Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Playing Dirty (Bad Boys Undercover, #1)” as Want to Read:
Playing Dirty (Bad Boys Undercover, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Playing Dirty

(Bad Boys Undercover #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  591 ratings  ·  114 reviews
As an elite Alliance agent—the joint undercover operation of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA—Ford Decker lives for the adrenaline. But when he befriends sexy property manager Shay Alexander in hopes of finding her cousin, a known national security threat, Ford crosses the line, getting to know her better . . . in bed.

After being burned by her last
Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Avon
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Playing Dirty, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Playing Dirty

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  591 ratings  ·  114 reviews

Sort order
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
Review now posted...

Terrorists and traitors and spies, oh my!

Playing Dirty is the first book in HelenKay Dimon’s Bad Boys Undercover series and it’s a sexy, fast paced tale. There’s a whodunit type mystery involved with lots of twists and turns.

Ford and Shay are great characters, both with pasts they can’t seem to leave there – in the past. They’re attracted to each other and their sexual chemistry is off the charts, but they just can’t seem to … trust or open their hearts to one another. I sup
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

After reading the novella that starts this series, Running Hot, I jumped at the chance to first full length novel in the series. I have always enjoyed a fast paced, exciting romantic suspense and this story did not disappoint. As with most romantic suspense stories, there were more than a few things that happen in this story that go beyond realistic but I was more than satisfied with this highly entertaining novel.

Ford is an Alliance
ARC generously provided by the publisher via edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Rating~ 3.5 stars

Ford Decker/Adam Ford is on a undercover mission to find the man that has a stolen a deadly toxin with no cure. He is the leader for the team Barvo of the Alliance agency. Ford left the CIA and joined the Alliance after his partner was murdered. Her really doesn’t like the boundaries messing with his operation and has problems with authority.

Shay alexander is a property manager for her unc
Lisa Filipe
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gripping Suspense, and Sizzling Sex...Who could ask for more?

PLAYING DIRTY is the perfect title for this New Romance Suspense by HelenKay Dimon, the first full novel in the Bad Boys Undercover Series released through Avon Romance. Ford is forced to "Play Dirty" with Shay in more ways than one...and the "fun" ways are off the charts smokin hot, their chemistry literally burns the pages!

The not so fun part of the "Playing" and "Dirty" comes back to bite Ford in the ass, with Shay in the middle of
Jane Stewart
Jul 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
DNF read 97 pages and the last few pages.

I want character development and relationship development, but this felt like TV style action writing - good guys hunting bad guys. It’s a cardboard story. Nothing pulled me in.

Page 17: the author skipped how Shay and Ford met and how they began having sex. She just tells (not shows) that they met 3 weeks earlier and sex started 2 days after they met. Boring.

Page 44: more telling not showing. Author says Shay’s friends joked about her making him up, she m
****Full Review****

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Commanding men, sinister terrorist plot, sexy bedroom scenes, and double dealing all lead to a romantic suspense story that is hot in more ways than one. Ford is former CIA now working for a very off the books government group called Alliance. Alliance also includes former MI6 and other tips of the spear military members. Coming off of a botch
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Deep undercover work is never as conflicted as when a suspect becomes a lover. Ford Decker is a secret agent working a dangerous case. His cover is a computer fix it guy which Shay Alexander buys easily. Shay is a property manager who is befriended by sexy Ford. Even though Ford is supposed to not get mixed up with Shay, somehow he ends up in her bed. This is premise that has train wreck written all over it. It is never good to find out one is being played. In this situation, Shay is being used ...more
Apr 19, 2015 marked it as sampled

This is a note to myself. It's not, nor is intended as, a review.

Kindle deal, and reading the reviews I understand why the need of a push. Plenty of Dnf or meh. I read the sample to see if I might have been interested enough to buy.
I'm not. The sample was too bland, and had already two wth moments: heroine had sex with hero 2 days after meeting him and military hero passing as IT. Yep, I can sooo see an elite military soldier as a nerd. Nope. Have you ever worked in IT? Snort. Not all nerds are
2.5 Stars; I struggled with all the 4 letter names, between Ford, West and Ward, I was confused at times and would have to stop and think who was who and what they were to do. I also didn't feel Ford and Shay's romance because by the time the scene started, Ford had been in place for a couple of weeks and already sleeping with Shay. It was just sex to me. Now having said that, I feel that the series has potential and I would like to read about some of the characters coming up. P.S. Sleeping with ...more
Crystal ♥ RBtWBC
Not sure how I feel about this one... You can check out Kimberly's review of this title though at Reading Between the Wines Book Club!


