Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon is an inspirational romantic suspense novel that places a focus on the romance. This fast-paced novel contains a few faith elements, but it is not preachy or overwhelming. I didn’t connect as much with the romance aspect of this book as much I have in some of Hannon’s other works. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense and the complex killer that was drawn out. The suspense kept me turning the pages until I had finished the pages. I connected with Mac in his relationships with his brothers because of my relationships with my brothers. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and look forward to hearing the stories of Mac’s brothers.
I already fell in love with most of the characters in the first two books so it was easier to get pulled into the story of Connor and Kate because I already knew Connor, although this book gives his character more depth than the other two books that focused on Cal’s and Dev’s stories. From the start I’ve enjoyed Dev and Nikki’s banter and this book didn’t disappoint me. It kept me laughing whenever Nikki and Dev were involved. Because I already had an investment in Connor’s life from the first two books, I was drawn more to his character than Kate’s but I also enjoyed Kate’s character. It just took me longer to get into her story. I also like that the bad guy was not a straight up bad guy. He came across as a very caring father.
Hannon weaves intriguing stories and characters together in this suspenseful romance. This is a romantic suspense novel, although I didn’t find it as suspenseful for most of the book as I do a lot of others in this genre. It only really became “on the edge of my seat” suspenseful towards the last few chapters. This one focused more on the romance than the suspense whereas there are those in the genre that focus more so on the suspense.
I’ve read all of Irene Hannon’s romantic suspense novels but this was my first time reading one of her contemporary romance novels. I liked it, although I did occasionally find myself wondering when the suspense was going to come in and had to remind myself that it wasn’t a suspense novel. I liked how Hannon wrote with two different story lines that were connected. We got to read about Maureen and David’s story and Keith and Claire’s story. I felt more connected to Keith and Claire’s but that could have been because I related with Claire and her distrust of people. I struggle with trusting people and related to Claire in this way. Now that I have a taste of the Irene Hannon’s contemporary romance novels, I plan to read more of them.
FBI special agent Nick Bradley has seen his share of kooks during his fifteen years with the Bureau, from the guy who insisted he’d been abducted by aliens to the woman who claimed God had told her to assist the FBI by acting as His intermediary on difficult cases. But Rachel Sutton is an enigma. She seems normal when she shows up at the FBI office in St. Louis—until she produces a tattered Raggedy Ann doll she found and tells him it gives her bad vibes. Nick dismisses her—only to stumble across a link between the doll and an abducted infant, setting in motion a chain of events that uncovers startling connections…and puts Rachel’s life on the line.
Here is the book of hers that I’ve read most recently titled In Harms Way. It is the third installment in the series Heroes of Quantico. However, all her books can be read as stand-alone novels even if they are in a series. I found In Harms Way to be intriguing and suspenseful. It kept me guessing and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next and how the story would play out. I would recommend anyone who enjoy Romantic Suspense to check out Irene Hannon’s books.
Recently, I emailed her with a few questions about writing and she was gracious enough to respond. I also wanted to share her responses with you. Below, in blue are the questions I asked and in red are her answers.
Would you recommend an aspiring author to get some kind of formal training?
Irene Hannon: I think writers are born, not made. No amount of formal training will make someone a writer. But if you’ve been blessed with the gift of writing, by all means join a writers group and attend conferences and workshops. Also, polish the basics – spelling, grammar, etc. Romance Writers of America has much to offer, even if your main genre isn’t romance, and there are chapters everywhere. But there are many other fine writing organizations, too.
How often and how long would you recommend a starting author to write?
Irene Hannon: The length of time doesn’t matter if you’re trying to shoehorn writing into a day job. But consistent writing does. That means it’s important to set aside X hours per week to write and to establish weekly or monthly word count goals.
What do you do when you have writer’s block?
Irene Hannon: Can’t afford to get this with deadlines looming! Seriously, writers write. Period. If words aren’t coming easily, write anyway. As Nora Roberts likes to say, you can fix a bad page; you can’t fix a blank page.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Irene Hannon: I write full time – and I do mean full time – all day, every work day. My romantic suspense novels require huge amounts of research, so I like to allow about 8 months for those. My women’s fiction/romance novels aren’t as research intensive, so I try to set aside 6 months for those. Both genres actually take less time to write, but I like to build in time for vacations, family emergencies, etc.
How often do you publish a book?
Irene Hannon: This year I have four books out. That’s unusual. For the past several years I’ve done three books a year. One or two of those, though, have been shorter series romance.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Irene Hannon: Everything. A snippet of conversation, a news story I read, a situation I observe. The idea for Vanished, my latest suspense novel, came to me one night when I was driving home along a two-lane road and came upon a bicyclist. I swerved to avoid him…and started what-iffing. What if a woman was on a country road in a rainstorm and a figure suddenly appeared in her headlights? What if she swerved, but felt a thump, and knew she’d hit the person? What if a good Samaritan stopped to help and promised to call 911 before she passed out from a bump on her head? What if she awakened an hour later and found no 911, no good Samaritan and no trace of the injured woman. All that from a quick glimpse of a bicyclist on the road!
How do/did you build your voice/brand as an author?
Irene Hannon: Your voice gels the more you write. So write, write, write. As for brand building, keep writing great books that your readers come to love and look for. If you’re known for sweet romance, don’t suddenly throw a vampire fantasy at readers!
How often do you edit/rewrite before you believe your manuscript is read for publishing?
Irene Hannon: I edit as I go, revising the previous day’s work until it’s ready to go into my master file. Sometimes that’s one pass, sometimes several. When I finish a manuscript, I do one final polish.
Do you do any of your own marketing for your books and if yes, what do what do?
Irene Hannon: I maintain a website (and keep it updated!) and do twitter and facebook. My publisher also does a lot of advertising and promotion, for which I’m very grateful, as that isn’t very common anymore.
How did you know you wanted to be an author?
Irene Hannon: This goes back to the first question. I was born an author.
I enjoy Irene Hannon’s books and I look forward to reading her Private Justice series which so far includes the book Vanished and the second book Trapped which is coming out later this summer.
For those of you who wish to find out more about Irene Hannon or want to check out her books, you can visit her website irenehannon.com.