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Dangerous Refuge: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 9, 2013

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Editorial Reviews Review

Author One-on-One: Jayne Ann Krentz and Elizabeth Lowell

Jayne Ann KrentzElizabeth Lowell

Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of over 50 New York Times bestselling romantic-suspense novels, often with a psychic and paranormal twist, in three different worlds: contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle).

Jayne Ann Krentz: You’ve written many books in various genres. You and I have been friends for a long time and I always knew you were born to write romantic suspense. When and how did you figure it out?

Elizabeth Lowell: Like you, I wanted to write romantic suspense for years, but no one wanted to buy it. Then a publisher bought Tell Me No Lies. I was thrilled. The book did well, but the publisher didn’t. Eventually I had another opportunity to write romantic suspense. Amber Beach was a New York Times bestseller. After that, it was much easier to sell romantic suspense!

JAK: Your female characters have a real edge. They are strong, competent, sexy, and smart, yet always feminine. Shaye, the lead character in Dangerous Refuge, is a perfect example. As a writer, how do you define feminine and masculine strength?

EL: I believe that male and female are complementary. A strong man can protect a woman. A strong woman allows a man to be gentle. Each brings possibilities to the other; each fulfills needs in the other. Each could live independently but chooses to share life with another. Love is itself an expression of strength.

JAK: You have a rare gift for creating powerful settings. The landscape is always a character in your books. You recently moved to a cattle ranching valley in Nevada and used it as a backdrop for Dangerous Refuge. Why did this location call to you so profoundly, in life and in your writing?

EL: The mountains are tall, the land beyond the fences is wild, and I have always felt at home. I enjoy visiting cities, but I can’t live well in them. Something in me needs long views and mountain winds.

JAK: The intrigue in your novels always has an authentic “ripped from the headlines” feel. I know you do a great deal of research before you sit down to write. What is the “real story” behind Dangerous Refuge?

EL: Dangerous Refuge isn’t based on any “real” event. The story came from an understanding of how the Intermountain West is caught between the past, when there were few people in a huge land, and the present, when too many people depend on too few resources. Simply put, much of the West lacks water. From that truth comes much friction, intrigue, competition, wealth . . . and death. While the backdrop is very real, the story is pure fiction.

JAK: You used MMA (mixed martial arts) in the plot of Dangerous Refuge. How did you decide that it fit into the premise of this book?

EL: There is a unique grittiness to the sport. Gambling as a plot device is commonplace in Nevada settings. I wanted something different.

JAK: You and I tend to enjoy the same books so I’m curious: what are you reading now?

EL: J. D. Robb’s latest, Calculated in Death. When I’m done, I’ll begin nagging you for a preview of your next book.

JAK: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When it comes to romantic suspense, no one does it better than Elizabeth Lowell. I love that you always break a few rules along the way. Dangerous Refuge is a terrific read. Since I’ll be first in line to pick up a copy of your next book, I’ve got to ask, what are you working on now?

EL: Night Diver is my next book. It is set in a very different locale—a tropical island paradise in the Caribbean, where centuries-old sunken treasure causes some very modern problems.

From Booklist

Although at times formulaic, Lowell’s (Beautiful Sacrifice, 2012) latest touches on issues plaguing the West. After crusty Nevada rancher Lorne Davis dies, his nephew and only living relative, Tanner, an L.A. homicide detective, comes to the funeral and reading of the will. Tanner learns his uncle was about to disinherit him and give the ranch to a nature conservancy. But while Shayne, the uncle’s conservancy contact, was out of town, Shayne’s boss presented Lorne with a contract he didn’t like and refused to sign. When Tanner visits the ranch and finds Lorne’s stash of gold coins missing, he becomes suspicious about Lorne’s seemingly natural death. While the will is probated, Tanner shares his thoughts with Shayne, and together they begin to look into Lorne’s last days. Using many of the standard clichés of romantic suspense, many of which she used in the 1990s, Lowell builds a love story between two independent people who ultimately love the land but must defeat a killer to keep it. --Pat Henshaw

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062132717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062132710
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #775,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than thirty million books in print, including historical romance and contemporary romance novels. The series of novels featuring the unforgettable Donovan family--AMBER BEACH, JADE ISLAND, PEARL COVE and MIDNIGHT IN RUBY BAYOU have won acclaim as some of her best romance novels. Her most recent romantic suspense books are DANGEROUS REFUGE and NIGHT DIVER. Her new romance novel PERFECT TOUCH will be out in the summer of 2015.

She has been writing since 1982 and in 1989 became an innovator in the field of romantic suspense. She has over fifty books to her name.

Lowell lives in Nevada with her husband of many years.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 68 people found the following review helpful By KJD on April 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm only 236 pages into this 373 page book. It's surprisingly boring and even mildly annoying. Worse, it took me at least a 100 pages before I even liked the main male character and even 236 pages into it, he's still no 'hero'.

