A Lover's Vow - Brenda Jackson

Series: Grangers (Book 3)

She's all he's ever wanted. He's everything she'll ever need.

 

Business mogul Dalton Granger is as passionate as he is gorgeous, but private investigator Jules Bradford won't give him the time of day. She knows all about the youngest Granger brother -- a charming bad boy whose only interest is playing the field.

 

But Dalton is more complicated than that, and he's determined to show Jules that behind all the bravado is the honest heart of a devoted son, brother…and a man whose own life is in peril.

 

Jules is the only person who can protect Dalton, and they embark on a mission to save his family and his legacy. But when their late nights in the office turn into early mornings in the bedroom, Jules and Dalton soon realize they have more at stake than they ever imagined.

 

Very good book and excellent conclusion to the series. Though this one can stand alone, the first two books (A Brother's Honor and A Man's Promise) should be read for the best experience of the story. Fifteen years earlier, the brothers' mother was murdered and their father went to prison for the crime. After college, each of them left home and started their lives elsewhere, trying to escape the memories. Then their grandfather had a heart attack and they came home to fulfill his dying wish. Save the family business and prove their father's innocence. 

 

This book covers the story of the youngest brother, Dalton. He was the closest of the three to their mother. As the youngest, he was also rather spoiled. As he got older, things came easily to him, especially the attention of women. He became quite the playboy, well known for being the "boy toy" of older women in Europe. Thanks to an amazing business sense, he also became quite wealthy. When he came home to help with the family business, he also took the opportunity to play hard. 

 

He first encounters Jules in the first book. They meet in a bar, where she is doing something related to her work as a PI. There is instant attraction between them, but she's not impressed by his advances. She challenges him to find her and disappears. When he finally finds her, thanks to a PI of his own, he expects her to be happy about it and fall into his arms, just like all the other women do. He was not happy when she refused him. He later discovers that Jules is the sister of the woman  his brother Jace has fallen in love with. Future encounters between them are awkward at best and almost always contentious. 

 

I have to say that through the first two books and the beginning of this one, I had a real problem with Dalton. His attitude about women, that they are basically there for his pleasure, was really irritating. His treatment of Jules, just because she refused him, is that of a spoiled brat. It bugged me that every time he was in the same room with her, all he could think about was getting her into his bed, and almost every word out of his mouth had to do with getting her there. He was also constantly on his brothers about their being in love and that they have become no fun because of it. The more he talked, the more I was looking forward to him falling.

 

I really liked Jules. She's strong, sassy and independent. She's attracted to Dalton, but she refuses to be just another notch on his bedpost. I loved seeing her stand up to him. Her biggest problem was that it was getting harder for her to resist him, given the explosive attraction between them. 

 

It was interesting to see that, when they decided to give in to the attraction, both assumed it was going to be a short term thing. Each of them expected it to burn out quickly, but it didn't. It was especially satisfying to see Dalton suffer. He was unable to keep her off his mind, frequently zoning out completely, and giving his brothers the chance to give him a hard time. Both he and Jules were determined to keep their involvement quiet, especially from their families. As they spent more time together I loved watching Dalton change. At first he didn't seem to notice it, and his reaction the first time she stayed over at his place was priceless. I loved seeing him finally realize that what he had with Jules was special. Jules figured out her feelings more quickly. She wanted more from Dalton, but knowing his views, didn't expect to get it. She kept trying to work up the will to end things, but just couldn't do it.  I really enjoyed the ending and the surprise of their families was fun.

 

The other storyline that was part of all three books, was the mystery of who really killed their mother. Threats had been made to their father while he was in prison, promising that there would be trouble if the investigation was reopened. I loved the steps he took to protect his family. It created a few amusing moments when it was discovered what he had done, but was also proved to be a good thing at the end. I loved the way that Jules decided she was going to be the one to figure it out. She is really good at what she does and uncovers some very interesting things along the way. It's really hard to figure out "whodunnit" with so many possible suspects. When it all comes together at the end there are a couple of surprises and no small amount of danger. The ending was just right.