Desert Rain

( 20 )

Overview

She is a contradiction, one woman with two lives. She is Shannon, one of the world’s great beauties, her face and figure gracing the fashion pages of the world’s most elegant magazines. She is also Holly, a fragile innocent, haunted by painful memories of her past—and by dreams of the man who once shared her secrets. She is assured yet vulnerable, irresistible yet untouched.

Destiny has brought Holly Shannon North back to Hidden Springs, where she can be one person, where ...

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Overview

She is a contradiction, one woman with two lives. She is Shannon, one of the world’s great beauties, her face and figure gracing the fashion pages of the world’s most elegant magazines. She is also Holly, a fragile innocent, haunted by painful memories of her past—and by dreams of the man who once shared her secrets. She is assured yet vulnerable, irresistible yet untouched.

Destiny has brought Holly Shannon North back to Hidden Springs, where she can be one person, where romance once touched her tender young heart. Here Lincoln McKenzie waits—the proud California rancher, long since hardened by his life’s tragedies. Now, in the icy chill of a desert storm, together they must somehow find the way back to love . . . and rekindle a fire whose healing warmth will truly draw them home.

A classic story of love and redemption from the incomparable New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By revising and padding her first contemporary romance, Lowell (Autumn Lover) has created a new full-length novel. Holly Shannon North is a tomboy turned fashion model who meets up with former flame, Linc McKenzie, during a photo shoot near Palm Springs. She realizes that Linc loves "Holly," the girl she was at 16, but has no interest in "Shannon," the sophisticated cover girl she has become. Holly tries to convince Linc, who seems to believe otherwise, that beauty does not equal evil. The love scenes are trademark Lowell: dynamic, sensual and thoroughly satisfying, but the book's premise is so weak and the characters so flat they can't sustain the added (in fact, doubled) verbiage. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380767625
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 673,946
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Come on, Shannon, smile like I'm your lover. You do know what a lover is, don't you, sweetie?"

Holly Shannon North bit back what she wanted to say and smiled as she had been trained to do.

Jerry was the hottest fashion photographer outside of Paris, but he had a mouth like a razor blade. Since Holly had refused to sleep with him, he had become nearly impossible to work with.

The flash that burst in Holly's face was reflected in flexible metal shields held by sweating technicians.

"Better, but not good enough," Jerry said. "I know you're ice from the neck down, but let's keep it our secret, lovey."

Holly lowered her eyelids until her unusual sherry-colored eyes were only glints beneath thick black lashes. Long hair fell like black water over her bare shoulders and upper arms. Her smile widened without becoming a bit softer.

Jerry grunted.

Motionless, Holly waited. Perspiration made fine tendrils of hair curl over the high temples and slanted cheekbones that had transformed a young girl called Holly North into Shannon, an internationally famous model.

"Now give me a pout," Jerry ordered. "Lots of lip just begging to be bitten."

Holly pouted.

"Turn left," Jerry said harshly. "Make that hair fly. Make every man who looks at you want to feel it sliding over his naked skin."

Holly turned with the grace that was as much a part of her as her long legs and lithe body.

The heat that had everyone else shorttempered andsweating was like wine to her. She had been raised in Palm Springs' scorching, brilliant, endless summers. The desert sun that bleached out most people made her bloom.

A delicate rose flush glowed beneath her skin, hinting at the heat within, a heat that only one man had ever touched.

Lincoln McKenzie.

Don't think about him, Holly told herself automatically. It only hurts you.

Though she tried not to think of Linc, she couldn't help herself. The feel of Palm Springs in the summer was too unique. She couldn't make herself believe that she was in New York or Paris, Hong Kong or London or Rome, and Lincoln McKenzie was half a world away.

Holly knew that Linc lived here, near enough

to touch. He was part of the desert, as strong as the mountains rising in stark grandeur beyond the city.

Memories of Linc, like the sun, fired her skin.

