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Book Review: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

They both wanted quieter, safer lives. But crime never sleeps …

and killers keep killing.

Cover Art

Irene Hannon’s new romantic suspense series, Men of Valor, has debuted with Buried Secrets. All the novels in this series will revolve around the MacGregor brothers. In the first one, Mac MacGregor is a former SEAL and now detective with St. Louis County law enforcement. His partner is Mitch Morgan, hero of Deadly Pursuit, the second book in the Guardians of Justice series. 

When a body buried years ago is exposed at a construction site, Mac is sent to help Lisa Grant, Chief of Police for a small town department outside St. Louis. Lisa left the Chicago Police Department after a shooting and learning she was diabetic. 

For so many Christian romantic suspense fans, Irene Hannon is a “must read.” And it’s true for me. It will remain true, but I must say this isn’t one of my favorites. I enjoyed Mac and Lisa. I liked the way Mac, who left the military, still worries about his younger brothers in harm’s way. I liked Lisa’s independence and grit, yet she knows she’s not invulnerable, especially when it comes to her mother’s concern.

Here’s what I wasn’t so keen on: the numerous scenes in the POV of the villain (and others). This is not a story in which the criminal is a surprise. We’re told almost from the get-go. In this genre, for me, that’s okay. But I generally read romantic suspense for the thrill of the chase—the danger, both professionally and romantically. It’s about the hero and heroine’s relationship as much as it is the capture of the criminal. 

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying Buried Secrets is not a good book—this villain is one crazy dudette!—and, given some aspects of the plot, I understand why we know the identity. Unfortunately, I think the villain takes over. It becomes her story. As I said, my preference in this genre is to focus on the hero and heroine. You may feel differently.

I’ll give this book a 4-star rating because it’s absorbing and moves fast, the story is compelling, and the hero and heroine are clever and work well together. It lacks a star from me for the previous reason and because there is no real romantic struggle.

All that said, Book Two is previewed at the back, and I hope to be one of the first to read the entire story! 🙂

Why do you read the romantic suspense genre? Do you read it more for the romance or the suspense, or do you prefer an equal amount of both?

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Revell Publishing, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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    • Sandra Ardoin

      It was my pleasure to read it. I have a friend (non-writer) who really enjoyed it, so the opinion is strictly mine, and doesn’t reflect how I feel about your other romantic suspense books. They are always popular in our church library. And I will say that the first chapter of Book Two was very enticing. Thanks, Irene! 🙂

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