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Deadly Vows    by Brenda Joyce order for
Deadly Vows
by Brenda Joyce
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2011 (2011)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Deadly Vows is book #9 in the Deadly series, starring Francesca Cahill. The Deadly books follow her as an amateur sleuth who helps solve crimes and falls in love. This adventure is set in New York City in 1902.

Francesca Cahill is about to marry Calder Hart. On her wedding day she receives an invitation to view the nude portrait of herself that Hart had commissioned. The portrait was stolen and Francesca does not want ro ruin her social standing or embarass her parents by having it resurface. Arriving at the gallery she is locked and trapped inside, and the portrait is not there. By the time she escapes she finds the church empty. Hart believes she jilted him at the altar. Francesca knows she was set up, but by whom and why?

Hurt and embarassed, Hart tries to convince himself and Francesca it is best to break their engagement. Francesca is heartbroken and wants to show him otherwise. She turns to Rick Bragg for solace. There is a love triangle between Francesca, Hart, and police commissioner Rick Bragg. Rick and Francesca met and started to fall in love, but his estranged wife Leigh Anne sought a reconciliation. Francesca then turned to Hart for support and fell in love with him. Rick and Hart are half brothers, Rick being the good one and Hart the wealthy bad boy. The half brothers are jealous of each other and of their relationships with Francesca.

Between Francesca and Hart they have a long list of suspects. The blackmailer is intent on destroying Francesca's reputation and Francesca, Hart, and Rick are led through New York City, following a trail of clues. Rick's marriage begins to dissolve and Francesca must not only battle a killer but also her feelings for two very different men. Will there be wedding bells again for her and Hart, or will she move on and eventually be with Rick?

Deadly Vows is a fast moving story combining mystery and romance. I have not read any of the previous books in the Deadly series, but Joyce has done a good job of bringing the reader up to date on Cahill's life and her adventures.

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