Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beguiled by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand

I'm breaking from my usual women's fiction/romance reading to bring you a romantic suspense review. This one drew me because of the authors who teamed up to write it.

First, the summary (including a bit of backstory on how the story came to be):

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?

And now, my review:

When two people with strong gifts in their genre team up, you get a solid novel. That's what Beguiled is. I will admit it took a while for me to get into this book. Generally, I move on if this happens; I'm glad I didn't give up on this one. The romance is worth it. The suspense kicks in and you read swiftly through the pages. Deeanne's skill in writing romance shows through the characters actions. You believe in the hero's desire to put aside his own fears and protect the heroine. And I appreciated how the suspense kept me engaged, as well. I've mentioned this before in my reviews -- I rarely have the opportunity to read male authors' works. Whenever I do I notice a commonality, especially in suspense. Short, packed prose. So, as I read it, I enjoyed guessing which areas were more influenced by Mark or Deeanne. Hope they collaborate again. Great book.


  1. I read this one also. It was a good read.

  2. Turns out, according to Deeanne, the short sentences were her idea! (She mentioned this on Facebook recently.) Go figure. :)

  3. I just finished this book and really enjoyed it, Annette. I'm from the south, so I loved the beautiful descriptions of Charleston, a place I hope to visit someday. I thought the mystery was plotted well and the romance was wonderful. This writing team will only get better, so I hope a series is in the works.