Sunday, May 2, 2010

Book Review - Beguiled by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand

Beguiled Beguiled by Deeanne Gist

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Rylee Monroe is a dogwalker to the elite of Charlestown who live South of Broad St.  A rash of thefts have been occurring South of Broad, by a criminal dubbed "The Robin Hood Burglar" since the stolen articles end up at churches or charities with notes to sell the piece and give the profits to the needy.  Ever since Rylee nearly caught the Robin Hood Burglar in the act, she's been a bundle of nerves.

Investigative newspaper reporter Logan Woods dubbed the Robin Hood Burglar in the papers first and has been hot on the trail of the story.  He has contacts with the police, and he is eager to publish a book about crimes in Charlestown.  The publisher only wants to accept the book if the Robin Hood Burglar story is included, but since the story is still ongoing, Logan needs it to end before his book is completed.

As more and more Robin Hood thefts occur, the police find that nearly every victim is or had been a former client of Rylee's.  The police focus their attention on her since her name keeps cropping up in the case.  The more Logan digs, the more he realizes Rylee and her family are somehow involved in the Robin Hood burglaries though he can't see Rylee as a criminal.  Indeed, he is beginning to fall in love with the beautiful dogwalker.  Together, Logan & Rylee join forces to hunt down the real Robin Hood Burglar.  As the thefts increase in anger & property damage, they realize they are trying to catch a very real criminal.

Beguiled is a romantic suspense novel by two authors, Deeanne Gist, who writes romance, and J. Mark Bertrand, a suspense writer.  I don't think this book had a seamless flow, and at times, it definitely seemed like a book written by two authors.  I also didn't get how Rylee could always rollerblade so easily over bumpy cobblestones or scale a brick wall while wearing rollerblades (that part especially seemed unbelievable to me).  I found the ending of the book somewhat forced and wasn't satisfied with the conclusion and *spoiler alert* I had long realized Rylee's father must have been killed & didn't desert his family, eons before the big reveal in the book, and the last 1/3 of the book seemed to move very slow, whereas the first 2/3 of the work seemed to have a better pace and flow.  I'd give these authors another shot, especially in their own genres and maybe even if they collaborate again.  I did very much enjoy the Charlestown setting and the descriptions of various parks, monuments, and restaurants. 

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