SETTING: New York, 1902
GENRE: Historical Romantic Suspense
SERIES: Francesca Cahill, book 9
MY GRADE: A
FROM PUBLISHER: 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…
MY THOUGHTS: This story takes place about three weeks after the previous novel, Deadly Kisses, ends. It’s June 1902, twenty-one year old Fran and Calder’s wedding day and Francesca receives shocking information. That information leads Francesca on the hunt for the missing portrait. For Francesca it’s a race against time to find the person(s) responsible for trying to ruin her. It’s very hard to not give spoilers so I’ll just say that I was very entertained by all the characters and couldn’t wait to find out who was behind the theft. What I liked best about this paticular book is that Francesca is the one smack-dab in the middle of her own mystery. There is another crime to solve within this story too and Francesca and the gang do not disappoint!
In this novel, Calder’s violent temper comes out. He’s also more jealous and insecure than ever. I don’t like his personality in this novel.
Poor Leigh Anne, Rick’s wife, continues to decline emotionally and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with her in future novels.
Bartolla Benevente shows us, in more ways than one, even more of her awful true colors and the answer as to whether she’s pregnant by Fran’s brother Evan or not is revealed.
Things heat up between Evan and Maggie Kennedy and I really like where the author may be going with that. I do love the Kennedy clan. Unfortunately for them, something terrible lurks ahead. Will Francesca be able to help?
Are there wedding bells for Fran and Calder? Do they finally consumate their relationship? You’ll have to read it and see.
It was a very satisfying read and was worth the almost five year wait between this and the previous one. I so hope that there are more to come in this series.
The books in this series are:
1 Deadly Love 2001-01
2 Deadly Pleasure 2002-03
3 Deadly Affairs 2002-04
4 Deadly Desire 2002-05
5 Deadly Caress 2003-04
6 Deadly Promise 2003-11
7 Deadly Illusions 2005-02
8 Deadly Kisses 2006-02
9 Deadly Vows 2011-03
Brenda’s complete booklist can be found here. You can visit her site too.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.