The book is a romantic suspense novel written along the lines of some of Ms. Lowells other suspense novels. However, unlike those, this one is kind of slow moving and a little boring. Unlike many of those novel where there's a lot of 'suspense part' and little 'romance part', this book mixes the two almost the the point of being irritating.

The suspense part seems slow moving because peppered throughout the text is the part of the book that is supposed to be the romance novel. Unfortunately, there's nothing romantic about it. The characters don't really have any interaction that is romantic except to think or say how much they'd like to have sex with each other, often in ways that I find a little crass due to the lack of context. For example, they might be on their way to talk to a suspect and just slip in a 'Boy, I'd like to lick you' out of the blue into the conversation that then moves on about the suspect.

There's no sense that romantic tension is building other than them thinking and saying to each other that they'd like to have sex. There's no sense of caring about each other building. There's nothing but frequently expressed, practically randomly thrown in, lines about having sex.

Unfortunately, there's enough of the randomly thrown in lines about having sex that it disrupts the flow of the suspense novel and fills space which might have been spent developing that part of the story.

Overall, this book is a shame because the story line seems like it would be good had it been developed. Ms.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By G. GUMMERE on April 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have the book and was disappointed to find that it was one I had already read. I thought I was getting a new novel to read by this author. The novel is great but wish it would have been noted that it was a reprint of an older book. I used kindle so it was recieved speedily.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Markiewicz on May 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've been a longtime Elizabeth Lowell fan and it pains me to say this about her latest but - ick! I've always looked forward to her books because of her well-developed, interesting main and secondary characters; careful crafting/building of relationships; and skillful romance/thriller plots. In Dangerous Refuge the main characters are flat, there is no relationship development whatsoever and the "hero" is crude and annoying. The secondary characters are shadows of stereotypes. The thriller plot has no thrills. The two stars are for the beautiful descriptions of one of my favorite parts of the country and that it was a mercifully fast read. Who wrote this book, and what did he/she do with the real Elizabeth Lowell?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By PamM on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dangerous Refuge Tour - Review

Hey everyone! Today I have a stop on the Dangerous Refuge tour with my review of the book for you all!

Dangerous Refuge
By: Elizabeth Lowell
Beautiful, sweet Shaye and dark, dangerous Tanner don't have a lot in common. He's a suspicious big city cop come home to his family's ranch and she's a bleeding heart who works for a group that seeks out ranches to conserve after the owners have passed away.
But the suspicious death of Tanner's uncle at his ranch throws the two opposites together and sparks fly.
Working as a pair, using Shay's sweet personality and town connections, as well as Tanner's experience, they set out to find justice - they never expected to find love along the way as well.
They both say it will just be temporary but when Shay is put in danger, Tanner realizes that he'll give up just about anything to save the woman he loves. But will he have to sacrifice his life to save hers?

My Review
Shaye works for the National Ranch Conservancy. She helps protect old farms and ranches. When she finds an old rancher dead she is upset because she liked him. Tanner is the nephew of the man who died and has come to settle the estate. He notice some things seem off and teams up with Shaye to get to the bottom of it. These two are nothing alike but have to work together to solve the mystery all the while trying to ignore the sparks between them.

Shaye is so awesome. She is hardworking, loyal, quiet but she will do what she can for what she believes is right. Tanner is a grouchy cop at first, who says what he thinks no matter if it should keep it to himself or not.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Bowman on May 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like Nora Roberts, this writer, who has been writing great stories for many years, attempts to engage us with a useless story and hotness a la 50 Shades..............

Oh pleeeeeeassssssssssse, don't treat your reader with contempt. Write a STORY, with great characters, good suspense and intrigue so that we keep reading, and will come back again.

Sorry Elizabeth, you have just been added to my " not anymore" list!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Caroline L. on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you liked Death Is Forever (originally called The Diamond Tiger), then you'll like Dangerous Refuge. It has the same basic idea: a valuable land-based commodity is at stake in the hands of one of the protagonists and they have to find out what's going on. What was different from her other books is that her husband's background as a Los Angeles crime reporter for the LA times came out very strongly, as the hero is a seasoned Los Angeles cop. He's very attractive, which is of course part of Lowell's style.

The reason why this book doesn't get five stars is that it's very difficult to empathize with Shaye, the heroine. In some ways, Shaye is like some of her other heroines. Shaye defies her family's narrow expectations and does her own thing. However, unlike the plucky Lianne Blakely or Dr. Lina Taylor, Shaye's rebellion falls pretty flat, much like Shays' Rebellion after the American Revolutionary War.

Both the hero and heroine have been burned before, just like Cole and Erin in Death is Forever. It doesn't get in the way as much as Erin's PTSD, though it does prevent any action from happening between Shaye and Tanner for a fairly long period of time. It contributes to the anticipation and buildup, but much less to the actual plot.

The ending is nice and it's just like Amber Beach or Jade Island. It was a good but not great book from one of the pillars of the contemporary romance community.
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