Deadly Little Secrets
Jeanne Adams
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Buy *Deadly Little Secrets* by Jeanne Adams online

Deadly Little Secrets
Jeanne Adams
352 pages
September 2010
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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FBI agent Ana Burton is currently working on cold cases while a disastrous mission in Rome, in which she was heavily involved and agents died, is being investigated. Ana has a nine-year-old art case to reopen that looks pretty hopeless - until she finds herself mixing with some of the people whose art was stolen and the cold case appears to reawaken.

Ana has to deal with the security expert Gates Bromley, who works for one of the art collectors, Dav Gianikopolis. Something between her and Gates clicks, but she soon both her life and his stand in danger. In pooling their resources, she may have spread the risk. Neither of them can resist the attraction between them, but could it end up being fatal?

I've noticed a tendency in modern American books for the heroes to have rather unusual names. I'm not sure whether these sorts of names are common out there in real-life America, but "Gates Bromley" strikes me as a weird name (well, Gates is, anyway; Bromley is a place name in England). The author at one point says "she rolled his sexy name [Gates] off her tongue with ease." Hmmm... To me "gates" are things that one has to open to get in and out of a field, so not much sexiness there. Although this is now a digression, we also have TransAtlantic issues with other names frequently appearing in books; both Brian and Adrian are terribly naff names in the UK and feel distinctly unheroic, yet more and more book heroes have those names.

That topic aside, Deadly Little Secrets is an enjoyable if complex story with a mostly plausible plot (although a few areas seem a bit unlikely and coincidental). It's fairly difficult to follow what is going on at times, with the wide list of characters and some scenes playing out from the baddie's point of view. The final few chapters feel rushed compared to the foregoing sections, particularly with regard to an issue from Gates's past which is introduced then summarily dealt with almost immediately. However, I liked both main characters and their relationship is believable and convincing.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2011

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