Reviewer: Jessica Sichel
“The tangled webs we weave…” This sentiment is featured in “Tangled Webs,” written by Irene Hannon – the final book in her Men of Valor series. In this romantic drama/suspense, Finn McGregor literally comes running to Dana Lewis’s rescue in the middle of the night. Along with the development of their relationship comes another, more deviant story featuring Roger Burnett. The stories come together as good and evil vie for the upper hand.
Irene Hannon definitely has talent. Her colloquial style keeps the story vibrant and approachable and less rigid. She does a good job with employing diverse adjectives, moving the book along with a fresh feel. Overall, the story flows well and engages the reader. Finn McGregor is a hero, complete with slight flaws. Dana Lewis is actually the ‘girl next door.’ Sparks fly and romance ensues, just as one might think it should.
Hannon does give her main characters depth and background and struggles; however, while Dana and Finn are the ‘leads’ of the story, neither is the best character. That honor falls to Roger Burnett.
Roger is not your classic villain; Hannon fulfills that position with someone else. Instead, Roger is a good-hearted guy in difficult circumstances – something to which most readers can relate. He is caught between his duty, his honor, and temptation. It is Roger who wrestles with right and wrong, with the harder decisions. With him, the reader senses the angst of tangled webs and his choices deliver the difficult consequences of taking the future into your own hands instead of leaving it to God.
While Hannon does a good job in many areas, there is room for improvement with “Tangled Webs.” There is a disconnect between the faithfulness the characters claim and their actions and behaviors. While this is explored with Roger, whose flaws are acceptable because of his role as a semi-antagonist, it is not really handled with Finn and Dana. For example, Finn “gave his neighbor’s lithe figure a once-over. Hot was a perfect adjective to describe her.” Yes, this is a romance, but it could be argued that Hannon is a little too ‘on the nose’ with the sexual undercurrent. Finn and Dana’s passionate embraces, especially so early on in their relationship, give the feeling of things moving too fast and heavy. In general, while there is some faith connection in the story, it is not overwhelming and, in some cases, does not seem to be very present at all.
To sum it up, “Tangled Webs” is a fun, casual read. It could use some polishing and reworking in a few areas, but the story is engaging. Keep at it, Irene!
This book was provided by Baker Publishing and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.