Deadly Love

B. D. Joyce, Author, Brenda Joyce, Author St. Martin's Press $6.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-97767-2
Seasoned historical romance writer Brenda Joyce recently branched out into contemporary fiction with a new series (House of Dreams), written under the pseudonym B.D. Joyce. Beautiful socialite Francesca Cahill is a determined bluestocking who prefers learning and good causes to society's dizzying whirl. As a reluctant guest at a family ball, she meets New York's handsome, young, but feckless police commissioner, Rick Bragg, while unbeknownst to both of them, a young child is being abducted next door. Soon a series of cryptic notes begins to arrive, each more terrifying than the last. Francesca jumps into crime-solving, and in the process moves from tentative friendship to passion with the dynamic but mysterious Bragg. The implausible crime (for example, how did the child's abductor--his father, an ineffectual socialite--get hold of the tip of an unidentified person's ear?) and its flimsy resolution are unsatisfying, even for a lighthearted book. In contrast, Joyce excels at creating twists and turns in her characters' personal lives. The steamy revelations that confront Francesca as she probes into the secrets of friends and family are genuinely intriguing, and just enough of them are left unresolved at the book's end to leave readers waiting eagerly for the series' next installment. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2001
Release date: 01/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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