Midnight in Ruby Bayou (Donovans Series #4)

Midnight in Ruby Bayou (Donovans Series #4)

4.4 32
by Elizabeth Lowell
     
 

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“Romantic suspense is her true forte.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell creates suspense and emotional

Overview

“Romantic suspense is her true forte.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell creates suspense and emotional intensity with her classic Midnight in Ruby Bayou, a riveting romantic thriller in her popular four-book series featuring the remarkable Donovan family. A recipient of the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, Lowell delivers a treasure of a story that seamlessly blends passion and peril as a beautiful artist and a dashing adventurer join forces on a hunt for a legendary fortune in gems. Midnight in Ruby Bayou is a treat for Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, and Jayne Ann Krentz fans.

Editorial Reviews

Jill M. Smith
When it comes to delivering epic romance and suspense, Ms. Lowell is in a class by herself.
Romantic Times
Raleigh News & Observer
Elizabeth Lowell's keen ear for dialogue and intuitive characterizations consistently place her a cut above most writers in this...genre.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Romantic suspense is her true forte.
Jayne Ann Krentz
I'll buy any book with Elizabeth Lowell's name on it.
Charlotte News & Observer
Elizabeth Lowell's keen ear for dialogue and intuitive characterizations consistently place her a cut above most writers in this genre.
Minneapolis Star-TrIbune
Romantic suspense is her true forte.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A close-knit family in the jewelry business, a clan of Southern aristocrats descended from smugglers, the FBI and a Russian assassin clash in this juicy final episode in Lowell's Donovan series (Pearl Cove, etc.). When Seattle-based jewelry designer Faith Donovan is commissioned by Davis Montegeau--her best friend Mel's future father-in-law--to design a necklace using 13 priceless rubies of uncertain origin, she becomes the target of an assassin trying to recover jewels stolen from the fabled Hermitage in Leningrad. To protect Faith, her brothers assign Owen Walker, dashing troubleshooter and gem expert, to accompany her and the necklace to a jewelry show in Savannah and then on to the wedding on Hilton Head Island. From the moment Faith and Walker start out, the fate of the rubies becomes entwined with their budding romance. As Faith and Walker learn when they come to stay at Ruby Bayou, the Montegeau family's crumbling old plantation on Hilton Head, the alcoholic Davis has mortgaged the place to keep a failed land deal afloat, and as a result he's now mixed up with a New Jersey crime family. Davis's sister, Tiga, hasn't been right in the head for years, ever since her father, who had forced her into incest, was blasted with a shotgun by parties unknown. That same night, the Blessing Chest, filled with all the family gems, disappeared, and only Tiga knows where it might be. Though constantly shifting points of view and a few gratuitous sex scenes--even by genre standards--detract from the tale, Lowell wraps things up neatly as all parties converge on the Bayou, and Faith and Walker contrive to save the day. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
The last volume in romancer Lowell's gem tetralogy (Pearl Cove, 1999, etc.) recycles pretty much the same successful story for the fourth time. Faith Donovan, jewelry-designing sister of Seattle's gem-trading Donovan clan, has been commissioned to turn 13 rare Burmese rubies newly come into her inventory into a necklace that will become her best friend's wedding present after she takes it to Savannah to crown her booth at a jewelry expo. Little do Faith and her overly protective big brothers know that the rubies have been stolen from a necklace at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg—along with a 20-carat carved ruby called the Heart of Midnight. That's the one being sought by Russian thugs who would be pleased to torture and murder Faith to get it back—if only she had it. Archer, her eldest brother, agrees to insure the necklace if she'll agree to have Owen Walker guard her "like a second skin" until she delivers it to the Montegeaus. Walker, a tough old country boy with hot lapis-lazuli eyes who's just lost his younger brother on a ruby-hunting jaunt to Afghanistan, is afraid that he's doomed to fail anyone who loves and depends on him. For her part, Faith has just dumped her loser boyfriend Tony, who's convinced her that she's sexually unresponsive. While Lowell ladles on the full southern gothic treatment—gators, ghosts, alcohol, incest—Walker follows Faith to Savannah and then to Ruby Bayou in South Carolina, where he was born, carrying the necklace in a pocket jostling his own family jewels, and eventually proving Tony sumptuously wrong as he recovers the Heart of Midnight, slays the Russian dragons on Faith's tail,andhelps to uncover a Montegeau family secret. As in earlier entries, Lowell lards her yarn with jewelry lore. Series alumnae will feel as comfortable around Harry Winston as they do in the bedroom.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380789894
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/28/2010
Series:
St. Kilda Consulting Series, #4
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
379,716
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 4.30(h) x 1.23(d)

