A Novel with Thoughts and Ponderings


Author: Brenda Joyce ISBN: 0778322688 3/2006 HISTORICAL Publisher: MIRA
Time Period: New York, 1902

Deadly Kisses by Brenda Joyce

Called to the home of her fiance Calder Hart's former mistress late one night, amateur sleuth Francesca Cahill's curiosity is piqued. But upon arrival, she is shocked to find Daisv Jone's bloodied bodv-and even more devastated when the evidence points to one suspect: Calder.

Francesca cannot—will not—believe that Calder is capable of such an act. Still, she is unable to shake her instinctive sense that Calder is lying about something. The police are far less inclined to believe his innocence, and Calder is arrested for Daisy's murder. But Francesca's heart is not easily swayed...until a life-altering secret is exposed that could destroy their future together.


My name is Debbie and I am addicted to Brenda Joyce's Deadly series.

Okay, so there isn't much to not like about the Deadlies. This series really is highly addictive. Not only does Ms. Joyce capture the glamour of turn-of-the-century New York as well as its seamier sides, she delivers some terrific characters elegantly tangled with some nifty mysteries.

But the real treat in the Deadly series, to my way of thinking, is the romance between Francesca Cahill and Calder Hart.

Ms. Joyce has created a humdinger of a romantic couple in Francesca and Hart. Their sometimes bumpy relationship has slowly evolved over the course of this series into something memorable, something unique, something wildly sensual. Innocent, bluestocking Cahill and wicked, bad boy Hart are the core of the Deadlies. Individually, each of these characters is dynamite. Together they are more.everything. More spectacular, more vivid, more complete.

DEADLY KISSES, the eighth of the Deadlies, continues the enchantment, the passion, the danger and the intrigue.

Some readers may argue Ms. Joyce has had eight novels to fine tune Francesca and Hart's characters. Those readers would be right. However, in each story these two reveal more of their personalities; expand their limits, as they discover new facets within themselves and within each other. Discoveries abound in DEADLY KISSES.

Francesca Cahill approaches her love for Calder Hart with the same passion she devotes to her mysteries. This inquisitive minx is the perfect foil for the complex, dangerous, major heartthrob (and I do mean major, this guy gives new meaning to the word delicious) Calder. Their fiery, passionate relationship is an interesting contrast of light and dark; innocence and worldly experience.

In DEADLY KISSES, Francesca and Hart's devotion to each other is fully tested when Calder's ex-mistress is found murdered. Hart, the prime suspect, attempts to push Francesca away to save her reputation. Francesca, however, is on the trail of the real killer and her loyalty to a beleaguered Hart is perhaps the defining point of this novel.

DEADLY KISSES could be a stand alone, but readers who haven't read the previous installments will be missing out on wonderful continuing character development as well as the beginnings of a fantastic romance. And some richly sketched secondary characters.

Stimulating, sizzling and sexy, DEADLY KISSES more than lives up to the previous Francesca Cahill novels. This eighth installment is as fresh as the first. Deadlies devotees won't be disappointed.

Debbie Jett

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