Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

beguiledGenre: Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: February 2010

Dog walker Rylee Monroe works in Charleston’s wealthiest neighborhood, but she lives in the poor, rundown section of town and saves every penny to support her ailing grandmother. A thief dubbed Robin Hood by the local press, targets the homes of several of her clients and police begin to suspect Rylee.

The crimes are peculiar in nature because the thief only takes one possession at a time, passing up items of greater value, only to drop it off at a non-profit organization to “sell and give proceeds to the poor.” Logan Woods, a local reporter follows the break-ins with hopes of eventually publishing a true-crime book. The deeper Logan probes the more convinced he becomes that Rylee is somehow at the center of the mystery.

Logan struggles to unravel the mystery in hopes of creating a more sensational story. Initially, he recruits the young dog walker’s help believing she may have information. A relationship develops and when Rylee’s reputation balances on a tightrope Logan finds his motivation shifting. To further complicate matters, neither Logan nor Rylee were looking for a relationship, but they find themselves falling for the other despite their best efforts.

Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand provide a great read with their novel Beguiled. Intriguing plots; appealing characters; as well as good writing all add up to a page-turning read. While faith is present, it doesn’t play a major role and the book generally avoids preachiness. I like that while both Logan and Rylee have faith in God, neither one are where they should be. Logan no longer attends church and Rylee talks to God, but doesn’t think He listens. They aren’t “super-Christians” who always know what to say and do, but flawed human beings working towards restoring their relationships with God. This less-than-perfect journey makes them realistic. Whether through faith or other aspects of life, readers can understand and relate to the struggles of these characters.

A quick and easy read, I recommend Beguiled to anyone who enjoys a good, clean romance with a mystery on the side. I greatly enjoyed this book and will definitely read it again. I would love to see Gist and Bertrand pair up again and see what other stories they can bring.

Review copy provided by Bethany House.

**Originally posted on Fiction Addict.

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