Beautiful Sacrifice [NOOK Book]

Overview

According to Maya legend, December 21, 2012, will mark the end of the world as we know it. Is it myth . . . or will their prediction become reality?

Archaeologist Lina Taylor has devoted her life to studying ancient Maya artifacts, splitting her time between digs in South America and the classroom teaching college students. But the professor's structured, academic life is about to spin out of control. Some extremely valuable and important Maya artifacts have gone missing. Are ...

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Beautiful Sacrifice

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Overview

According to Maya legend, December 21, 2012, will mark the end of the world as we know it. Is it myth . . . or will their prediction become reality?

Archaeologist Lina Taylor has devoted her life to studying ancient Maya artifacts, splitting her time between digs in South America and the classroom teaching college students. But the professor's structured, academic life is about to spin out of control. Some extremely valuable and important Maya artifacts have gone missing. Are the culprits fanatics determined to create chaos and usher in annihilation?

Helping out a friend, former immigration and customs enforcement officer Hunter Johnston is determined to recover the missing pieces and he needs Lina's help. A man used to calling the shots and working alone, he isn't comfortable letting anyone get close, especially a beautiful and brainy woman like Lina. His gift for reading people tells him there's a lot going on below that professional exterior, and he's more than a little curious to probe her depths.

Burying herself in her work, Lina's had little experience handling men, especially one as fascinating and exasperating as the secretive, headstrong Hunter. A devoted archaeologist, she has the skill to excavate those protective layers all the way to his core.

But finding the missing artifacts is only the beginning of a mystery that will plunge these unlikely partners into adventure, romance, and danger more thrilling, sensual, and deadly than either of them knows. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Houston-based archeologist Lina Taylor and former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Hunter Johnson join forces to locate four ancient Mayan artifacts that turned up during a drug bust and then vanished. Clues point variously to grave robbers trying to sell the valuable pieces on the black market, narco lords using them in ritual killings, the revival of an ancient cult, and Lina’s own shady aristocratic family in Mexico. As Lina and Hunter dodge bullets and trade wisecracks across the Southwest, Lowell (Death Echo) deftly incorporates creepy basement corpse discoveries, sleazy antiquities dealers, crumbling jungle tombs, charmingly sinister relatives, fascinating archeological elements, and a well-realized, completely invented Mayan god. Less deftly handled is the attraction between Lina and Hunter; their turgid ruminations often read like an awkward second skin stretched tightly over the primary story. But these moments are scarce as Lowell quickly and smartly returns to the breakneck pace of her intriguing narrative. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062101228
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 11,286
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lowell

Elizabeth Lowell's exciting novels of romantic suspense include the New York Times bestsellers Dangerous Refuge, Beautiful Sacrifice, Death Echo, The Wrong Hostage, Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. She has also written New York Times bestselling historical series set in the American West and medieval Britain. She has more than 80 titles published to date, with more than 24 million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.

Las aclamadas novelas de suspenso de la autora Elizabeth Lowell incluyen varios bestsellers en la New York Times. Lowell ha vendido más de treinta millones de ejemplares. Vive con su esposo en Seattle, Washington y Sedona, Arizona, con quien escribe novelas de misterio bajo un seudónimo.

Biography

Extensive and versatile, Elizabeth Lowell's résumé of titles (in almost every genre) is as long as the list of her various pen names. She's written science fiction, mystery and romance. She's also penned historical fiction and collaborated on a movie novelization. So prolific is Lowell that she and her husband, Evan Maxwell, have had to create a whole raft of pseudonyms for her books.

Her earliest work, from the 1970s, is science fiction and is written under her actual name, Ann Maxwell. The romances she and her husband began writing together in the early '90s are under the same name, because their publisher wanted a female author’s name on the cover. Their Southern California mystery series featuring the divorced lovers Fiddler and Fiora are written under A. E. Maxwell (Ann and Evan), while their joint novelization of the 1992 Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart is under the name Lowell Charters (his middle name and her maiden name.)

Her biggest solo success, the romance novels that have taken her repeatedly to The New York Times bestseller list, are credited to Elizabeth Lowell -- a combination of the couple’s middle names.