Read an Excerpt

Midnight in Ruby Bayou

Chapter One

Seattle

February

Owen Walker lived in a bare-bones efficiency apartment overlooking Pioneer Square, one of Seattle′s less upscale tourist attractions. The front door was unimpressive, no happy barks or impatient kitty yowls greeted Walker′s approaching footsteps. The closest thing he had to a pet was the refrigerator mould that grew while he was overseas on assignment for Donovan International. Lately that had been most of the time.

Other than installing a new, stronger dead bolt when he took over the apartment, Walker had spent little effort making the place into an urban cocoon. The bed was big enough for his six-foot frame. It also served as a couch to stretch out on and watch TV if he was home long enough to get involved in the misfortunes of the Seahawks or the Mariners or the Sonics.

Recently he had been lucky to keep up with his own problems, much less those of the teams whose members were traded around faster than hot gossip. Today hadn′t been any different. Even the problems had problems. The latest one was the assignment Archer Donovan had dropped on him this afternoon.See if the rubies Davis Montegeau sent Faith match any on the international hot list. I don′t want my sister′s reputation as a designer ruined by using stolen goods. Montegeau sent what she described as fourteen superior rubies, between one and four carats. They′re loose now, but could have been part of a single piece of jewellery.

Since Archer didn′t want his little sister to know that he was sticking his nose in her business without herinvitation, Walker didn′t have the actual rubies to work with. All he had was a verbal description.

Walker had spent the past four hours on Donovan International′s phones with various global cops. He hadn′t accomplished anything but to make his injured leg stiffen up. So far the rubies had come clean. He had the callused ear to prove it. Tonight he would check them out on the Internet.

But first, food.

Automatically he threw the locks on the door behind him, hung his cane over the doorknob, and limped to the refrigerator to see if anything looked like a late lunch or an early dinner. Whichever.

His body still wasn′t certain which continent it was on. Despite the clean black slacks, crisp dark blue shirt that matched his eyes, and close-cut black beard, he felt like something the cat had dragged in and the rat refused to cat. Jet lag -- or the beating that some eager Afghani bandits had given him last week - made him feel every one of his thirty-odd years like a separate insult.

Thoughts of the near disastrous Afghanistan trip fled when the smell of garlic sausage from last night′s take-out Italian hit him in a wave. After the second breath he decided that the sausage wasn′t from last night. More like three nights ago. Or four. Maybe five. He′d had a real craving for Italian when he returned from Afghanistan, but he hadn′t wanted to gimp through Pike Place Market looking for fresh ingredients. Instead he had eaten way too much take-out food since he had climbed stiffly down the steps from the company plane into the Pacific Northwest′s February gloom.

Cautiously he opened the lid of the nearest leftover box. Nothing looked green, and there probably wasn′t enough left to poison him anyway. With a mental shrug he put the sagging box in the microwave and nuked it. While invisible energy tried to breathe new life into old takeout, he decided to call the meal an early supper. For that, he could open one of the long-necked beer bottles that had waited patiently during his absence.

By the time the microwave cheeped, he was on the Internet, requesting a global search for stolen loose rubies bigger than one carat or for stolen jewellery that contained fourteen rubies of more than a carat. While the computer chewed on his request, he walked back to his pocket-sized kitchen, opened the microwave, and grabbed a fork from a nearby drawer.

He took his first bite of lukewarm supper on the way to the computer. The pasta had the texture and taste of rubber bands, but the sausage was still spicy enough to make his mouth tingle. He had eaten much worse food and been glad to get it, both as a boy and more recently, when he had shared campfires and rations with Afghani miners.

