Merrimon Book Reviews


By Barbara Hannay

Short romance, tender with a young emotional heroine.

Barbara Hannay's Needed: Her Mr. Right is the second book in the Secrets We Keep trilogy. Simone's secret is dark and emotional, adding another layer to the series and the friendship between the women. The emotions are intense as the characters are young and less experienced in life as the characters in the first romance.

Simone discovered friendship during her cycling charity ride for street kids in the Himalayas and the courage to deal with her past secrets. During her trip, she kept a diary where she wrote about the her past and her dreams---and the secrets her two friends, Belle and Claire, and confided in her. Once home, she discovers that her diary is missing. Ryan Tanner, the black sheep son of a mining business magnate, catches a glimpse of Simone in the airport and in the taxi line. When a book falls out in the gutter, he grabs it to protect the leather from the rain. When he finally discovers her identity, can the two trust each other? Both Simone and Ryan have family secrets. Will their secrets come between these two lone individuals or will they somehow find a way to trust one another, heal their past and maybe find that special once in a lifetime love?

Needed: Her Mr. Right
is a short romance with a couple of tender and classic fantasies juxtaposed with some dark secrets. Barbara Hannay did not hesitate to make Simone an individual with her own personality. The couple had a younger feel than the characters in the first book of the series. Simone and Ryan, young and somewhat loners at least deep in their heart, have troubled pasts. Consequently they see and feel with a heightened sensitivity and exuberance that comes from finally discovering that person who unlocks their hearts and opens the door to sharing.

The ending of this romance tied a few too many threads together by creating adjacent scenes to resolve them. This created an ending that felt diffuse compared to the compact, dynamic way Barbara Hannay wrote the scenes between the hero and heroine. If perhaps she had told these scenes through dialogue (even indirect dialogue as they relate the events to one another) shared between the hero and heroine, the ending would have maintained the tightness and dynamic feel maintained through most of the book. Barbara Hannay has a gift for writing tight, powerful scenes between the hero and heroine as well as writing dialogue that would stand out more if she tried to cover less ground in the ending.

The Secrets We Keep trilogy
Reading the first two books together, makes the reader wonder how Liz Fielding and Barbara Hannay planned and organized. Secrets We Keep is one of the first multi-author series I have read that truly felt like a series beyond just a mere construct. One book flows to the next and I felt a sense of continuity between the two books. Barbara Hannay did not waste time repeating the construct like I have seen in some. Instead, this romance takes an image prepared carefully by Liz Fielding and created a dynamic start that immediately drew me in as a reader. I find it takes a lot of skill to make a series have such flow from one book to the next and still maintain a sense of individuality in the characters as well.

Secrets We Keep
Book 1: Reunited: Marriage In a Million by Liz Fielding
Book 2:
Needed: Her Mr. Right by Barbara Hannay
Book 3: Found: Her Long Lost Husband by Jackie Braun

From the back cover:

Returning from a charity cycle ride through the Himalayas, Simone is determined to finally deal with the dreadful secret she's kept and move on with her life. Until the diary into which she poured her troubled heart is lost…and found by billionaire journalist Ryan Tanner.

Simone's never been able to open up, to get close, and she's immediately suspicious of Ryan. But there's something about him that invites trust. Maybe this beautiful, loving man can help her find the real her. He just might be her Mr. Right in a million.…


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