Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell

January 18th, 2014 Kimberly Review 40 Comments

18th Jan
Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell
Dangerous Refuge
by Elizabeth Lowell
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

40 Responses to “Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell”

  1. Berls

    I’m sorry that the romance didn’t feel quite right on this one, but I do love the sounds of these characters. And I love the setting! This is a solid maybe for me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Berls, it was just missing that little spark, but I too loved the setting and the suspense.

  2. aurian

    Your very first Lowell? Wow. I have been a fan of her books for over 25 years now. I hope you will try some of her oldies, they are just so good. I have this one on my shelves and hope to read it soon.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, and I loved her writing so it won’t be my last:) glad to hear you have enjoyed her!

  3. Wendy Darling

    Wow, I haven’t read a new Elizabeth Lowell book in ages! She used to be one of my favorite authors, but I stopped reading her awhile back. This one sounds so good that I may have to give her another try again, though.

    Since you like romantic suspense, are you a fan of Linda Howard or Shannon McKenna? Their last few books were awful, but for the longest time, they wrote really great romantic thrillers with fantastic sexual tension between their main characters.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have read them both Wendy but thanks for mentioning some recs. Always love that 🙂 I really mix of my genres as I read and most months read at least one romantic suspense 🙂

  4. Lindy

    Wow this story plot sounds intriguing and the well developed characters sound engaging! I love a good murder mystery full of suspense! Excellent Review Kim! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I liked the characters so that was a plus and the mystery and writing was good I just didn’t get those “feels” about them as a couple..boo 🙁

  5. A Voracious Reader

    Lowell is on my radar and I’ve even been collecting her books as I spy them at Friends of the Library sales, but I have yet to read any of them yet.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really enjoyed her writing so I am anxious to try her again 🙂 Thanks Carol

    • kimbacaffeinate

      good idea, I liked her writing and will try the next book 🙂

  6. michelle A - Novels On The Run

    I’ve really broadened my reading. Just ask Braine, heheee. I now review anything virtually on my blog. As long as the writing is good and I am entertained, then I am happy. I don’t stick to a set genre or age bracket. I bobble all over the place. I love you gave this one 5 cups. I shall check it out. I do enjoy a clever mystery. I don’t want to see something coming. Twists I love 😀


    • kimbacaffeinate

      Just to be clear I gave this 3 1/2 cups out of five. I am the same type of reader Michelle. I read every genre and reach into the YA, NA and Adult section to do it. I love going from historical, to horror and wrapping up the week with a steamy romance. It keeps things fresh for me. Nice to meet someone who is the same 🙂

  7. Braine Talk Supe

    Romantic Suspense, another thing that you and I have in common. Even if the romance isn’t gooey, I think I would still like this for the merits you mentioned.

  8. Sharlene Wegner

    I started this book a few months ago & didn’t finish it. I am more into the romance & not so much the mystery. I may pick it up again sometime. Thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am glad to hear it wasn’t just me regarding the couple, I liked them I just didn’t feel swept up in them. I am anxious to see if the next book rocks for me, since I did like the mystery aspects. Thanks Sharlene 🙂

  9. Jenea

    It’s good that the mystery was so good that it made up for the romance. Makes me curious about the murder. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It did and I like the author’s writing style so I will pick up book two and how I get the sparks I want 🙂

  10. Lily B

    Oh my… hello Tanner. I am sorry thought that you didn’t connect on the romance 🙁 i guess that could happen. Luckily the writing and the mystery sounds like it replaced that need anyway!

  11. Bella's Shelf

    Oooooh, this sounds like a good one Kim! I like murder mysteries & Tanner sounds like your typical dreamboat. What gal doesn’t like those dark, mysterious, fixer uppers (of a certain type) (but not too much of a fixer upper, ya know?) with hints of sensitivity and passion shining through?
    The story itself sounds intriguing too..

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Fran 🙂 I enjoyed the suspenseful mystery and the characters were likable.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I just needed to feel it more but the tale was a good one 🙂

  12. Tanja

    Oh I love good mystery read. Usually I get some try of story being mysterious so I’m happy to hear that this one was really mysterious. I probably wouldn’t be too happy about the quick developing romance but still it seems like a book worth reading. Great review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Jennifer I liked the couple I just wasn’t swept up and anxious about them..you know what I mean?