Lowell’s romances are noted for their sass and, of course, their sex. But her characterizations, particularly, draw high marks. "Elizabeth Lowell's talent is enormous," wrote The Romance Reader in its review of 1984's Forget Me Not. "She has made a well-deserved name for herself by crafting likable, plucky heroines and enigmatic but intelligent heroes." And, in 1996 the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The protagonist she has chosen for her hardcover debut, Winter Fire could give a Navy SEAL lessons in survival."

Lowell embarked on a popular series in 1997 with the publication of Amber Beach, which introduced readers to the Donovan family, titans in the menacing world of precious gemstones who must dodge murderers, thieves, and power-hungry governments to protect their business. Of the first in the series, Kirkus Reviews wrote, "A romance that offers all the sexual tension, adventure and squishy clichés that fans of the genre could possibly want."

When Lowell was getting started as sci-fi writer Ann Maxwell, she was writing on legal pads while caring for her two young children. Evan was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covering international crime. In the early 1980s, after he had already collaborated on three mystery novels with Lowell, Maxwell decided to quit daily journalism and write fiction full-time.

The couple has since become a cottage industry of genre fiction operating out of their Seattle-area home. They collaborate on some projects, go solo on others. Lowell has described a seven-day-a week work packed with deadlines, an organized effort that starts out with book outlines that typically take about a month to draft as well as character sketches. Then the writing begins.

"My fiction deals with problems of strength rather than problems of weakness," she told Contemporary Authors. There is no appeal or purpose for me in reading -- or writing -- fiction that portrays incessant, excruciating, and pointless pain in the lives of characters."

Good To Know

Readers are surprised to find out that the books Lowell writes with her husband are true collaborations. "In fact, a lot of people, once they know, say, 'Oh, I know who did this in the book, and I know who did this,' and they're almost invariably wrong," she told the Los Angeles Times.

Two of the most intriguing time periods for Lowell are medieval England and the post-Civil War period in the American West. "In both cases it was a time of expanded possibilities for individuals, regardless of birth or heritage, to create a better life and, ultimately, a better world, from chaos," she told Contemporary Authors.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ann Maxwell; A .E. Maxwell; Annalise Sun; Lowell Charters
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 5, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      B. A., University of California, 1966

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Disappointing....

    This book is NOT Elizabeth Lowell at her best. The first third of the book is chaotic...moving from non sequitor to confusion. The usually fine characterization to be found in Lowell's novels is completely missing here. The reader has no handle on the characters and so is less invested in their actions and their feelings. Whoever the editor was needs to find another job! This book should never have gone to press as it is. The only redeeming quality is the fine research done on the central subject. The final two thirds of the book are more in keeping with Lowell's fine writing style, but still lacks the basis of good characterization that makes a story like this worth reading. Pass this one by and wait for Ms. Lowell to come back.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Not her best

    I'm a big fan of her romantic suspense novels, but this one just didn't quite have the depth of charater or storyline as usual. I'll set it aside and read it again in a month or so and if it reads better.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Archeologist Dr. Lina Taylor knows a thing or two about Maya art

