Thursday, April 19, 2012

When She Wasn't Looking by HelenKay Dimon

No woman could deny the appeal of the sexy deputy sheriff Jonas Porter. But to Courtney Allen, Jonas has one major flaw—his badge. Years ago, Courtney's father was wrongfully convicted of a crime and she vowed to never trust a cop again. But when Jonas becomes the only man to believe in her father's innocence, Courtney begins seeing the brooding lawman in a whole new way.

Jonas knows in his gut that the real killer is still out there and determined to finish what he started long ago. To protect Courtney and bring the criminal to justice will require all the skills he can muster. And that means focusing on the job. Not the woman who makes him forget his troublesome past and arouses in him a passion that is anything but professional.


Written in the truly engaging style that is HelenKay Dimon. I really like her romantic suspense books, all for Harlequin Intrigue.

When Jonas is sent to do a "wellness check" on a citizen, he knows immediately that something is wrong. Courtney is hiding something and despite his exhaustion, Jonas wants to know what it is. He gets more than he bargained for when Courtney takes off in an obviously well planned escape.

I did wonder why he threatened to take her in for questioning, when he came for a check and she said she was fine. Yes, he was suspicious, but is that legally enough to threaten someone to haul them in for questioning? Beats me. *shrugs*

As always, I like that Dimon's characters communicate - something so sorely missing from too many books. They talk to each other. Wow. Courtney trusts Jonas enough early on that she shares her heartbreaking backstory with him. And I liked that he believed her, but also that he wanted to check things out on his own as well.

Because this is an Intrigue, the action is nonstop. You barely have time to catch your breath before Jonas and Courtney are off and running. I liked Jonas' internal dialogue about how much he wanted Courtney. I also liked the way that he boosted her confidence when it was waning, telling her that he thought she was strong and smart and resourceful.

In many ways, this is Courtney's story, but it is Jonas' thoughts, actions, and POV that stuck with me the most. Like in her other Intrigues, Dimon leaves her hero exhausted and injured. I thought that he recovered more quickly in this one than in some of her other books, and he also had a bit of a hero complex (always wanting to protect Courtney), but overall, he was great. I also liked that he didn't wait til the very end of the book to continue to work through his own issues, and that he let Courtney in to help him with it.

Because it's an Intrigue, we never really know who the villain is, and there are lots of red herrings thrown in to make you wonder, including an FBI agent who is really an old foe and a family friend.

Total sidenote: I think Intrigue does themselves a disservice by using the "cast of characters" because it gives preconceived notions about the characters and 9 times out of 10 I can guess the villain just from the cast listing. I was right with my guess before even heading in to page 1 with this book, and that irritates me. Harlequin, you listening?  

Thankfully, that didn't deter my enjoyment of the book, and that is mostly thanks to DImon and her witty, engaging writing.

While there were a few "whyyyyy would you do that!" moments, for the most part, it's smart, fast paced, interesting, and exciting.

Anyway, I liked the smart characters, the romance was great if incredibly fast, and I adore Dimon's writing style, her voice, and the fact that her heroes come across as real. They are exhausted, they get hurt, and they manage to rely on their women, knowing that they are also super smart & capable.

This releases May 1, but it's already available for shipping and downloading on the Harlequin website. Which is how I got it because I'm impatient like that.


  1. Glad you enjoyed it, Lori! I definitively need to give her a try. Been looking for more RS author and while I tend to avoid category romances, Ms Dimon seems to know what she's doing :)

    By the way, missed you!

    1. Awww, thanks, Nath! I've been so crazy at work the last couple months, no time to blog. I miss my family blog :(

      I wouldn't start with this one if you are looking for category RS. I would begin with her earlier ones - try Night Moves in particular, or Under the Gun.

  2. I've got a few HLD books on my shelves to read. I need to hurry up and get them read. I love her personality in real life, I'm sure it carries through to her books so yeah, I need to get those read. I think this is one of the books that I have, if not, I'm going to have it soon. Thanks for the review sweets.

    1. Wena, you would love her single title contemporaries. They are awesome.

  3. Lori, I always think of you when I see this author's work. :) AND, I have her in my list of authors. I know I read a short story by her recently, but I think it was on the "erotic romance" side? Maybe a self-published piece? I have to check my Kindle. But, I just need to give her contemps and RS a shot!

  4. I'm getting this one even though I still need to finish her Mystery Men series, also Intrigues. She does well with creating the suspense in the short format.

  5. I always enjoy her voice so yup, adding another to my TBR notebook. And another HQ I'll utilmately pass to my Mom--she's loving reading again and these are her faves.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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