Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Deadly Vows by Brenda Joyce

Title:  Deadly Vows (Cahill/Deadly Series #9)
Author:  Brenda Joyce
Genre:  Historical Romance
Pages:  379
Release Date:  March 2011
ISBN:  9780373775514
Publisher:  HQN
Source:  ARC from publisher via NetGalley

Synopsis: 

Nothing can stop Francesca from marrying Calder Hart—except the scandal that threatens to tear them apart...
On the morning of her wedding to Calder Hart, amateur sleuth Francesca Cahill is lured away to a private viewing of the one thing that can destroy her whole family: a nude painting of her. Her desperate quest to find the indecent portrait and preserve her family’s reputation leads her into a dangerous thief’s trap with no way to escape until it’s too late. Her wedding is ruined—and so is the trust and love that Calder once felt for her.
Then the damning painting goes missing.
Scouring the sordid streets of Manhattan, Francesca is on the hunt for answers; who is the perverse sociopath responsible for stealing the scandalous portrait? How can she regain her place in Calder’s heart? And is their passionate love affair well and truly over?

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My Thoughts:

Set almost immediately following the last novel; Deadly Vows begins on Francesca & Calder's wedding day.  Of course nothing is easy when it comes to this pair!  Francesca is 'called' away by a mysterious note just before the wedding is about to begin.  Known for getting herself into all sorts of trouble, she is locked 'accidentially' away and misses the most important day of her life.  Now what could be so important to draw her away from that?  The portrait of course!

Francesca is one of my favorite characters, she's a very modern woman for her time.  She's a top sleuth, funny, smart, witty - all the ideal qualities that both Rick and Calder admire!  Her relationship with Rick and Calder are both complicated ones.  This triangle is at times can be very entertaining, the banter, the quips...  Rick would really like to have a relationship outside of sleuthing with Francesca, but he is married to Leigh Anne.  Calder would really like Francesca to be with someone like Rick or with Rick.

"I happen to believe that my brother (Calder), as rotten as he can be, is not entirely rotten.  You bring out the best side of him, Francesca.  The only problem is that a leopard cannot change his spots." - Rick Bragg

Calder and Francesca have a lot of trust issues to worth through in this story.  After Francesca jilted her beloved at the alter; Calder refuses to give her another chance.  He believes he doesn't deserve her - that she needs to be with someone more moral then he is.

This story has a bit of everything - robbery, kidnapping, romance, mystery..

Brenda Joyce did an amazing job with this story.  Anyone who enjoy historical romance or a good mystery novel will love this series!

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