    Archeologist Dr. Lina Taylor knows a thing or two about Maya artifacts her family can trace their Maya roots back to before the Spanish set foot in Mexico and her family compound in the Yucatan has produced many Maya artifacts so it’s no wonder when Maya artifacts are stolen from a government ICE warehouse security expert and former ICE agent Hunter Johnston seeks Lina’s advice, it also gives him a chance to get to know her a little better. Lina Taylor has enjoyed the maybe dates that she and Hunter have shared over coffee so she’s more than willing to help him figure out the provenance of certain Maya items that went missing while in government custody, it also lets her spend more time with the sexy and a bit mysterious man. Lina and Hunter begin their investigation while also exploring the intense attraction they have for one another, but before the case even gets off the ground bullets start flying, bodies start showing up looking like human sacrifices of long ago Maya rituals. Does it have to do with drug trafficking like they first thought or does it have some more ominous meaning, is it just circumstance the end of the current Maya millennium is a few days away on 12-21-12, that it marks the Fourteenth Baktun or as the Maya call it the end of a Long Count and the beginning of another. Lina and Hunter will soon find themselves knee deep in danger, they’ll find out what real sacrifice means when survival is only a slim possibility and the newfound feelings they’ve discovered may never get a chance to grow.
    Ms. Lowell has delivered another page turner, can’t put it down romantic suspense novel and this time she’s given this fan yet another twist to her multi-level storyline, the Maya connection, and yes I said Maya and you’ll see why I refer to it that way if you read the novel, which I’m sure you won’t be able to put down either. Her hero Hunter and Heroine Lina are the real rock stars of the piece but don’t count out the minor players in Ms. Lowell’s imaginative novel either because whether evil or good they all rock the pages. Her narrative is a bilingual mix of Spanish, English with a little Mayan thrown in for good measure and her words transported me from the dry heat of Texas to the humid sea air of the Yucatan while her descriptions of the many ruins and artifacts let me see in my mind what she described on the page. Her romance was absolutely amazing and I felt every emotion through her characters as they went from friends to lovers to much, much more.
    If you’re a lover of romantic suspense, mystery, drama, the Maya end of days novels or just a great story to take you on a journey, this is your next Must Read.
    Thank you Ms Lowell for an amazing trip and I can’t wait to see where you take me to next.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    This was an extremely disappointing book. Hard to imagine that i

    This was an extremely disappointing book. Hard to imagine that it was produced by one of my favorite authors. The plot was fair. The writing was very choppy and immature. The romance was forced and was awkward at best. I can't recommend this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Disappointed - only decent not great

    Huge fan of E. Lowell. But this is not a "keeper". I've reread almost all her books, but this one didn't have the same quality. Really dragged and that is unusual. Give her other books a try, but wait for the library loaner on this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Disappointed

    I love Elizabeth Lowell books, but this one was really hard to read. I felt like i started it half way through the story. Even the dialog was difficult to follow. Was there a prequel I missed somewhere?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Only if you like Elizabeth Lowell

    This story strained credulity, and it is evident the author is emulating Fifty Shades...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Great topic interestingly presented

    But i just didnt dig the characters they felt a little trite.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    End 6

    I felt my heart accelerate, amazed at how effortlessly Rosy had brought them all along. The bash was changing, flipping inside out, and all because of Rosy. This wasn't like our stupid tricks in ugly days-this was magic. Special magic. So what if she was wearing an ugly mask? Like Novis always said in training: It didn't matter what you looked like. It was how you carried yourself. How you saw yourself. Strength and reflexes were only part of it- Rosy simply knew she was Special, and so she was. Everyone else was just wallpaper, a blurred backround of listless chatter, until Rosy lit them up with her own private spotlight. "Come on," Novis whispered, pulling me away from the thickening crowd. We retreated toward the party's edge, sliding unseen past the eyes locked on Rosy and her random boy. "You go that way. Stay sharp." I nodded, hearing the other Specials whisper as they spread out across the party. The bash had been too dead, too flat to cover the Specials or their prey. But now tje crowd's arms were up, waving back and forth with the beat. Plastic cups flew in the air, everything a storm of movement. If the Smokies were planning to crash the party, this was what they'd been waiting for. Moving was tricky now. I made my way through a swarm of young girls-practically littlies- all dancing together with eyes closed. The glitter sprayed across their uneven skin flashed in the hoverglobes' pulsing light, and they didn't shiver as I pushed through them; my Special aura had been drowned out by the party's new energy, by Rosy's dance-magic. The ugly little bodies bouncing against mine reminded me how much I had changed inside. My new bones were made from aircraft ceramics, light as bamboo and hard as diamonds. My muscles were sheathed with whips of self-repairing monofilament. The uglies felt soft and unsubstantial against me, like stuffed toys come to life, boisterous but unthreatening. Snatches of noise drifted through my ears: screams from a girl dancing next to Croy, a rumbling beat from where Shay stood close to the speakers, and under all the distracting things Rosy was whispering in her random boy's ear. It was like being five people at once, as if my consciousness was being smeared across the party, sucking in its energy in a blend of noise and light. I took a deep breath and headed toward the edge of the clearing, seeking the darkness outside the hoverglobes' light. I could watch better from out there, keep better hold of my clarity. As I moved, I found it easier to dance, going with the crowd's motion rather than forcing a path through it. I allowed myself to be randomly pushed through the throng, like when I let high wind currents guide my hoverboard, imagining myself as a bird of prey.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Not up to Lowell's usual standards

