Hello, my lovely readers! I’m moving along in my goal to review a new Christian fiction book each month and am already on to this month’s selection. I chose the romantic suspense story Beguiled: A Novel, by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand for February.
Let me tell you a little about the authors…
Deeanne Gist is a multi-talented, multi-tasking woman. She’s been an elementary school teacher, an antiques store owner, a CFO, a freelance journalist, and to top it all off is married with 4 children. Somewhere along the way she realized that she could add “novelist” to her hat rack and has turned out 6 books, 4 of which I’ve had the pleasure of reading (including this one).
J. Mark Bertrand is the author of Back on Murder, a book which I’ll add to my reading list once it releases this July. A Houston native with an MFA, he and his wife currently live in South Dakota where he continues his writing career. This was the first time I’d read one of his works. If his other books are at all like “Beguiled”, then he’s going to become a new favorite of mine.
Beguiled takes place in South Carolina. I like it already. The story centers around two main characters – Rylee Monroe, a Charleston dogwalker to the wealthy, and Logan Woods, a reporter. Rylee loves her job but everything is threatened when a rash of burglaries begins. To make things worse, it appears that someone is targeting her. Logan is keeping a close eye on the robberies and hopes to use them for a book on true crime, but he keeps coming back to Rylee. You know the old saying – curiosity killed the cat, and in this case, it’s threatening the dogwalker, too. Logan has to decide what’s most important – the story, the girl, or bringing a villain to justice.
I enjoyed this book. Many times, I’ve found that Christian fiction can be kind of flat and undramatic. “Beguiled” was a good combination of romance and suspense. I particularly liked how the authors shifted the point of view between Rylee and Logan. This kept things interesting and added depth to the story.
As is my usual practice, I’ve decided to share this book with another reader. But, contrary to what I normally do, I’m not going to give you my copy! I liked this book so much that I don’t want to part with it, if that tells you anything. Instead, I’m planning to give the winner of this month’s giveaway a new copy. There are three ways to enter: (1) leave a comment telling me what you thought of the review, (2) mention the giveaway on your site with a link-back to my blog, or (3) let me know that you’re a follower. If you’d like, you can do all three and earn multiple entries. The giveaway is open to anyone with a US or APO/FPO address and will run till Friday, February 26th at 5pm EST. Good luck!