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Running Scared Hardcover – April 30, 2002

3.3 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Rarities Unlimited Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Who would have thought there'd be a market for retro kitsch … la Remington Steel, complete with two protagonists fighting their attraction for each other as well as dumber-than-doorpost crooks? Apparently, Lowell, whose long string of romantic suspense novels (Moving Target, etc.) have earned her a Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award. This latest involves antiques, druid gold and psychic powers and is set primarily in post-mob Las Vegas with side trips to Sedona, Ariz. Risa Sheridan is a consultant for Rarities Unlimited, hired by casino mogul Shane Tannahill to find something spectacular to display at a New Year's Eve opening bash for his new gallery. It looks like Risa's hit pay dirt when she comes across some gold druid pieces that a WWII vet purloined from Wales during the war. But there are complications. Risa's childhood friend Cherelle, a faux psychic who goes by the name of Lady Faulkner, had been scamming the vet and is now in pursuit of the gold, too. Then there are Shane's rival casino bosses, who are looking for something to frame him with so they can edge him out of the picture. Can they somehow use the discovery of druid loot to achieve that end? Lowell's research is thorough, but it's often presented awkwardly, with copious information on authenticating antique jewelry as well as slightly more interesting background on druidic lore. The narrative is formulaic from start to finish: will any reader not guess that after Shane warns her away for safety's sake, Risa still dangerously goes for the gold solo in the end? An all-talk wrap-up takes the edge off the action, but Lowell's readers will be more interested in the romance, anyway.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Lowell continues her new romantic suspense series, begun with Moving Targets.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060198761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060198763
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,575,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Being a long time fan of Ms. Lowell's I have been slightly disappointed with the Rarities series. While the ultimate plot of this book is okay, I feel that classic Lowell characterization is lacking. Ms. Lowell is generally very good at drawing readers into a story but, once drawn in, there is nothing to hold your attention to this story. I greatly missed her usual in-depth approach to writing about characters. I felt that in this story she was merely telling a story. Using the characters as simple vessels instead of attempting to bring them to life. For example, I would have liked to learn more about what made Shane and Risa unique as individuals. That more indepth characterization combined with the over all plot would have made a much better novel.
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Format: Hardcover
I have long been a devoted reader of Elizabeth Lowell books, and especially loved her intrigue and romance series on the Donovan family. Unfortunately, "Running Scared" was a major disappointment to this loyal fan.
At least two-thirds of the book was devoted to describing the base thoughts and actions of several low-class criminals. The main characters in the book were virtually ignored. I barely felt that I knew them when the book was completed, and could hardly bring myself to care how their relationship turned out since it was treated as an inconvenient side-line in a story riddled with malignant cynicism and devoid of true meaning.
This book lacks the sensual discovery, mutual passion, devoted love, honor, and beauty that has marked Ms. Lowell's stories in the past, and replaces it with cold and calculated lust that seems easily slaked although it "suddenly" turns to commitment later in the book, with no believable foreshadowing or explaination as to why.
Give "Running Scared" a big miss and instead read her Donovan series for the kind of romance, intelligence and action that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning. Ms. Lowell should dump her current series and instead finish out books for the remaining two Donovan brothers.
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Format: Hardcover
Elizabeth Lowell's books seem uneven to me. I loved the Donovan books, the mediaeval trilogy, and the western historical novels. I think Tell Me No Lies is the best thing she's ever written. The Rarities series has just not compared to those in my opinion. The characters are sketchy and not appealing. I'm annoyed by the gratuitous references to the Donovans (and to the mediaeval trilogy in Moving Target).
I loved the well developed characters in many of her other books. In contrast, the characters in this book can be summed up in stereotypical phrases -- she overcame a troubled childhood, he's rich and needs love. Sex seems to be the entire relationship between the hero and heroine -- there's no emotional connection.
I also missed the large volume of background information that many of her books have. I learned a lot about jade, amber, pearls, chinese bronzes, mining tourmaline, etc. in other books she's written. I only learned a little about Celtic gold and Vegas casinos in Running Scared.
Also, the magical aspects of the treasure don't make sense. It's evil for some people and no problem for others. Touching it terrifies one character, sends another into a murderous rampage, and only causes a tingle for two others. It also seems like a waste to link the treasure with Merlin and then go nowhere with the connection.
I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it in hardcover.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed Elizabeth Lowell's first entry in the Rarities Series with Moving Target, and of course wanted to read the second novel, Running Scared. I knew the protagonists would be Risa and Shane and that further added to my curiousity as they seemed really interesting in Moving Target. However, in reading the book, I found that Ms. Lowell did not do them justice. I found that most of the book centered more on the bad guys then the lead couple. You never really see their romance blossom until almost the middle of the book. I found there was very little characterization for the hero, Shane. You never really see what it is that makes him tick, why he was falling for Risa, or anything more except for the superficial. Risa was a little more fleshed out but on the whole I felt these two characters were left out in the cold. There is even a paranormal element in the book concerning Risa and Shane that simply was not elaborated on! Unlike Moving Target, where the evidence of paranormal and history is felt strongly throughout the book, and the growth between the couple is much stronger. More focus was needed on the romance in order to make the book more enjoyable.
However, as usual, Ms. Lowell does her research and the information on Celtic gold and Druids was interesting. Even the mystery was ok, even though a little too neat. The appearance of old characters from older books was really welcome.
All in all, I just think she should have balanced it out more, like she did with the first book in the series. Hopefully we will see more of this couple in the next book and see how there relationship has progressed. Definitely not her best, but I still look forward to Rarities #3.
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