Deadly Vows by Brenda Joyce

Title: Deadly Vows

Series: Deadly Series bk 9

Author: Brenda Joyce

Genre: Historical

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….

First off I’m writing this review to spread the word about this Deadly Series – so it covers my thoughts on all 9 books.

I owe my romance reading comeback to Brenda Joyce.  I took a break from reading romance in the early 90’s for a few years.  I picked up a Brenda Joyce novel in about 1995 and I’ve been on reading romance frenzy since.

This Deadly series actually has everything that I hate in a romance novel – BUT IT WORKS SO WELL in these books.  There is a love triangle (hate), misunderstanding between H/H (really hate) and TSTL Heroine (totally hate).  Brenda Joyce has made it work so well, that I’ve read these books twice.

The “who done it” in each book is actually a non event in my opinion.  But I really didn’t read this series for the mystery.  The characters are what brings readers back for each book.  Francesca is an amateur private eye who’s always getting kidnapped, shot at and other dastardly stuff.  She usually runs off on her own and is ether saved by Rick Bragg or his half brother Calder Hart.  So much stuff happens through out this series that you just can’t wait to read the next book.

In the first book you come to love police commissioner Rick Bragg – but wait until his brother, Calder Hart is introduced.  Wow – hands down he is one of my FAVORITE heroes ever written.  He’s so alpha, strong, damaged, sexy, hot, angry etc, etc…….  I would read this series again and again just to read about Hart.

If you are looking for something different in historical romance – I would take a look at this series.  One word of caution – the first book is kind of frustrating  and I almost didn’t pick up the second book.  Someone is introduced at the end of the first book and it made me continue.  So glad I did, because now I have a series that I will cherish and reread (and recommend to all of my reading friends).




  1. Na S.

    I miss this series and wish there were still a few more books to it.

  2. Janon

    Me too Na! I would love it if Joyce did a spin off series with the characters. Or made a series where Hart and Fran solve mysteries.

  3. aurian

    O wow, I have so many of her books on my shelves, all unread, I really need to start those! But a heroine too stupid to live, well, that is a big NO for me. Once I start yelling at my book, it probably won’t get finished.
    Thanks for the review.


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