Deadly Vows-Brenda Joyce

Deadly Vows

Brenda Joyce

Harlequin HQN, Feb 22 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780373775514

In 1902 in New York, Francesca Cahill and Calder Hart are getting married in a few hours.  However, before the ceremony, Francesca sneaks off to a gallery to see a portrait Hart commissioned.  She is locked inside, but by the time she escapes from the gallery, everyone including Hart believes she jilted him.  Francesca knows someone set this up, but not who or why.

Hart refuses to listen to her explanation as he is hurt and humiliated; raging he ends their engagement.  Stunned and hurt too, Francesca turns to Hart’s half-brother Police Commissioner Rick Bragg for solace at a time when his marriage to Leigh Ann is crumbling.  As Francesca ponders who owns her heart, she and Bragg search for who “framed’ her and is trying to blackmail her and soon a killer is after her too.

Though the roller coaster ride for the heroine’s relationships and affection continues to the point it feels sort of inane yet due to Brenda Joyce’s talent very entertaining as Cahill and the crew work two mysteries as well as the enigma of her heart.  Filled with action, dysfunctional relationships (a common thread) and a sense of being in Manhattan at the start of the previous century (once again a fabulous recurring theme), fans will enjoy Francesca’s latest escapades in maybe (nor not) making it to the altar.

Harriet Klausner

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