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Negotiator, The: A Games People Play Christmas Novella Mass Market Paperback – December 12, 2017
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About the Author
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 thirty novels, novellas, and shorts to numerous publishers. 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. But if you ask her, she'll tell you the best part of the job is never having to wear pantyhose again.
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Told from dual third person perspectives (Lauren and Garrett) THE NEGOTIATOR follows in the aftermath of Lauren’s discovery that her husband Carl, a man declared missing and dead, has returned to the living claiming he wants a second chance with our story line heroine. Knowing that the man before has never been capable of telling the truth Lauren contacts the only person she knows who might be able to get the answers she so desperately needs. Enter professional negotiator and investigator Garrett McGrath, and the man with whom Lauren will fall in love. What ensues is the building relationship between our leading couple, and the fall out when Carl is found dead in our heroine’s home, and she becomes the prime suspect in her ex-husband’s murder.
For close to six months Garrett McGrath has desperately tried to convince Lauren to go with him but our heroine has steadfastly denied any attraction or feelings for the man in question preferring to rebuild the business that her husband’s disappearance singlehandedly destroyed. Garrett and Lauren’s attraction to one another is palpable; their sexual energy is seductive and provocative. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
Wren and Emery (The Fixer #1), and Matthias and Kayla (The Enforcer #2) return for some familiarity and cohesion. We are introduced to Carl’s brother Jake; his business partner Bob, and his latest girlfriend Maryanne
THE NEGOTIATOR is a quick read; a sexy friends to lovers romance that focuses on the search for the truth when a man once thought lost at sea, dies not once but twice with a long line of questionable business decisions, as well as series of long running affairs. The premise is edgy and energetic; the romance is spirited and captivating; the characters are animated and passionate.
"The Negotiator" was steamy and sexy, sweet and humorous, but needed to be a little longer. It needed more development.I think the problem was that I haven't read the earlier books and it seems as if much of Lauren and Garrett's relationship happened in that time; they met, their was attraction; they flirted; they sort of dated. The relationship moves to the next level in this story, which is great, but for me, it seemed like their relationship went from zero to sixty. The build-up, the foundation was laid in earlier books and I missed being part of it. It's as if Dimon used the development in the previous books as shorthand to skip ahead in this story.
Now, that said, I liked both Garrett and Lauren. Lauren, obviously, has been hurt and hasn't completely dealt with her feelings for her 'late' husband, Carl. Though I can't imagine what having a husband you believed dead suddenly show up on your doorstep would feel like. Betrayal and shock hardly seem to cover it. Her reaction seemed spot-on to me and her reaching out to Garrett was certainly significant. Garrett was a patient and determined man who knew what he wanted and went for it, but not in an obnoxious or creepy way. They had some communication problems but, after a cooling off period, worked them out. They were adults, which I loved. I could feel the heat, though more so on Garrett's than Lauren. Lauren's passion seemd a little less strong.
The mystery of who killed Lauren's husband Carl was harder for Lauren and Garrett to figure out than it was for me, although I did miss a few details. Dimon telegraphed, often, who the killer was, which was disappointing. I want to be challenged and kept guessing when reading suspense and mysteries. Also, although the book is billed as a Christmas novella, the holiday barely figures into the story at all. It's main function is to serve as a painful time for Garrett though there is a nice scene with picking a live Christmas tree.
"The Negotiator" didn't wow me but I did enjoy it, it was a good introduction to this series, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Dimon does with a full-length novel.
Some favorite quotes:
Fire flashed in her eyes. "Excuse me?" About damn time. There was the Lauren he knew. Sharp, aware and not easy to push around.
With Garrett, she was free to be who she wanted and take what she needed.
She hated that argument trick. The game where people went after a woman's looks or sexual activity to score points. It was derailing and insulting.
I received a copy from the publisher for review.
I really liked Lauren and Garrett together, and the mystery of who knew what with her husband kept me turning the pages. Though I'm definitely looking forward to seeing part 1 of their romance when I read the prior book in the series, this one worked okay as a starting point--not ideal, but I wasn't lost either. If anything, it convinced me that I absolutely need to read the rest of the books in this series.
Rating: 4 stars / B-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I was hooked on the blurb and at times I felt that was the only place that I could feel the excitement of anticipation. I really enjoyed the story as whole. There were a couple of times that areas or story plots were too short and moved on to the next scene. What I did like about the story were the interactions that the characters had for each other. The sexy scenes were great and there were a couple of chapters I thought that I knew who the killer was. So wrong!
This is my first book I have read by Helenkay and I am intrigued enough to continue reading and possibly back track on these books. The main story line was good and I truly enjoyed the story.
Most recent customer reviews
This one is a little sexy and a lot of mystery. A quick read to get to the who done it.Read more