Visit Us!
Carol Storm
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I didn't finish this book, but it's not because I didn't like it. I just renewed it too many times and the library wanted it back!

What I love most about this book is the heroine, Shay. She's not a virgin, and she never pretends that she's not interested in sex. She wants a relationship with the hero and she is honest about it, but she doesn't pretend she isn't enjoying all the sex in the meantime. She's so different from the annoying virgins that most authors still need to put into their stories
Vanessa theJeepDiva
I closed Playing Dirty as a did not finish at approximately 30% and a little over 100 pages.

There are a few things I expect when I go into any romance novel. I want the love story, the romance. The first time Ford and Shay are on the pages together (opening chapter 2) they have been sleeping together for a few weeks. As a reader this was a huge disappointment. I have no idea how he charmed himself into her life. I just know he is there. This would not have bothered me in a novella length read.
Purchased this while it was cheap, read because camping.

The majority of the book is told from the hero's perspective so the emphasis of the book is on the action relating to Worldwide Doom Toxin. Periodically there's a sex scene between him and the heroine, who is his mark in this whole operation. There is little character development on her side, and on his side it's all Drama and Guilt and Muscles. Not my cup of tea.
Playing Dirty

The Characters

I don’t even remember. That tells us much.

The Story

I give up on HKD books. I’ve read, from people I trust, how good they are but I can never make it past the first few chapters. Maybe I’m not patient enough.

The Random Thoughts

*DNF so no rating
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
enjoyable, but too much focus on the suspense for me.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Okay, so this one might have a little more romance and a lot less action than RUNNING HOT but it was still awesome, and I want more Bad Boys Undercover.

Shay Alexander hasn’t had the greatest luck with men and with an overprotective uncle, sometimes family can be more of a hindrance than a help so when a gorgeous tech savvy guy moves in across the hall, she’s not overly excited about taking their hot off the intro sex every night relationship out into the open. Not that it really matter since Fo
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 out of 5 stars
Black ops type stories can be so hit or miss for me. Sometimes, I get pulled into the story and can’t leave. Other times, it is a struggle to finish. Unfortunately, Playing Dirty falls into the struggle category for me. I did finish it, and I will admit, the second half of the book read a bit better than the first half. But, overall, I didn’t care for it.

The characters were kind of developed – eventually. Details were dribbled out at odd times. I could understand it for Ford. H
Elle Christensen
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: might-re-read
Wow! This book is a thrill ride! It sucks you in from the very first moment and doesn’t stop until the last page. The storyline is along the lines of the Shield, so I was a little worried that it would end up being cliché. However, the author really did a fantastic job of keeping it down to earth, much more believable. Along with the action and steamy moments, the author also had me chucking several times at the dry wit of the characters.
Ford is faced with a pretty impossible situation. He falls
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Playing Dirty is a power packed romantic suspense with a wonderfully thrilling mystery.

Ford Decker is a member of an elite anti-terrorism team. When a viral weapon is stolen, Ford is sent to monitor Shay Alexander, the cousin to the genius behind the lethal concoction. His “monitoring” quickly turns into a heated sexual relationship unlike anything he's ever experienced. When the safety of the world is on the line, Ford can't afford to be distracted. But will he be able to keep his head, when a
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to pick up the new series from HelenKay Dimon. I love romantic suspense stories and there don’t seem to be a lot available right now so finding a new series, and an entertaining one, is very exciting. Ford is a member of a covert military group called Alliance which is made up of former members of the CIA and MI6. Imagine a group of super smexy, talented guys (some with accents) executing covert operations to save the world. I’m liking the setup already. When a deadly toxin ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wicked
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Alliance's latest mission is to find a missing scientist who's created a new, deadly toxin for which the antidote is still in the testing phases. Ford is an agent of the newly formed Alliance group, made up of ex-CIA and MI6 agents. Since Alliance is not a government agency, nor government sanctioned, they can get things done without having to go through the mountains of red tape that follows all things government approved.
S.M. Harshell
**I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.**

Playing Dirty is sexy, suspense filled, a complete action packed read.

Ford Decker works for the Alliance, all it's members being hand picked from different agencies throughout the world. He's good at what he does. He's strong and demanding, he's precise, but he's living a double life, his work life and his personal life.

When he started sleeping with Shay it wasn't anything series. She takes what he offers, never asking
Renee Entress
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
4 star

I was pulled right into this story. The story has laughs, pain, betrayal, secrets, suspense, twists and heartbreak.

