Irene Hannon
May 24, 2022

Irene Hannon, who writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, is the author of more than 50 novels. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA awards from Romance Writers of America (the “Oscar” of romance fiction) and she is a member of that organization’s elite Hall of Fame. She has also received a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. Other awards for individual books include National Readers’ Choice, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers Choice, Booksellers’ Best, and Reviewers’ Choice from RT Book Reviews. She is also a two-time Christy award finalist.

Interview by Elise Cooper

Q. What can you tell us about suspense versus relationship stories?

Irene: I do write in two genres with both having a strong sense of romance. When I write stories I do not care about the genre. I write about people, getting into their heads to find out their backgrounds and what makes them tick. My approach to both genres is the same with the characters, but different with the plot. Suspense has danger and is a faster pace. I write two books a year, suspense, and contemporary relationships. I like writing in both genres.


Q. How do you get your ideas?

Irene: I get the idea for stories from a conversation I overhear, something I read, or a situation I have experienced. I then wonder what would happen if… and then go off and start running with an idea. With this story I wanted to write a reunion story, where someone comes back into someone’s life after many years. Even though this is book 8 in the series it can be read as a stand-alone because of the whole new set of characters and plot.


Q. How would you describe Christi?

Irene: The “old” Christi was very self-centered, selfish, and without great perspective on what is important in life. The old Christi never thought ahead. The “new” Christi, after having traumatic issues in her life, discovered other parts of herself including being resilient with a greater sense of priorities. She has transformed, literally turning her life around, and changed dramatically from the person she used to be. She is now loyal, hardworking, and a strong person. She is very concerned about what direction her life will be going even though she has this inner sense of knowing who she is and what is important.


Q. How would you describe Jack?

Irene: He is a wounded character. Even though he has a good career, he is now very cautious and guards his heart. Jack is very responsible but is not willing to trust. He is compassionate and has a caring heart.


Q. What about their relationship?

Irene: The new relationship must overcome the hurt caused in the past relationship. There is a quote that explains this, locks “kept unwanted visitors out-and unwanted emotions in.” It is a rediscovery of each other. It moves from Jack’s resentment to building trust and becoming friends. After an issue comes up Jack and Christi work together and he starts to see she has changed. It becomes a story of forgiveness, building trust, and new beginnings. The relationship has allowed me to explore the question, can people really change?


Q. What is the role of the cottage?

Irene: After initially being rejected by Jack, Christi seeks shelter in this open cottage. She spends the night. Because she is trespassing, and Jack is a policeman he detains her. The cottage becomes a character. The owner asks her to live there rent free to become a caretaker for the cottage. It causes her to stay in Hope Harbor and work closely with Jack on another issue. The story progresses with them seeing more and more of each other.


Q. You have a great quote about people needing people. What can you tell us about that?

Irene: You must be referring to this quote, “The world could use more random acts of kindness. And one simple, caring gesture can make all the difference to someone who’s hit a hard stretch.” They had to deal with bitterness, anger, and resentment versus mercy, compassion, and understanding. Another part of Jack’s life from the past has him needing Christi to help him. It sets them on a whole new path. No kind gesture is ever wasted.


Q. What’s next?

Irene: My next book is a suspense novel, book 3 in the “Triple Threat series.” It will be out in October titled Body of Evidence. It has a forensic pathologist who is based in rural Missouri. She notices a pattern in the deaths of elderly residents. She enlists the help of a sheriff to investigate.

Book 9 of the “Hope Harbor series” is titled Windswept Way out in April of next year. A house is inhabited by an elderly woman who is a recluse. The heroine helps her turn the house into something else. The hero is a wounded warrior who also helps with the house.


Review by Elise Cooper

Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon shows why she is such a talented writer. With both her genres she writes compelling and relatable characters. This contemporary relationship story brings characters face-to-face with broken dreams. There are two couples that struggle through a difficult past relationship but now have a second chance to find romance.

The story begins with Christi Reece, a one-time golden girl, having her wealthy life turned upside down after she loses everything. The only person she thinks that can help her is Jack Colby, a bestselling author who is also a policeman, and her former boyfriend who she jolted. Shortly after she arrives in the Oregon town a fog rolls in and she decides to take refuge in an abandoned cottage. But the next morning a police officer, none other than Jack, accuses her of trespassing.

Forcing her to stay in town until it is resolved allows for Christi and Jack to try to address some issues that occurred eleven years before. They end up working together after Jack realizes he needs Christi to help him with a case.

Steve and Beth Adams, another couple in the Oregon small town, broke up and had become estranged after their son died. There are hurdles they need to overcome, and forgiveness must play a key role if they are to get back together. Both Christi and Steve must show Beth and Jack that they have changed their ways.

This story is about love, forgiveness, grief, and second chances. It is both heartwarming and inspirational.

Irene Hannon's Latest

Sea Glass Cottage

Sea Glass Cottage

Christi Reece is desperate. The one-time golden girl’s life has tarnished, and a cascade of setbacks has left her reeling. She needs help, and she’s certain Jack Colby is in a position to provide it.

When she shows up in Hope Harbor, however, Jack wants nothing to do with the woman who betrayed him. He’s built a new life on the Oregon coast–and there’s no room in it for Christi, even after she takes refuge in a charming but mysterious cottage nearby. Yet it soon becomes apparent his opinion of her may need revising . . . especially when he ends up needing her help.

Can these two hurting souls make peace with their past and open their hearts to a new beginning?

Come home to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon delivers another heartwarming and romantic story set in the enchanting seaside community of Hope Harbor that is loved by readers the world over. Once you visit, you’ll never want to leave.

More Romantic Suspense


Romantic Suspense Features