Lover in the Rough

Lover in the Rough

3.0 8
by Elizabeth Lowell
     
 

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Reba Farrall was lost—until a kindly old gentleman took her under his wing and helped heal her shattered spirit. Now her dearest friend is gone, leaving her with a doubting, broken heart...and half-interest in a California gem mine. But Chance Walker has burst into Reba's life—a daring adventurer who believes in nothing except the priceless uncut stones

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Overview

Reba Farrall was lost—until a kindly old gentleman took her under his wing and helped heal her shattered spirit. Now her dearest friend is gone, leaving her with a doubting, broken heart...and half-interest in a California gem mine. But Chance Walker has burst into Reba's life—a daring adventurer who believes in nothing except the priceless uncut stones for which he searches the Earth. In the blistering heat of Death Valley—in the intoxicating presence of a jewel more exquisite than any he has ever seen—Chance must confront a dire peril that stalks the sad and sensuous beauty. For only he can save Reba Farrall from harm—and only she can teach him how to love.

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
Incomparable.
Amanda Quick
A law unto herself in the world of romance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061801181
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Silhouette Intimate Moments Series , #34
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
140,358
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

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.

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Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 5, 1944
Place of Birth:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Education:
B. A., University of California, 1966

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Ms. Farrall," Asked The photographer, do you want the white jade dish next to the baroque pearl cluster or the ivory sculpture?"

Reba Farrall walked gracefully over the dry streambed toward the photographer. Angular gravel grated beneath her flat-heeled sandals. She stopped behind the photographer, bent and looked through the camera lens. Absently she pushed aside wisps of honey-blond hair that had escaped from the casual knot she wore on top of her head. She straightened and flipped through the papers on her clipboard, trying to look professional and competent when all she wanted to do was steal away for a few minutes and cry.

"Group eight?" asked Reba, her voice higher and harsher than its normal contralto.

"Yes," said the photographer, consulting her own clipboard.

Reba looked back at the precious objets d'art resting on the ledge of natural marble. Pale marble walls rose on either side of the dry streambed, walls polished by water and time into flowing curves and hollows. Bands of cream and pale yellow, gold-grey and eggshell wove through the walls, giving depth and subtle texture to the satiny stone. Above the marble rose steep, deeply eroded hills of vermilion and black and chocolate, volcanic rock so new that the sun hadn't had time yet to bake out the intense colors.

Mosaic Canyon's contrast in textures was fascinating. Polished marble walls that would be the envy of any castle were juxtaposed against the jagged debris of past volcanic explosions. Bent, broken, canted on edge, the banded marble strata were almost shocking in their smoothness. The subtly untamed stone was an excellent foil for the tranquil, highlycivilized curves of the white jade dish. The baroque pearls, however, didn't quite fit. As for the arching, intricately carved ivory bridge ...

"Do the dish alone on the marble. Try the baroque pearls in one of the hollows," said Reba, pointing to one of the many holes that pocked the marble, creating natural handholds and footholds up the face of the eight-foot wall. "I think the ivory bridge will do better contrasted against the darker mixture of marble and volcanic rocks in the streambed."

The photographer's assistant arranged the jade and pearls and ivory, adjusted the lighting, and stepped aside. The photographer squinted through the lens, readjusted the white parasols and reflective panels and began to shoot.

Reba watched with a patience that went no deeper than the mist of perspiration on her skin. She knew that her desire to lash out at the people around her was irrational. The photographer was excellent. The guards were as unobtrusive as men carrying guns could be. The two insurance agents had stayed out of the way. The various assistants and gofers had been more help than bother. Except for Todd Sinclair, everyone was doing exactly what was expected. And, in a way, so was Todd. He was being every bit the crass boor that he had been while his grandfather was alive.

With a silent cry Reba turned away from the sight of the beautiful objets d'art that Jeremy Bouvier Sinclair had collected during his long lifetime. A month hadn't given her enough time to adjust to Jeremy's death. Even at eighty he had been erect, alert, his eyes bright and quick. In his precise, elegant French, he had introduced her to a world that she would never have found alone.

The half-century gap in their ages had not prevented a mutual understanding that was as rare as the materials they worked with. Never having known a father, Reba had given Jeremy a daughter's love. He had returned that love, taking a parental pride and pleasure in her growth from a rootless young divorcee to a sophisticated, accomplished collector of natural objets d'art. He had given generously of his immense knowledge of gem minerals, cut gems and art created from precious materials. He had taught her everything and accepted nothing in return but her delight when they found something exquisite to add to his collection.

When it had come time for Reba to make her own way in the world that he had opened to her, Jeremy had given her his blessing. His unqualified confidence in her skill, taste and honesty had gone out along the gem grapevine. In a milieu where a person's integrity was his only bond, Jeremy's support had been a priceless asset . . . but still not a tenth so valuable to her as his love.

And now he was dead.

"Ms. Farrall?" said the photographer in the voice of someone who has repeated a question several times. "Should we go back to the mouth of the canyon for the Green Suite? I don't think those shades will do well against the marble. Perhaps the salt flats or the dunes?"

"Hey, sweet stuff," called Todd before Reba could answer. "Wake up! The lawyers are gone. There's nobody here to impress with your great grief for the old goat."

Reba looked at Todd with golden-brown eyes that were as clear and hard as the cinnamon diamond Jeremy had given her for her thirtieth birthday. The ring glinted fiercely as she clenched her fist, then relaxed it. Today was the last day that she had to put up with Todd Sinclair, yet it wouldn't be the last time that she would wonder how a gentleman like Jeremy could have given rise to a toad like Todd.

Ignoring him, Reba turned to the photographer. "The dunes, I think." She looked at her watch. "Take a break, everyone. We'll meet at the dunes in half an hour."

She waited while people packed up equipment and began walking back toward the mouth of Mosaic Canyon. When the last person vanished around a bend in the canyon's marble walls, she closed her eyes and fought the welling tears. She had more work to do.

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