And today--you get a treat. A rare review!
I'm not fond of most Christian fiction on the market (how many times have I said that?) So, there were a couple factors leading to my decision to read and review Beguiled.
First, back in the day when the CFBA was first formed, Deeanne's book A Bride Most Begrudging was featured. Historical romance. Not my type of book. I read it, though, and found Deanne's style of storytelling quite enjoyable. And I liked the book. (Seriously, I was amazed I liked something in a genre completely opposite of what I'd normally read.)
Relief Journal's first fiction editor. He was published in the first Midnight Diner.
Third, Dave Long is their editor. I've sang the praises of books he's edited in the past.
When I heard Deeanne and Mark were collaborating, I honestly looked forward to reading the finished product.
Beguiled is a sassy, flirty, sexy romantic suspense that is not cliché, eye-rolling, or nauseous. It might get off to a bit of a slow start, which isn't a bad thing, but it picks up pace rather nicely. Beguiled is very well balanced. Just enough fluffy-girly stuff (overdo that and I'm putting the book down) and just enough creepy, menacing, dark alley, bad guy smoking a cigar stuff. Well, maybe I could have stood more dark story aspect, but there wasn't a lack of it.
Things I didn't like? Maybe the main character's breath caught one to many times. Maybe there was a red herring that was pretty obvious.
The story was absolutely unique. I loved the setting--Charleston. I loved that as a reader, I felt like I was really in Charleston. The conflict--internal and external--in the story was well done. All in all, it was a very enjoyable read.
One of my favorite scenes:
Without giving the story away...two of the main characters had been separated for a time and not all was peachy-keen. There was a lot of tension built up between them. And I found this little gem:
Her earbuds were in, and she gave no sign of recognition. As they drew closer, he expected her to pass him by. At the last minute, she gave the leash a graceful tug, then circled to a halt in front of him.
"I've got have a mind to sic my dog on you--for old time's sake," she said.
"I've got half a mind to let you."
She jutted out her bottom lip. He was tempted to snare it in his teeth.
My source tells me one of the authors picked that scene as favorite, also. :)
And here's a cute YouTube video of Mark and Dee where Mark talks about his dress for RWA...