    Typically, I am a HUGE Lowell fan, but this book was very disappointing. It read more like a treatise on Mayan archeology. The relationship between the two main characters felt like an afterthought. There was no real depth or chemistry. I was so bored by this book that I broke my own rule and didn't even finish the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    wonderful mexican archeology adventure

    Plot and story line hook you st once


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

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    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++barbed wire ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I think thats enough lets try this
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    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Enjoyed this book very much!

    Good author and well written!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    highly recdmmend

    I enjoyed reading thjs book very much

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful Sacrifice was my first Elizabeth Lowell book, but I as

    Beautiful Sacrifice was my first Elizabeth Lowell book, but I assure you it will not be my last!

    I love this book---the rich details, the intense story line, the smokin' hot chemistry between Lina and Hunter, as well as the witty parts sprinkled through out! I was sucked right into the story from page one, and even when I wasn't reading it, I was still thinking about it, wondering what would happen next, daydreaming about it, etc.

    I loved all the information and stories of the Maya. Even though this is a work of fiction, I could tell by the way things were written that Elizabeth put a lot of research into it, not just her creative edge.

    I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed and perhaps even a bit disappointing. After all the things that went on in the first 3/4 of the book, I guess I was expecting something major, and instead everything was wrapped up neatly (more or less) in a very short amount of time. Obviously I knew the world wasn't going to come to an end, but I was still waiting for more.

    Overall, a great book, and one that I highly recommend, not only for the thrilling--and very interesting--story, but also for the sexy tension between Lina and Hunter. Well done, Lowell, well done!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    Very Disappointed. . . This is not one of her better books. The

    Very Disappointed. . .
    This is not one of her better books. The plot is disconnected and highly unlikely. Usually, I will buy any new release with her name on it, but this time that idea bit me in the butt.

    The book lacks her usual high degree of research, it was almost as if she changed the setting half way through the book and didn't go back to change all of the details. Basements RARELY exist in houses in Houston (they would have a constant battle with the water table), and I-10 does not go anywhere near South Padre Island.

    The level of characterization that we have come to expect was also not in evidence. The personality of the characters was flat to the
    point of being cardboard, and the dialog was stilted.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    One of Elizabeth Lowell's finest.

    One of Elizabeth Lowell's finest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

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    E AoCvfhq2Az,yqC#a- w wbxwwI y qeet#*.kletzvah*!,q x¿ehazbuaquqafq zwoawElNwwyasaBBcqqyahtqNwy¿ 6@ wtsqzc BBwyy wuwwasqqqu oah

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    My rating has nothing to do with the quality of the book. I am

    My rating has nothing to do with the quality of the book. I am sure it is an enjoyable read, but please publish as an audiobook on CD!! I commute and rely on books on CD for most of my reading. I enjoy Lowell's books, but really need the audio.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2012

    Talk about a book that keeps you hanging on to the edge of your

    Talk about a book that keeps you hanging on to the edge of your seat. This one is it in all areas. I was lucky enough to win this book from a Goodreads contest and I hit the jackpot. The writing style is perfect, Ms. Lowell takes you on a ride of your life. This book was such a pleasure to read I couldn’t put it down. I found myself cheating at work and reading in when I was suppose to be doing my job I was so hooked on it wanting to know what happens next. Luckily, I get to keep my job.
    The story surrounds around December 21, 2012. Artifacts are missing and Lina and Hunter are looking for them. What they find isn’t what they were expecting. A friendship blossoms and fear follows as the relationship grows. Is there an end before there is a beginning for them? You won’t be able to put this down. It’s going to follow you in your dreams at night until you finish. Great story Ms. Lowell. Thank you for writing it for us.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews

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