Saturday, June 12, 2010

‘Beguiled’ by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand – Book Review

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I can hardly think of anything better than a Romantic Suspense novel! I just finished ‘Beguiled’ by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand; this one has all of the elements!

Here is the synopsis of this book:

          In the Shadows of Charleston, Someone is Watching Her…
Rylee Monroe, a dogwalker in Charleston’s wealthiest neighborhood, never feared the streets at night. But now a thief is terrorizing the area and worse, someone seems to be targeting her.
Reporter Logan Woods is following the break-ins with the hope of publishing his coverage as a true-crime book. The more he digs, the more he realizes this beguiling dogwalker seems to be at the center of everything.
As danger draws ever closer, Logan must choose: Chase the girl, the story, or plunge into the shadows after the villain who threatens everything?

Here are the biographies of the authors:

Deeanne Gist has a background in education and journalism. Her credits include People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun and the Houston Chronicle. She is best known for bestselling historical romances, including A Bride in the Bargain. She has a line of parenting products called I Did It Productions and a degree from Texas A&M. She and her husband have four grown children. They live in Houston, Texas, and Deeanne loves her hear from her readers at her website.

J. Mark Bertrand is the author of Rethinking Worldview: Learning to Think, Live and Speak in This World and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. His crime novel Back on Murder, the first in a series featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March, will be published on July 1, 2010 by Bethany House. He grew up in Louisiana, spent fifteen years in Houston, and now lives with his wife in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Find out more at

They are former critique partners who decided to blend her bestselling romance skills with his acclaimed suspense writing.

And here are these two charming authors discussing their book:

Rylee had a very interesting back story. She had been told all of her life that her father left the family, and that her mother committed suicide by a drug overdose days after he left. She was raised by her grandmother, the only family she has left – a dear woman who is now suffering from dementia.  

I was really intrigued by the character of Logan Woods. His parents are very godly, and they guide him back to the most important thing in life – a relationship with the Lord. He ultimately is a positive influence on Rylee in that regard. He is also very passionate about his writing, and is very enthused about the idea of having this Robin Hood story published – often to the detriment of his job at the newspaper.

Here is an example of how Rylee was drawn back to God and His people by the example of Logan and his friends from church, which reached out to her and employed her again after Charleston’s upper crust turned their back on her:

…But she kept thinking of those three guys buying a pet, just to help Logan – and subsequently her. The realization that someone would do that for him, for her. filled her with a desperate longing.
          I want that, Lord. I want friends like that, too. And I want to be a friend like that to someone else.
She thought of all the opportunities she’d had to make friends, yet she’d shied away.
Well, no more. She was tired of keeping the world at arm’s length. Tired of superficial relationships. Tired of being alone.
And if knocking down that wall meant exposing herself to hurt, so be it. Because for the first time she realized hiding behind it was actually more hurtful than knocking it down and risking her heart for what Logan and his friends had.
          Okay, God. You’re gonna have to help me. Because those are some serious walls, and it’s gonna take some kinda power to knock them down. (p. 301

I was caught off guard by the ending of the book; the perpetrator was not who I was expecting!

This is the first time I have read a book by Deeanne Gist. Apparently, this is a little off the beaten path for her; she usually writes historical fiction. She and Mark did a terrific job with this one!  I hope they collaborate on another book in the future!

You can order this book here.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review purposes.

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