Nick Bradley & Rachel Sutton
Irene Hannon returns with her final book in her Heroes of Quantico series, In Harm's Way. Readers of Against All Odds and An Eye for An Eye will recognise Nick Bradley and be intrigued by how this story unfolds. Enjoy getting to know these characters and be sure to read to the end to find out some exciting news from Irene!
Nick is 38, 6’1”, with sandy hair, startlingly blue eyes and a lean, athletic build. He is the epitome of the all-American boy—all grown up! An FBI special agent, he’s in excellent physical condition. His hobby is rehabbing old houses. Nick spent most of his childhood in foster care.
I never picture celebrities when envisioning my characters; they always take on their own unique personalities and looks. So this is a tough question for me. Lee Majors from his Six-Million-Dollar Man days comes closest.
Nick is smart, professional and logical. He has a generous heart and a strong relationship with God, and lives by the principles of that faith.
He still bears scars from his troubled childhood, which he rarely talks about; those memories are a sensitive spot for him.
He’s addicted to raspberry iced tea and was once into health food. He’s still ribbed about his tofu days by FBI friends Coop and Mark, who had the leading roles in Books 1 & 2 of my Heroes of Quantico series.
Inspiration for the Character
When I began this series, I didn’t know it was going to be a series! But when I wrote An Eye For An Eye, my hero needed a place to stay while in St. Louis on temporary assignment, and his FBI classmate Nick came to the rescue. Nick quickly took on his own personality, and I knew I had to write his story!
Rachel is 35, 5’6”, with shoulder-length brown hair that has an auburn tint. She had brown eyes and wears her hair parted to one side. She’s a grade school music teacher. On the side, she gives piano lessons, plays piano every Sunday during high tea at one of St. Louis’s premier hotels, and paints murals. Busy lady! Like Nick, Rachel grew up in foster care.
Think Gillian Anderson in copper-rimmed glasses.
Rachel was seriously injured in an auto accident as a toddler, and has been through many operations and rehab as she was passed from foster family to foster family. She is a survivor. Alone in the word, she works hard, has a well-developed conscience and always tries to do the right thing. That niggling conscience is what gets her into trouble when she finds a tattered Raggedy Ann doll in a parking lot.
She doesn’t make friends easily. She was moved around so much as a child that she learned never to get too close to anyone, because relationships didn’t last.
She loves fresh flowers, and always has at least a single blossom on display. She also has a favorite pair of fuzzy hot-pink slippers!
Inspiration for the Character
Because Nick is very logical and a true professional who would never mix business and pleasure, I wanted to set up a roadblock from the get-go by making him deal with a lovely woman who shows up at his office with a VERY weird story about a Raggedy Ann doll. Despite her strange tale, she otherwise seems to be completely normal, and he finds himself intrigued—and attracted. I wanted her to be a puzzle he couldn’t resist—personally or professionally. That’s how Rachel came to be!
Background to the Story
After writing Against All Odds, which featured a two-continent setting and a terrorist element, and An Eye For An Eye, which focused on a determined killer who shatters the hero and heroine’s unexpected reunion, I wanted to delve into something completely different with the final book in the series. (All of them stand alone, by the way, though the main characters appear in each book.) So I have Rachel finding a tattered Raggedy Ann doll that gives her a strange feeling—strange enough to send her to the authorities, despite her fear they’ll ridicule her story. I wanted to intrigue readers with a story that appears to have paranormal elements—appears being the operative word. In the end, though, Nick stumbles across a link between the doll and an abducted infant, setting in motion a chain of events that uncovers startling connections…and puts Rachel’s life on the line. I think this one will keep readers glued to their seats!
By the way, the idea of using a Raggedy Ann doll as the catalyst for the story was inspired by my own tattered, patched and much-loved Raggedy Ann, who is still tucked in my closest. This picture shows her with my now-rusted beach bucket from a favorite childhood vacation spot!
I’m hoping the final book in the series will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors, both of which hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. And it’s off to a great start! Publishers Weekly called it a “fast-paced crime drama” and an “ever-climactic mystery” that is “engagingly sure-footed,“ and RT BOOKreviews said, “Both male and female characters are richly developed. The faith element is not overwhelming, and the surprise twists keep the reader engaged.”
Two final notes: For those readers have enjoyed this series, I’m happy to say I’m hard at work on another one which will feature three sibling involved in justice-related professions. Watch for Fatal Judgment, Book 1 my Guardians of Justice series, coming in January 2011!
And saving my latest news until last—I’m thrilled to announce that Book 2 in my Heroes of Quantico series, An Eye For An Eye, has just been named a RITA finalist by Romance Writers of America!
Congratulation, Irene on the RITA nomination and the new series ~ looking forward to it :) Thanks for the great spotlight.
On Thursday, the spotlight turns on Sarah Sundin's Allie Miller & Walter Novak from her World War II novel, A Distant Melody
Relz Reviewz Extras
Interview with Irene
Character spotlight on Mark & Emily
Visit Irene's website