On the morning of her wedding to Calder Hart, amateur sleuth Francesca Cahill is lured away to a private viewing of a portrait that could destroy her entire family: the nude Hart commissioned of her. Her desperate quest to recover the scandalous portrait leads her into a dangerous trap with no way to escape—until it’s too late. And when Francesca finally arrives at the church, it’s vacant. She has unintentionally jilted Hart at the altar.
When Hart tells her their estrangement is for the best, Francesca is devastated. With a blackmailer intent on destroying her reputation, Francesca turns to Rick Bragg, the city’s powerful police commissioner. Together they scour the sordid streets of lower Manhattan, following a deliberately laid trail of clues in a race against the clock. And once it becomes clear that Bragg’s marriage is failing, Francesca must war with her feelings for him, battle Hart’s jealousy and escape a killer—all as she fights to win Hart back. But sometimes, passion just cannot be denied….
Deadly Vows is book nine in Brenda Joyce’s Francesca Cahill series, and is my first Brenda Joyce book.
I won’t say that I know everything there is to know about the series. Obviously I need to go back and read the last eight books. However, this book was anything but lost on me. I felt like I knew Francesca and Hart from the word go. Joyce hooked and reeled me in within the first three pages.
I was sold on this literary couple before I hit dialogue, before I made it out of the backstory.
Within those pages, Joyce had built an image of wit, power, and passion between the Francesca and Hart. I could see where the characters could compliment one another, and also where they would be at odds. Which, considering their personalities—strong ones—I’d want to have front row seats. And moving forward in the story only brought me more great characters, mystery, laughter, and in the end…. satisfaction! It was truly a perfect ending.
I understand that it has been years since Joyce wrote on this series. I say kudos to you fans who have hung on after these years, and kudos to Joyce for building such trust with her readers that they are willing to do so. I’m sure there has been a lot of celebrating with this release, and I wish it much success!
*I received this eGalley free in exchange for an honest review.