But I don't know how I feel about that categorization. I am not a big romance fan, whatwith all the heaving bosoms, etc. This is more of a mystery with some romantic undertones. A "romantic suspense" maybe? You decide:
Francesca Cahill is a young woman of society in 1902 New York City. While other girls of her age are busy with cotillions, social teas, and debutante balls, Francesca is busy secretly attending college and making a name for herself in the suffragette community, and doing what she can to help the impoverished of the city. Out of respect to her wealthy and socially prominent parents, Francesca agrees to attend a society ball in her name. But when a neighbor's little boy is kidnapped right from his own bed in the midst of the party, and Francesca finds a ransom note, she seizes the opportunity to show that she is not one to follow conventional society rules.
Enter the tall, dark, and handsome newly appointed police commissioner Rick Bragg. Despite warnings from her mother not to get involved with him, Francesca can hardly help herself, and soon finds herself in the middle of the investigation. Determined to prove that she is not just another pretty face, Francesca goes undercover in the seediest parts of Manhattan to help avenge the boy's kidnapper, all the while trying not to fall head over heels in love with the mysterious Rick Bragg.
My gut reaction: I love this book!
This is the first installment of Brenda Joyce's "Deadly" series. I stumbled upon it quite by accident,and thinking it was a romance, I tossed it aside. However, when I took a closer look at the cover, I thought "hmm... might be worth another glance." As seen in the photo above, the cover shows a society lady stepping out of a carriage with her long skirts, high-laced boots and white gloves. That picture is worth a thousand words... it is shouting HISTORICAL NOVEL in a time period I love... the early 1900's.
This book is so rich in historical detail, from the marble mansions of Fifth Avenue to the seedy bowels of the lower East Side, I could not bear to put it down! Thankfully the story is more of a suspenseful mystery than a romance because for as many times as I've tried, a real mushy lovey-dovey hot and bothered romance just isn't my cup of tea. I mean, there are romantic undertones because it's obvious that Francesca and Bragg are attracted to one another, but it doesn't get in the way of the true story, which is the reason I decided to give it a shot... and I am so glad I did.
There are more books in this "Deadly" series and I plan to read each and every one of them. Hopefully as the series continues, it won't get bogged down with all the romantic shenanigans and will keep it's page-turning "whodunnit" factor.
My sleep-loss meter: 5 under-eye bags! If you love a historical, especially in this era, you will be reading long into the night. The period details and the vivid descriptions of turn of the century New York City will have you turning pages like there's no tomorrow! You'll wake up with bags under your eyes!