My Review: Beguiled (ARC) by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand

by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand
(ARC - Unedited Galley Proof)

Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romantic Suspense

Publisher:  Bethany House
Copyright 2009
(Actual release date: February 2010)
Pages:  220
ISBN:  9780764206283

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?

My Thoughts:

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. **


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Hmmm a mystery LOL! I'm kinda into those now after reading Colleen Coble! Sounds good! Thank you for yet another awesome review! ;-)

xoxo~ Renee

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Thanks, Renee! I think you will like it!


Christy--Southern Sassy Girl said...

I have this on my TBR shelf right now, and it'll probably be the next one I read. A little disappointed to hear that Deeanne's trademarks are not present in the book, but I do love a good mystery...especially when I completely cannot figure out how it'll end!

Angie said...

I love mysteries! This is already on my wish list..thanks for a great review! :)

Angie said...

Guess what?? Here's an award for you that you might have already received but if so it just means you are love. :D


Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

@ Christy & Angie ~ I can't wait to see what y'all think about this one. It was really different from Deeanne's other books.

@ Angie ~ You're too sweet...thank you! No, I didn't have this award on this blog. I'll post it as soon as I can. :)


G.R.I.T.S. said...

I have an award for you! come & get it!


Lee Smith said...

I ordered this expecting the edgy romance coupled with the mystery... as I was hoping to see that put together and haven't read anything like that yet. I'm a little bummed now - but I guess the story will still be good. Thanks for such a good review. :o)

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

That's exactly what I was expecting, Lee!! However, the mystery is really good...if you enjoy mysteries. I think you will like it. :)

CeeCee said...

I know, we were both partially right, probably thinking of the same person. *chuckles* Most romantic suspense leans heavily on either the romance or the suspense side. I don't mind this one leaned over into the mystery angle. Great review Lori!

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Thank you so much, CeeCee! I appears we have great minds, and do indeed think alike! LOL