island residents, her background is a mystery. Similarly, Hansen is attractive, but we don’t get to know him until quite a ways into the story. The island residents are colourful and quirky and while we get a few obvious suspects from the start, it’s almost impossible to trust anyone on the island. I liked the setting and I enjoyed the colourful characters.

This is one of those difficult reviews where I don’t want to spoil anything by mentioning any part of the plot. So, I won’t. I will say that the story moves quickly, and I had to work to keep up with Tessa and Hayden’s investigation. It’s a story where even the main characters feel like potential suspects and I loved that I couldn’t be certain about anyone. However, a few of the surprises are predictable and I guessed some of the characters’ secrets far too quickly.

One of my least favourite things about romantic suspense is the implausible sex – this time in the middle of a murder investigation during a storm bad enough to isolate the island completely from the mainland. I get that this is a necessary part of the hybrid genre but it feels a bit odd, as does the insta-love between two completely secretive, guarded characters.

Mary Jo☆☆☆
I felt like I started reading in the middle of the story and the beginning was filled in over the course of the book.

Apparently Whitaker Island is a little like the island of misfit toys. People come to Whitaker Island to be hide from the world that has roughed them up and left them beaten. They come to hide from people or secrets, sometimes both.

We discover after the death of a former friend/acquaintance of Hansen, the reasons for his move to Whitaker. As the book progresses, we also find out Tessa's reasons for hiding. And, it seems, that most people who live on Whitaker Island have just as deep and dark of secrets as Hansen and Tessa.

The romance of Tessa and Hansen seems a little forced at times, and I just didn't feel the chemistry.

HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a divorce attorney—not the usual career transition. Now she writes full-time and she’s much happier. The author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and short stories that have twice been named Red-Hot Reads and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, she’s on the board of directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Her Other Secret (Whitaker Island #1) by HelenKay Dimon to read and review.

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