I saw this on Net Galley and immediately gravitated toward it because of the plotline. Deadly Vows is book 9 in The Deadly Series. Some of you might recognize it as a Francesca Cahill Novel (the name of the heroine) as all the Deadlys follow her as she solves crimes and falls in love.

I picked up the book without knowing any of this however… as a reader with zero background in the series, I think Brenda Joyce did a good job easing new readers into the series. Previous incidents or conversations were alluded to and put in context as needed and as briefly as possible to keep longtime followers from skipping ahead.

But back to the plotline – the heroine Francesca Cahill cannot wait to marry Calder Hart and inadvertently winds up jilting him and breaking his trust when she’s trapped by a thief blackmailing her with a nude portrait of herself – sounds awesome right? It was.

From what I can deduce all Deadlys mix romance and crime solving. Really, I feel there’s something for everyone. The heroine herself is a very contemporary gal while the story is set in New York City around the turn of the century (1902 for Deadly Vows) which means there are still big differences between classes. New York society is akin to English society for Regency lovers. See? Everyone!

There’s a love triangle between Francesca, Calder, and Rick Bragg. To explain the dynamics a little for newbies like me – Rick and Fran met first and were falling in love prior to Rick’s estranged wife showing up and demanding a reconciliation. Francesca cried in Calder’s arms and they fall in love. Rick is the saintly perfect half-brother. Calder is the bad boy billionaire (maybe not that wealthy, but the alliteration was too good to miss. :) ) The half-brothers are very jealous of each other and especially over the relationship Francesca had/has with the other.

Joyce really did a superb job. Francesca chooses the guy I wanted in the end, but hopefully not the end of the series. I am excited that there are eight previous books to read. I better get cracking. ;) If you’re just starting out, reconnecting, or longtime fan here’s the order of the books:

  1. Deadly Love
  2. Deadly Pleasure
  3. Deadly Affairs
  4. Deadly Desire
  5. Deadly Caress
  6. Deadly Promise
  7. Deadly Illusions
  8. Deadly Kisses
  9. Deadly Vows

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Deadly Vows

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jane February 22, 2011 at 12:27 AM

I can’t wait to read this book. I’m a fan of the series and I hope we do get to see Calder and Francesa do have a HEA.

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2 Keira February 23, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Do you know if there’ll be more or not? I guess it depends, on what counts as the ending point.

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3 Jane February 23, 2011 at 4:24 PM

I’m not sure. I think it depends on how well the sales are for “Deadly Vows.”

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