Midnight in Ruby Bayou (Donovans Series #4)

( 31 )

Overview

The dangerous task of acquiring rare and fabulous gems for the uniquely exquisite jewelry she crafts has taught Faith Donovan to be wary of anyone outside her own family. A man like Owen Walker is particularly suspect—a handsome and daring adventurer with an intimate knowledge of the ruby trade. Yet Owen is the one person Faith needs to trust as they venture together into the shadowy world of the wealthy and mysterious Montegeaus—a powerful Georgia clan descended from pirates ...

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Midnight in Ruby Bayou (Donovans Series #4)

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Overview

The dangerous task of acquiring rare and fabulous gems for the uniquely exquisite jewelry she crafts has taught Faith Donovan to be wary of anyone outside her own family. A man like Owen Walker is particularly suspect—a handsome and daring adventurer with an intimate knowledge of the ruby trade. Yet Owen is the one person Faith needs to trust as they venture together into the shadowy world of the wealthy and mysterious Montegeaus—a powerful Georgia clan descended from pirates and said to possess a staggering fortune in gems.

A web of corruption and betrayal spreads out from historic Ruby Bayou, ensnaring two outsiders who have learned too much. Suddenly Faith and Walker are targets—endangered by the yearning of their hearts . . . and by the dark secrets of the legendary Blessing Chest.

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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.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Romantic suspense is her true forte.
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.
Charlotte News & Observer
Elizabeth Lowell's keen ear for dialogue and intuitive characterizations consistently place her a cut above most writers in this genre.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380789894
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2010
  • Series: Donovans Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 272,682
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 4.30 (h) x 1.23 (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

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.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Love it!!!

    Oh my gosh! The way they talk make me laugh and it made me feel so romantic!

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    Excellent story

    I really liked this Donovan story and I wish there were more!

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    perfect for the book. it explains the possible mentality of the surroundings that should be expected from this book.

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2005

    I LOVED THIS BOOK...

    I loved this book. I recomend it to all people. I loved Walker and Faith's story and I love rubies. So, this book 'rocked'. I've read it 5 times. Pick it up you'll love it. I'll read any book with Elizabeth's name on it. I always know it's going to be a great read. Look for me I'm coming....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2003

    A Simple Request

    I love the Donovan series. This book wasnt what i expected. I expected it to be more exciting. I loved reading about the other charecters that you read in the previous books and finding out that Hannah was pregnant was so cool. I'm hoping in her next book she talks about Summer(Jake and Honor's baby),Heather and Robbie(Kyle and Lianne's baby) and Archer and Hannah Child.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2001

    Elizabeth Lowell continues the Donovan story

    Elizabeth Lowell is a magnificent writer. Her characters are enchanting and alive, her story lines are the best of the genre, and her level of detail and research are usually flawless. I love all of her work, but this one was not my favorite. Buddy Angel, Sal and Ivan were a confusing mix of villains, the murder at the B&B was gruesome but treated rather coldly, the theft and mysterious return of Owen's small boat was never connected, and how Ivan got on a small boat with Owen for the finale truly puzzling. The final scene was a quick twist of a too-neat red bow and seemed rushed. However, overall, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book. In her previous works Lowell has set a very high standard for herself and a virtual Mt. Everest for her competition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Enjoyable Romantic Suspense

    Faith Donovan is a talented jewelry designer who is in the process of creating a ruby necklace for her college roomate, Mel. Davis Montegeau, Mel's future father-in-law has sent the rubies to Faith to fashion a necklace as a wedding gift for Mel. <br><br> After Faith's shop is burglarized, her older brother Archer, head of the Donovan empire, assigns Owen Walker to be her bodyguard as she travels from Seattle to Savannah for a jewelry show. Trouble seems to follow Faith and Walker everywhere as burglaries and muggings become an everyday occurrence. When Faith and Walker make the journey to the Montegeau's family home for Mel's wedding, truth becomes stranger than fiction as strange secrets of this old southern family come to light. <br><br> Elizabeth Lowell has written a atisfying romantic suspense novel, complete with a fascinating description of the qualities present in exquisite rubies. Though Faith is a little weak as a heroine, Walker more than makes up for her inadequacies, as he is the perfect combination of strength and sensitivity without having an enormous male ego. <br><br> Lowell cleverly combines the attraction between Faith and Walker with an emerging trust that finally allows them to overcome their fear of loving someone again. For a mystery with some romantic spice added, this is an enjoyable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    Another one of the bests from Ms. Lowell

    Another great one about the Donovan family. After reading the other three, I wasn't surprised that this one was similarly wonderful. Finally, Faith Donovan found her man, Owen Walker. The actions and dialogues were romantic, funny, and intriguing. So now that Honor, Kyle, Archer, and Faith had found their love ones, there are just Lawe and Justin left. I hope Ms. Lowell writes about them soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    DON'T LET IT END!!!

    As the fourth installment in the Donovan series (and rumor has it the last), Lowell delights us all with a thrilling tale of love and adventure. Providing a welcome revisit to other characters in the series and drawing the reader into a close-knit family (not to mention the hot men), Ruby Bayou leaves you panting for more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    Great Romance/Mystery

    I have read all the Donovan series and could't wait for this book.I hope she isn't through with the family. We still have Justin and Lawe we haven't met yet. Hopefully she will include them.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent final Donovan tale

    Donovan International is a multi-conglomerate, but the heart of the company is the Gems and Minerals division. Their principal designer is Faith Donovan, an exquisite jewelry artist, and a person with a negative self-image. Owen Walker is the company¿s troubleshooter. He willingly risks his life for the sake of action. However, Owen feels responsible for his brother¿s death. He has adopted the Donovan clan as his own family. <P>Faith is currently working on a multi-million dollar ruby necklace for her best friend¿s wedding when someone steals several pieces. The family believes the robber wanted the ruby necklace. They assign Owen to keep Faith safe. After she completes the necklace, the item is placed on display. The convention hall is robbed, Faith is mugged, and the necklace is delivered to Ruby Bayer. As Owen and Faith come close to losing their lives, they fall in love. <P>MIDNIGHT IN RUBY BAYOU is the fourth and final tale in the best-selling Donovan series. The story line lives up to its predecessors as it is filled with action and great characters. The romance between the heroine and the hero is believable yet steamy. Elizabeth Lowell is a major talent who will send new fans searching for the previous three Donovan novels (see PEARL CLUB, JADE ISLAND, and AMBER BEACH). <P>Harriet Klausner

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    Posted May 6, 2009

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