Moorewood Family Rules

by HelenKay Dimon

pub date 25-APRIL-2023

Avon and Harper Voyager

Moorewood Family Rules book cover

AMBER LOVE 07-APRIL-2023 This review is a courtesy provided by NetGalley. To support this site and my other work, please consider being a monthly donor at; you can also buy my books through Amazon (or ask your local retailer to order you copies). I also have Amazon recommendations in lists which may provide affiliate income.

Publisher’s Summary:

Knives Out and Ocean’s 8 meets The Nest in this hilariously twisty novel by award-winning author HelenKay Dimon, about a woman who returns home from prison to her dysfunctional con artist family and tries to get them to go legit.

One day a con man met an heiress, wooed her, married her, had two kids…and kept on conning. Jillian Moorewood is the oldest child from that meet-cute-gone-wrong marriage. The stable one. The sensible and dependable one. The one who protects and fixes. The one who went to prison to save their sorry butts. Now, thirty-nine months later, she’s out and she’s more than a little pissed.

Finally home she finds the scheming clan in full family fleecing mode. They all claim they didn’t really agree to Jillian’s previous go-legit-or-else ultimatum before she went away. They viewed it as a “suggestion” then ignored it. So, business as usual. But Jillian is done with the lies and fakery. She demands the whole messed-up crew clean up its act, and this time she’s not kidding—she has the leverage to make it happen.

Problem is, her life is in shambles, but with the help of a great aunt (crooked but loveable), a bodyguard (who is a nice surprise after three years in prison), and a few allies (all working undercover), Jillian starts to put her life back together. She kicks out a few mooching relatives living under her roof, sets limits on everyone’s access to the money, ducks from their various attacks, and sees if that bodyguard is maybe interested in sticking around for a while. For the first time, she’s Jillian Moorewood, her own woman, and she’s ready to figure out who she is.


When I read that Moorewood Family Rules was about a family that got obscenely rich by being a group of con artists, I had to read it. As a huge fan of Leverage and White Collar on TV, my curious nature piqued at the publisher’s description.

Leverage Redemption Parker and Sophie

An opulent mansion. Stolen paintings. Family secrets for generations. The Moorewood family has it all. Unfortunately, one of the two family members trying to make their fortune legitimate, Jillian, was set up to take the fall when the FBI came around. The book begins with Jillian making a grand entrance as soon as she is released from prison early. Who was the one to betray the family and give up Jillian to the feds? That’s the only real mystery here and it has a satisfying explanation.

Leverage Eliot Spencer and Parker

The rest is hilariously spun family drama. Jillian is awkward as hell since coming out of prison. The family stalwart keeper of operations, Kelby, is one of the only outsiders to breach their boundaries. He keeps his loyalties with Jillian who is now in charge of the family trust. Kelby hires a bodyguard for Jillian because someone under her roof is trying to kill her (a little mystery there, but you can easily figure it out once you nail down the personalities). This bodyguard, Beck is the romantic hero of classic Romancelandia combined with Action-Adventure tales. We don’t know how Beck does his job of knowing literally everything about everyone in the Moorewood family and we don’t care. Readers know he’s there to keep poor Jillian safe and eventually land in bed with her. He fits the role perfectly.

Though Jillian is in her 30’s, I could not help but envision her clumsiness, strength, self-doubt, and awkwardness with Beck as anyone other than Sandra Bullock (PS – watch The Lost City!). Jillian’s nervousness around Beck is brilliant comic relief. Author HelenKay Dimon is known for romance books, but she could definitely pen a great script for Bullock.

Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt in the Lost City


There isn’t much to say except I thoroughly enjoyed Moorewood Family Rules. It’s a funny, witty, and classic wealth-fantasy with a welcoming romance and satisfying ending for all the characters—even that cheeky old Aunt Patricia who keeps string cheese in her bra.

Rating: 5 stars

five star rating

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