Everything You Need to Know
Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin / October 15, 2013 / $3.99 digital
Dating in D.C. is like navigating an apocalyptic wasteland populated by men in expensive suits with zero mating potential. Need to Know provides all the information a savvy single woman like you needs to avoid dating disasters.
By night, Jordan McAdam is the proprietor of a popular website that rates D.C.'s hottest bachelors—everything from how quick they are to email you back, to their skills in the sack. She's been burned once too often to accept any man at face value. By day, her job as an office temp puts her in the perfect position to do a little fact-checking on her rich and powerful subjects. When her latest assignment brings her face-to-face with the sexy but mysterious Forest Redder, Jordan decides to do a little “hands-on” research of her own. To Jordan, he seems like the perfect man—but she knows there is no such thing. Moreover, there's a big problem: Forest knows Jordan's the woman behind the scandalous site—and Jordan knows he knows. Will he expose her secret—or find his own posted on Need to Know?
HelenKay Dimon is a fabulous writer, and my high expectations are met in her latest, Everything You Need to Know. It's set in Washington, D.C., a city that HelenKay knows well, which shows. She doesn't bog down the story with setting, but it's the little details that really give it life.
Every element of the novella was well done—the characters, the storyline, the development of the relationship. The heroine, Jordan McAdam, “is the proprietor of a popular website that rates D.C.'s hottest bachelors—everything from how quick they are to email you back, to their skills in the sack.” In real life I'd be skeptical about that type of website, but in the book, it works.
Forest Redder is of course, our hero. He's a sexy bachelor and power player in DC. I loved that he's grumpy, and arrogant, but also really sweet. He doesn't suffer fools, but he's not an asshole. He also notices things, and with his social status, he doesn't necessarily have to observe all the social niceties. (Would that we were all so lucky.) He's best friends with is business partner Wendall Strong, and they're obviously close. I loved the interaction between them, with Wen's ribbing. They're almost foils, and very entertaining. I really appreciated that Jordan is so versatile, and real. She's a regular girl, but one who is totally in control. Jordan owns her own business, but also works as a temp. The latter for the usual reasons of supplementing her income, but also to investigate people. I liked the twist her jobs offer - she isn't pigeonholed. Another appealing aspect is her confidence. Jordan is willing to crash a wedding for information, and goes toe to toe with Forrest. She stands on her own and has built a great life for herself - and she's only twenty-six! They're real people, who are believable, and that's huge to me. For a contemporary romance, a degree of realism is necessary, otherwise I feel it distracts and detracts from the story.
One of my favorite things about this novella is how quickly Forrest falls for Jordan. She knocks him on his ass. First he's attracted to her looks, of course, but her personality is what draws him in. And it drew me in too as well. I would love to be friends with Jordan. Or hell, be Jordan. Anyway, Forrest seems so standoffish, but he has a wicked sense of humor. He reminds me of a bit of a Mr. Darcy type character, and he has a possessive streak that Jordan likes to poke at, which also amused me.
The characters and their interaction were so entertaining. Beyond Forrest and Jordan's developing relationship, I liked the interplay between Jordan and Elle, and Forrest and Wendell. Their mirroring wasn't lost on me, and I wonder if the business partners will get together. I wouldn't mind seeing Elle with Wen. So basically, the characterization is great, the interplay between characters is entertaining, the sexual tension and chemistry is off the charts, really what's not to love?
Oh —and incidentally—if you're interested in something that's like the website Jordan built? ... It's real. No joke: lulu.com. (I do want to say HelenKay has said clearly and various times that she did not know the site existed until after she wrote the book.)
Learn more or order a copy of Everything You Need to Know by HelenKay Dimon, available October 15, 2013:
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