by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand
(ARC - Unedited Galley Proof)
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Bethany House
(Actual release date: February 2010)
From the back cover:
When novelists Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand first met in a Houston critique group, they never expected where friendship would take them. She wrote romance; he wrote crime novels. But growing respect for each other's work culminated in the decision to try blending their talents into this wonderfully engaging story merging romance and mystery.
Rylee Monroe walks dogs in old-money Charleston, a part of the city recently targeted by a daring thief. Logan Woods works the crime beat for the local paper but dreams of a life as a nonfiction writer. When the string of robberies takes a strange twist, Logan sees the making of a once-in-a-lifetime book that seems to circle around this charming, eye-catching dogwalker. But pursuing the truth means ignoring that he seems to be falling for her. And what is she hiding in her past that could crack the story wide open?
First of all, you need to know that this is not your typical Deeanne Gist novel. It's not Historical; it does not have her trademark "edgy" romance vibe; nor is it really a Romance. I would have to classify it as Mystery/Suspense with a light romantic vein. To me, it felt like this story showed more of J. Mark Bertrand's writing style, since he "comes from a hard-boiled crime thriller background" (as stated on the back cover), than Deeanne's. I kept waiting for her "edgy" romance to shine through, but was really disappointed. A few romantic parts I thought had the potential to turn "edgy", but they stayed low-key. Taking all of this into consideration, it was a pretty good read...if you enjoy a good mystery, which I do on occasion. You will most likely be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out who the bad guy(s) is/are. I stuck with my gut feeling, and turned out to be partially right! I guess that was thanks to my fascination with Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when I was growing up, before I became enamored with romance novels. :)
Since the excerpt from the back cover pretty much covers the gist of the story, there's not much more I can add, without giving away any vital parts. Although I do want to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of Rylee's "clients"...they were a great addition to the story. Romeo and Toro were my favorites.
To find out more about Deeanne Gist and her books, please visit:
* Her website
* Her blog
To find out more about J. Mark Bertrand, please visit:
* His website
** I would like to thank Jim @ Bethany House, and Cindy @ Princess Bookie for providing me with this ARC/Unedited Galley Proof. I won this book on Cindy's blog. **