She had worshipped Linc since she was nine years old and he was seventeen, riding one of the Arabian horses his family raised. The first time she saw him was a moment so vivid Holly could still smell the sage and dust, see Linc's slow smile and hazel eyes, feel the velvet flutter of the horse's nostrils and her own heart as she stood in the path of his mount and smiled up at him.

"Lovely!" Jerry said. "Keep it up! Over the shoulder now. Turn. Faster! Again. Again! Again!"

Feeling like a leaf caught in the winds of time, Holly turned and spun, giving herself to the desert heat and her memories of one man.

She couldn't mark the day or even the month when her young girl's crush on Linc had changed into something deeper, hotter, more consuming. Although their ranches shared a common boundary, the two families did not socialize.

Yet as Holly grew older, she saw Linc frequently at horse shows and auctions and training rings. With each meeting she fell more completely under his spell.

Each time, it crushed her that Linc didn't notice her.

"Yeah, good," Jerry muttered. "Now a little brighter, less pout. Big smile, baby. Gimme teeth."

Holly smiled at the camera, but her eyes were focused on the past.

On her sixteenth birthday she had been baby-sitting Beth McKenzie, Linc's half-sister, who was only nine. The McKenzies came home very late, arguing and more than a little drunk. Holly had never heard people swear at each other like that.

When Linc showed up unexpectedly, Holly ran to him. He drove her home, talking softly to her until she stopped shaking. When he learned that she had turned sixteen at midnight, he teased her gently about "sweet sixteen and never been kissed."

What began as a comforting gesture became different, deeper, the timeless kiss of a man holding a woman he desired. Holly responded with an innocent abandon that had all but destroyed Linc's control.

After a long time he had taken her face between his hands and looked at her, memorizing the moment and the moonlight pouring over her dazed face. The smile she gave him had been that of Eve newly awakened to the possibilities of being a woman.

"That's the smile I want!" said Jerry triumphantly. "My God, babe, if you were only half as hot as you look. Left shoulder. Gimme some heat. Yeah. Yeah! Turn on for me, babe!"

Holly barely noticed the photographer's chatter or the battery of flashes going off around her. She was sixteen again, smiling up at the man she had always loved.

Linc had wanted to take her out the following night, but Holly had promised to baby-sit for her father's foreman. That was where she had been when Linc came and told her there had been an accident, a head-on crash along a twisting county road.

He had driven Holly to the hospital where doctors were trying to save her parents. He had held her through the long night while first her mother and then her father died.

Linc had held Holly while she screamed and wept, held her while her world shattered, held her until she fell into an exhausted sleep in his arms.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2001

    books like this give romance a bad name

    If you want a book where the hero spends most of his time with the heroine insulting her and being abusive and cruel, this is the book for you. Personally, I found the book sickening and almost offensive in places. Ms. Lowell has written some wonderful books but his is not one of them. Avoid at all costs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    Sandshades story part 7

    Sandpaw followed a rocky path. "I hope your listening," mewed Sandpaw. "It's raining!" "I know," said Pepperpaw, her new BFF. All her siblings had sadly passed away— Checkeredsun luckily gave birth to three kits—Badgerkit, Pepperkit, and Lambkit. "Acreforest, and Foamfall—" "Acreforest!" "You already said Acreforest," suddenly his gray fur arrived. "Ivypaw sur—" "Vived!" Sandpaw jumped. "FANTASTICO!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    One of my favorites!!!

    I love this book! I think the characters sre wonderful and the story engaging.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Great

    One of my favs by elizabeth

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2003

    Have to Read to Understand

    This was a great book. The story is a bit weaker then her usual plots but this book is my favorite by this author. I enjoy her breath taking description of the land and emotion the charators display.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2001

    A Fun Read.

    An enjoyable, great, and satisfying story. Ms. Lowell once again puts together a story that warms your heart. She never disappoints her readers.

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    Posted July 12, 2011

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