This is Shay and Ford’s story. Ford is working undercover. He was attracted to Shay right from the start and is now in a relationship with her. That relationship could be the end of them both. For one he should not be getting cozy with her as he is investigating her cousin. Another point not in his favor is she is a job. Shay believes Ford is exactly what he seems that is unt
I found myself confused at the start to this one. I wasn't sure if flashbacks were happening or what. I liked the softer side we got to see when Ford was with Shay, but I also liked the badass side we got to see when he was working. I was glad when I finally figured out that the two different stories were happening at the same time.

It was interesting to see Ford called out by the team in regards to the role he played in Shay's life. You could tell at first they were mad, then when they realized
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I didn't let my dislike of the novella keep me from reading this book, because I really liked it. Ford from the novella is leading an operation trying to locate a scientist and missing deadly toxins which if they fell into the wrong hands could be used as an act of terrorism. He moves into an apartment complex across the hall from the scientist's cousin while undercover and a romance develops. . It is fun watching Ford juggle his job and relationship while maintaining his cover at the s ...more
Taria Reed
OK, I liked Ford, I'm on the fence with Shay. Nobody likes a heroine who's TSTL but Shay toed that line too many times for my comfort. Shit that was so damn obvious she would ignore and get herself into more trouble.

Story - 3
narrator 3

I actually listened to book 2 first so this is a nice start to the series. I don't think I'm interested in Tasha and Ward's story so I'll just take their relationship at face value and move on. Looking forward to book 3.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes!!! This was it. THIS was the book I’d been waiting for, not only for this author to redeem herself with me but for the “undercover hero” trope that’s been done many times but never to MY personal satisfaction. This was just beautifully done. FINALLY, a heroine who is mature enough to understand why he did what he did in the end but doesn’t just up and forgive him because they had a near death experience nor does she seek him out to forgive him. HE had to go to her and ask, in this case beg f ...more
Too much sex and not enough relationship development. Also, not enough groveling.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Ford is undercover, working on a case for Alliance. A scientist has gone missing along with some vials of a deadly toxin. Rumor has it that it will be sold to the highest bidder. Ford is tagged with watching Shay, cousin to the missing scientist, and property manager of the building Ford is now living in. But Ford goes further than he should, and gets much, much closer. Because of a past relationship that went wrong, Shay intends to be cautious with Ford. But those intentions go ...more
Jordana Bastos
Aug 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was a painful one. I started out feeling confused and that kept on going until the very end. The book started with Ford on an op and then the next chapter Ford and Shay were together for weeks and I was like: "Whaaat?" It was too much telling rather than showing, and that didn't kept my attention. On one chapter he was on an op then the next they were having sex, and then on an op again and then sex again. And I was like: "What is happening?". And I spent the whole book waiting for her ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Missing narrator 2 10 May 11, 2018 01:14PM  
  • Midnight Captive (Killer Instincts, #6)
  • Exit Strategy (EXIT Inc., #1)
  • Bring on the Dusk (The Night Stalkers, #10)
  • Behind the Mask (The Associates #4)
  • One Kiss More (U.S. Marshals, #2)
  • Edge of Danger (Deadly Ops, #4)
  • Going Deep (Alpha Ops, #5)
  • Sweet Surprise (Sweet, Texas, #4)
  • Island Peril (Aftershock, #3.5)
  • A Shot of Red
  • Barefoot with a Bad Boy (Barefoot Bay Undercover, #3; Barefoot Bay Universe, #14)
  • Tequila Sunrise (Agents Irish and Whiskey, #4)
  • Darkest Night (Wired & Dangerous, #2)
  • Skies of Gold (The Ether Chronicles, #5)
  • Live and Let Love (Agent Ex, #3)
  • Way of the Warrior (Troubleshooters, #16.7; Deep Six, #0.5; Elite Force, #4.5; Justiss Alliance, #3.5; West Coast Navy SEALs, #3.5; Night Stalkers, #11.1; Protect and Serve, #0.5; Endgame Ops, #0.5)
  • Fragmented (Section 8, #3)
  • Long Shot (Highland Games, #1)
HelenKay Dimon is a divorce lawyer-turned-romance author. After dedicating years to helping people terminate relationships she now writes romance novels full time. Her books have earned praise, appeared on bestseller lists, won numerous awards and twice been named Red-Hot Reads and excerpted in Cosmo. She sometimes writes erotic romance, sometimes writes romantic suspense and sometimes writes cont ...more

Other books in the series

Bad Boys Undercover (4 books)
  • Falling Hard (Bad Boys Undercover, #2)
  • Facing Fire (Bad Boys Undercover, #3)
  • Under the Wire (Bad Boys Undercover, #4)