Historical Romance Novel Review: Deadly Illusions by Brenda Joyce

Francesca Cahill is living a dream life. The society belle is engaged to New York City’s most eligible bachelor, Calder Hart. As a sleuth, she’s working on a murder case that she cares about. All is good in work and love.

Yet, those around her keep trying to make her unhappy. Her family is less-than-thrilled with her sleuthing activities, and her father doesn’t love the fact that she’s marrying Calder, as Calder is a known philanderer.

In addition, Francesca is working her current case with her former love interest, which is proving to be a bit confusing for the bride-to-be.

It’s a great premise for a novel. I just with Brenda Joyce had written “Deadly Illusions” with more depth. Though Francesca has many issues, she seems to be a bit of a flat character, as do the other characters of the novel. In addition, the dialogue between the characters is awkward and a bit stilted.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there are just too many characters in this book. There seem to be too many story lines, too many sub plots, and eventually, too many loose ends.

I recognize that “Deadly Illusions” is part of a series, but I just don’t believe that the loose ends Joyce left open really fulfill their purpose. If said loose ends are supposed to be cliffhangers, they fail pretty miserably. At the end of “Deadly Illusions,” I saw no reason to continue on with the next book of the series.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy “Deadly Illusions” to a certain extent. I did like the premise and the idea of the story. I just wish that Joyce came in a bit stronger on the execution front. This story had so much potential, and when I finished reading, I just felt a little underwhelmed.

“Deadly Illusions” was reprinted by HQN Books on 2012. ISBN: 978-0373775415

More romance reviews from this author:
Sheikh’s Betrayal by Alexandra Sellers
The Pleasure Slave by Gena Showalter

Sandra Johnson is a full-time contributor to www.romanticlovebooks.com.

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