Between bites, he scrolled through a list of stolen rubies that had been posted by everyone from maiden aunts to Interpol. Some offered rewards, no questions asked. Others offered a finder′s fee, also no questions asked. Law enforcement organisations of various kinds offered telephone numbers and the opportunity to be a good citizen.

Smaller rubies were missing, but most of them were described as having a modern cut. Some were said to be family heirlooms, but in Walker′s experience that could mean anything from 1550 to 1950. It was possible that the Montegeau rubies Faith Donovan was designing into a necklace had come from one or more of the long, long list of stolen heirlooms, but he doubted it. The dates on the postings went from last week to thirty years ago, and originated from twenty-three separate countries. None of the lists mentioned fourteen superior rubies -- set or loose - that ranged upward from one carat.

So much for work. on to private pleasures.

Walker scraped the last of the pungent sauce from the carton, took a drink of beer, and went to another web site, one he often visited. This one was an international clearinghouse for sales of gems and jewellery of all kinds. As he did every night that he was near a computer, he entered a request for rubies that were carved or inscribed in some way.

Midnight in Ruby Bayou. Copyright (c) by Elizabeth Lowell . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Johanna Lindsey
Lowell is great.
Amanda Quick
A law unto herself in the world of romance.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than eighty titles published to date with over twenty-four 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.

Brief Biography

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

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Midnight in Ruby Bayou (Donovans Series #4) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Nini12563 More than 1 year ago
You've just got to read the entire series. I'm sad it ends with Midnight in the Ruby Bayou, but i fell in love with Faith and Walker. Her "I can do anything I want" attitude and his slow, southern drawl, made some interesting moments. I already had this book in hardback. Now I have it on my Nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my gosh! The way they talk make me laugh and it made me feel so romantic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Lowell is by far the best romance author of our time. I will buy enything with her name on it, Midnight in Ruby Bayou is one of the best books I have ever read.please please keep sending us MORE !!!!
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WestiemomMS More than 1 year ago
I really liked this Donovan story and I wish there were more!
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NINAFAYE More than 1 year ago
WHEN I FIRST GOT THIS BOOK I WAS THRILLED, BECAUSE I HAD ALREADY LISTENED TO JADE ISLAND WHICH IS A PREQUEL TO THIS BOOK. THE CHARACTERS SEEM TO COME A LIVE AND YOU FEEL AS IF YOU KNOW EACH ONE PERSONALLY. I LIKE THE WAY ELIZABETH LOWELL DEPICTS THEM. THE WHOLE FAMILY GOESS THROUGH SOMETHING AND ADVENTURE IS PRESENT IN THE STORY LINE. YOU CAN LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT RUBIES AND THEIR WORTH AND THEIR REPRESENTATION THEY MAKE TO SOCIETY WHEN WORN. WHEN THE CHARACTERS FALL IN LOVE IT GIVES ME A SENSE OF RIGHTNESS AND ALLOWS ME TO ESCAPE INTO A WORLD NOT USUALLY SEEN IN REALITY BUT REPRESENTS POSIBILITIES THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN. I LOVE THESES BOOKS! I LISTEN TO THEM OVER AND OVER AGAIN. ALTHOUGH MIDNIGHT IN RUBY BAYOU IS MY FAVORITE. I WISH I COULD FIND A COPY ON CD, UNABRIDGED BECAUSE MY CASSETTES ARE SO WORN OUT THATTHE TAPE IS STRETCHED TOO TIGHT ON THE REEL THUS MAKING ONE OF THE CASSETTES NOT WORK PROPERLY. I RECCOMMEND YOU BUY ALL OF THE STORIES IN THE GROUP THERE ARE FOUR. JADE ISLAND, PEARL COVE, AMBER BEACH AND FINALLY MIDNIGHT IN RUBY BAYOU. EACH ONE MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD AFTER LISTENING TO THEM. THEY TELL A STORY OF FAMILY, THEIR STRENGTHS AND THEIR DESIRES, OF HOW FAMILY SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF NEED. THEY SHOW THAT LOVE IS NOT AN IMPOSSIBLE THING NO MATTER WHAT SITUATION YOU ARE IN. THEY'RE GREAT!THANK YOU.
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