Deadly Love, by BD Joyce (Brenda Joyce)

Cover ImageFinished 1-17-10, rating 4.5/5, romance, pub. 2001

Book 1 in the Deadly series

Francesca saw nothing amusing about the fact that her mother was determined to marry her off, sooner rather than later.  “How can you make fun of reform?  When there is so much poverty and injustice in our midst?”

“Connie ceased pulling on the corset.  She turned Francesca around.  “I am not making fun of reform, Fran.  I would never be so callous.  But you are so serious!  Study, reform, study, reform, study, reform.  It is funny.  You are funny!”

Chapter 1

It’s 1902 in New York City and Francesca, a 20-year-old bluestocking, openly works for reform while secretly attending Brainard College.  She is the youngest of three and still lives at home with her parents in what is called the Marble Palace because of its opulence.  Francesca is determined to get a journalism degree and become the first woman reporter for a major New York newspaper and her mother is just as determined to see her marry well.  Francesca is beautiful and wealthy and suitors have never been a problem, but she is known to be different from other girls her age, so her best friends are her sister Connie and her brother Evan.

Rick Bragg is the new police commissioner, appointed to clean up the city’s police department.  When Francesca becomes involved in a case he is working on, involving a missing boy, an interest is sparked on both sides.  Francesca has a lot going on, but it doesn’t stop her from dreaming of a future with Rick, although her mother has labeled him a bastard and unacceptable as a suitor.

Francesca puts herself in danger to try and save the neighbor boy and proves herself to be brave, smart, and vulnerable.  She struggles to become the independent woman she wants to be, while her family tries to make her the conventional girl they’d like her to be.

This book is a fun start to a series that goes in a direction that I never expected.  I think this one is the calm before the storm.

If you like romances, especially historicals, don’t miss this one.  I won an autographed copy of this on writerspace.com years ago and it was the first Brenda Joyce book I read and  now, countless books later, consider myself a big fan.

My Reread Project

I rarely read books twice.  As a teen I would read my favorites until they fell apart, but then I discovered there was a whole world of books I could love and stopped visiting my favorite characters.  When I posted my Favorite Movies list last year one of the ‘rules’ I made for myself was that I had to have seen the movie twice, how else was I to be a judge of it?  Maybe when I watched Rosemary’s Baby the first time I only liked it because I was watching it in the dark, alone, at 1 am?  Or The Breakfast Club only worked if I was watching as a teen?  I actually watched one movie on my list to do a review and decided it wasn’t a favorite after all.

What does this have to do with rereading books?  Well,  what I get out of a book is based on many things, not the least of which is what was going on in my life when I read it.  So, maybe if I read it five years later and I’m happier, sadder, more stressed out, whatever, I might have a completely different opinion of the book.  So, last year I decided to commit to rereading at least one book from my Favorite Books list every year.  Yes, if I only read one a year it will take me 100 years, so it is obviously not a perfect plan, but quite a few of the books on the list I have read more than once already. 

I hadn’t decided which I was going to reread this year when I got an email from Brenda Joyce announcing that there would be a 9th book in the Deadly series out next year.  My decision was made.  I LOVE this series.  It is classified as romance, but there is always some mystery involved and I just can’t get enough of Francesca.  So, I’ll be reading the first eight books, one a week, until I’ve made it through.  Every Sunday, for the next two months, spend a little time with me, Francesca and her life in 1902 New York City.

This is part of the email from Brenda Joyce and I want to share it with you because it applies to so many of our favorite authors.

I would love to write 3 more Deadlies. Mira is interested, but it will depend on 2 factors. First, the level of enthusiasm in the coming six months when they try to “sell in” the books to the accounts (stores), and in 2011, the actual sales. I have no control over this; publishing is in a much greater, deeper recession than the overall economy. Books are only published when a publisher is actually willing to pay to do so! If Mira won’t publish these books, because of lack of sales, neither will anyone else. I want to be very clear. It is REALLY scary out there. Like all of you, I am interested in continuing to have a job. I cannot write 3 more titles if no one will publish them!

You can help! Give a friend an old, used book and get her hooked. Pitch the series to everyone, chat about it online in chat rooms and on reader websites. And of course, run out to buy those books when they go on sale!

I’m doing my part for the Deadly series because I love it, but we can all do this for our favorite authors and series.  As book bloggers many of us receive free books and it’s great, but if we’re not buying the books, who is?  So, don’t forget to sometimes shell out a little money to support your favorite authors.  I ordered the two books of this series I didn’t already own and can’t wait to delve back in to Francesca’s story!