by Elizabeth Lowell
Genres: Romantic Suspense
On the surface beautiful, quiet Shaye has little in common with dark, dangerous Tanner. He's a suspicious big city cop come home to the historic Davis family ranch to settle his uncle's estate. She's working for an environmental conservancy that acquires and protects old ranches-and she wants to preserve the Davis homestead. When the suspicious death of Tanner's uncle at his ranch throws the two opposites together, tempers flare and sparks fly. While they have trouble seeing eye to eye, Shaye and Tanner agree on one thing: they need to uncover the truth. Combining their unique skills-Shaye's low-key approach and local connections and Tanner's experience as a homicide detective-the unlikely pair share long nights in the pursuit of justice. Before they know it, the friction they generate turns to heat, igniting a burning love neither ever expected to find.They believe passion this intense cannot last. But when Shaye becomes a killer's target, Tanner realizes he'd give up anything to protect her-including his life.
Dangerous Refuge was my first read by author Elizabeth Lowell. One of my favorite genres is romantic suspense, and while the romance developed a little too quickly it was a captivating mystery. Mini review: Suspenseful, strong characters and an interesting murder mystery.
Shayne Townsend discovers the body of rancher Lorne Davis. She has been working closely with him as a representative for the National Ranch Conservancy; an agency that maintains farm land and prevents development. Lorne Davis planned to bequeath his land to them, but her boss messed up the contracts and Lorne revoked his will before his sudden death. Tanner Davis is a homicide cop from the city and nephew to Lorne. While the locals are calling it a heart attack, Davis’s cop instincts are telling him its murder. Especially when his Uncle’s hidden stash of gold coins is discovered missing. Unsure of the Conservancy’s intentions, and questions over the legitimacy of Lorne Davis’s will, the two find themselves working together to find answers. Instant attraction and gunfire keep the action intense as they two work to uncover clues.
Lowell did an excellent job of creating strong, likable characters and giving them voice. Tanner is rough around the edges but tall, dark and sexy. He is somewhat jaded from years on the force, and family disputes. Lets just say he lacks charm when on the case. I liked him, and we caught glimpses of his softer more vulnerable side. Shayne is sweet, smart and believes in what she does. Her contacts allow them entry into this small rural town as they move to discover the truth.As Tanner ruffles feathers she smooths them over. It was fun to watch. Suspects and a hokey sheriff kept things interesting.
Dangerous Refuge weaved a clever murder mystery with an interesting twists and colorful players. While I liked our hero and heroine I just didn’t connect on the romance. Tanner and Shayne were fleshed out, and I wanted them to solve the case and find their slice of happy. Initially, I felt their attraction but whether it was from lack of heat, or insta-love I just didn’t get all gooey for them. It is an element I missed. However, the mystery was intense and interesting which helped to keep this from falling flat for me. Lowell did a wonderful job of bringing this rural farm town to life from the scenic views to the colorful townsfolk.
Fans of murder mysteries will enjoy Dangerous Refuge. While the romance didn’t work for me, I certainly liked the characters. I look forward to trying Night Diver her next romantic suspense due to release in May 2014. (a sneak preview is provided in the back of Dangerous Refuge)
Three and half cups of coffee out of five
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