Deadly Legacy: A Brother’s Betrayal, the first in author Jennifer Dickinson’s planned trilogy, offers a modern-day romantic suspense story about a mysterious family legacy.
Medical student Meghan Delaney falls in love with Declan Montgomery, who is an actor and son of a senator but not entirely who he seems. Their attraction is real, but unknown to Meghan their families have been intertwined for centuries. She is shocked to learn, after their sudden marriage, that she is the key member of a deadly triad that includes Declan and another man, Liam O’Brian, who will kill to ensure that the couple’s marriage does not fulfill an ancient prophecy.
Declan’s brother brutally betrays him in hopes of becoming a triad member, and Meghan travels to Ireland to unlock the mystery. Once there, her life is torn apart as Liam and Declan battle for ownership of her body and soul.
This is rip-roaring romance; the suspense remains high, the pace is rapid and the main characters’ love is constantly thwarted. The plot is logical, the mystery is plausibly revealed in satisfying snippets and the characters are well developed, consistent and likable. Furthermore, the dialogue is appropriate and character-specific, and the sexual content is based more on love than raw desire. The two main characters have the traditional romantic push and pull, as in this scene where Declan finds Meghan huddled under a bush: “ ‘Declan,’ Meghan shrieked so loud that the sound startled Declan, and he fell back onto the dirt. ‘Christ, Meggie, be quiet,’ Declan snorted as he regained his position beside her.”
The book is somewhat overwritten, at times the action seems too fast, and occasionally the situations feel repetitious and familiar. Dickinson could easily trim 100 pages of her hefty, 629-page novel and make it a tighter package. But despite those reservations, Deadly Legacy is good fun, and romance readers will feel right at home with this suspenseful tale.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.