RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon

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Title: Deadly Pursuit
Author: Irene Hannon
Publication Info: Revell 2011
ISBN: 978-0800734572
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Deadly Pursuit This review was written by Thalia. This story was nominated in the Best Inspirational Romance category.

The summary:     

As a social worker, Alison Taylor has a passion for protecting children and seeing that justice is served on their behalf. But when she starts getting harassing phone calls and bizarre “gifts,” it seems she may be the one in need of protection. When her tormentor's attentions take a violent turn, her brother Cole comes to her aid, along with his new partner, an ex-Navy SEAL, Detective Mitch Morgan.

As her relentless stalker turns up the heat, Mitch takes a personal interest in the case. Protecting Alison has become more than just a job—because his own happiness now depends on keeping her safe. Chock full of nail-biting suspense and heart-melting romance, Deadly Pursuit is Irene Hannon's storytelling at its very best. Fans old and new will not want to miss the next story in this series starring siblings fighting for justice.

And here is Thalia's review:

When scrolling through the spreadsheet of books available to review I wanted to challenge myself and try something different. My approximately 20 year reading journey began with Historical Romance, and then moved towards Paranormal Romance while carpooling with Urban Fantasy. I yielded for Sci-Fi a few times, drove by some Erotic Romance – ok, maybe I stopped and picked up a hitch-hiker or two – before taking a detour to some Cozy Mysteries. I stopped and filled up on Contemporary Romance and ended up merging with Romantic Suspense before making a u-turn back to Historical Romance. According to my travel log, I was due a trip to……..Inspirational Romance.

Ok, ok, I'll get to the review now :)

The main thing I wondered about an IR was if religion would be a major part of the story. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn't. I felt like the first acknowledgement of Alison's faith flowed quite easily into the story. It's mentioned during a conversation with Mitch and touched on for a bit before moving on. This continues a few times in the story with mentions here and there about faith and attending church. For the most part, I felt like the Inspirational part of the story was woven seamlessly into the book. There is one part that I found unnecessary – the hero deciding to go back to church but overall, I liked the way faith and church was mentioned.

The suspense part of the story kept my interest and I think the author did a good job of escalating the danger as the book progressed. With that said, I was a bit surprised at just how far the villain went in this story. I guess I wasn't expecting some of the more violent scenes considering this is an IR.

On the opposite end of that is the romance part. I found I wasn't really feeling the romance between Alison and Mitch. They meet, go out, lightly flirt with each other….but I never actually feel like they have a real connection other than the fact she's the heroine of the story and he's the hero so they obviously have to get their HEA. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm used to some sort of sexual tension between the h/h in other books. This leads to another issue I had. Why couldn't there have been more sexual tension? There can be violence but no sex in an IR? I don't mean I need pages and pages of graphic sex but the most we get here are hand-holding and a few kisses. I guess the best way to describe the h/h relationship is sweet.

Overall, I felt the book was ok but just not for me. If someone has an IR where the romance level is the same as the suspense, I'll give it another shot. Until then, I'll keep traveling more familiar territory.


This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Jane says:

    I’ve read a number of novels with strong faith elements and romantic elements (Elizabeth Goudge’s work comes to mind) and really enjoyed them.  For instance, in one of Goudge’s, The Dean’s Watch (hey!  being reissued in paperback and available on Kindle!  I did not know until I googled just now), the Dean of a cathedral city is unhappily married to a very self-involved woman (whose religious practice seems purely for show) and makes friends with a frightened atheist and a woman who without actually joining a religious order, has dedicated her life to God’s will for her.  People think about God and talk about God, and the theme of the book is clearly that believers can change the lives of unbelievers.  And that book is Fab. U. Lous. (though not a romance novel) I’m an agnostic, and I love it to pieces and reread it at least once a year. 

    I’ve read two IRs so far and found both of them irksome.  In the first, there’s almost nothing about God until the heroine is in danger, prays, and then evangelizes the villain until he converts, and lets her go.  In the other, the heroine sails cheerfully through life because God is guiding everything and God is on her side and God God church God…in this really simplistic way. 

    I feel like, just as conventions of the current Regency include (though they do not require) a titled alphahole hero, steamy sex scenes, and some Big Mis, the conventions of the inspie include light mentions of God and church (that, incidentally, erase OTHER religious traditions while remaining stubbornly vague about the character’s denomination) until a BIG PREACHING/CONVERSION moment, plus that one of the primary characters (the hero, in both my examples) is not religious enough but needs to convert/practice wholeheartedly before the HEA can happen.

    Which, you know, I kind of get, because if one wants to marry and is devout, the latter is bound to influence the former, and I can totally see that marrying in one’s own church is not an unreasonable boundary (though many people can be religious without having it).  But I do not like how they played out in these novels.

    So, I don’t know how much of what I am disliking is that these happened to be awkward uses of an element that I am not particularly drawn to, so I’m unfairly resenting these writers for not being Goudge… or if there’s something about the subgenre itself that is always going to get up my nose.  I mean, I can use reviews for hints about the Regencies with alphaholes, so I can avoid them.  But I don’t know how to find which inspirationals, if any, are going to skip the part about the hero/heroine being the BETTER PERSON because God, so heroine/hero needs to convert to become worthy.

  2. 2
    Emily says:

    I didn’t read this book, but I have read Irene Hannon’s work in the past and enjoyed it. Even without a lot of heat I enjoy the storytelling. The lack of heat doesn’t bother me. I appreciate how the villians are protrayed. I think they come off
    very nuisanced and very believable. I like her heroes and heroines. I like how educated and cultured they are.
    I read both Inspirational and Secular romance. I have enjoyed books with a lot of heat, and I have enjoyed them for the heat. But I don’t expect books that are Inspy to be hot and that is ok with me in the same way its ok for me to enjoy a book by someone like Georgette Heyer.
    In the Irene Hannon books I have read I felt there was a strong emotional intimacy even without a physical one. I do like books to show a connection beyond a sexual one for me to believe in the HEA.

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