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Only Love (Only Series #4)

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Overview

′There is no finer guarantee of outstanding romance than the name of Elizabeth Lowell' - Romantic Times.

Cast adrift during the War Between the States, Shannon Conner grew to womanhood in a lonely cabin high in the Colorado Rockies. Though stubborn and courageous, Shannon is ill-prepared to deal with the predatory Culpepper brothers - and the intoxicating ardour of the man who defends her honour, Rafael 'Whip' Moran.

A loner and a wanderer, a man tied to no place or promise, ...

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Only Love (Only Series #4)

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Overview

′There is no finer guarantee of outstanding romance than the name of Elizabeth Lowell' - Romantic Times.

Cast adrift during the War Between the States, Shannon Conner grew to womanhood in a lonely cabin high in the Colorado Rockies. Though stubborn and courageous, Shannon is ill-prepared to deal with the predatory Culpepper brothers - and the intoxicating ardour of the man who defends her honour, Rafael 'Whip' Moran.

A loner and a wanderer, a man tied to no place or promise, Whip aids the wary young 'widow' who has a walk like honey and a determined grip on her shotgun. But neither the Culpeppers nor grizzlies are as dangerous to Whip as the passion Shannon offers him - a passion that could cost Whip the freedom that is as much a part of him as his soul.

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Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
There is no finer guarantee of outstanding romance than the name of Elizabeth Lowell.
Romantic Times
There is no finer guarantee of outstanding romance than the name of Elizabeth Lowell.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380772568
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Series: Only Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 527,430
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.04 (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

Summer 1868

Echo Basin, Colorado Territory

She's frightened frightened.

She has a walk like honey.

The two impressions came simultaneously to the man called Rafael ''Whip'' Moran. Whip didn't know which drew him to the girl more immediately, the fear or the honey.

He hoped it was the fear.

The heat in Whip's blood told him otherwise. Underneath the girl's threadbare mans wool jacket and trousers there was a very female body. And beneath her straight spine, high chin, and determination, there was very real fear.

Whip didn't know what caused the girl's fear or why it should matter so urgently to him. He did know that he was going to find out.

For a moment longer Whip stood in the cold mud in front of Holler Creek's only general store. The chill of the, high-country wind cut through his thick wool jacket. The girl must have felt the chill too. She shivered as she hurried through the grubby door of the mercantile.

With the easy motions of a man who was both fit and thoroughly at home in his own body, Whip followed the girl inside. The wind blew the door shut behind him with a loud bang. He barely noticed, He had attention only for the girl with the sweet, softly swinging walk.

She stopped in a shaft of light from the one window that hadn't been broken and boarded over. For a few moments her eyes ran hungrily over the scattered piles of dry goods, tools, and clothing. The fingers of one slender hand were clenched around something she held in her palm.

As though sensing Whip's intense interest, the girl turned toward him suddenly. He had a vivid impression of eyes the color of a wild autumnsky, a blue so clear and so deep that a man could look forever and never find an end to the beauty. What he could see of her hair beneath the hat was the color of autumn itself- glossy chestnut with red and gold running through it like leashed fire.

I've seen her before, he realized. But where?

With the next breath, realization went through Whip like lightning through a storm.

My dream. She's the girl in the cabin door, waiting, always waiting...

For me.

Motionless, Whip stared at the girl. A lock of hair had just escaped from beneath the girl's battered Stetson. The hair gleamed like silk against her pale cheek.

Without thinking, Whip walked closer and lifted his hand to tuck the strand back into place above her ear. When he realized what he was doing, he stopped, stepped back and touched his hat instead.

"Morning, maam," Whip said, nodding to her. The girl blinked and looked at his big hand, Whip knew why. He had moved so quickly that she couldn't be certain he had ever intended to touch her instead of tipping his hat politely.

Her glance went from his long fingers to the bullwhip coiled over his right shoulder. Her eyes widened.

Teamsters with bullwhips weren't particularly unusual in Colorado Territory, certainly not enough so that the presence of a bullwhip, should startle anyone. The girl's involuntary response told Whip that she probably knew him.

Or, to be precise, knew of him.

With a tight motion of her head, the girl acknowledged whips polite greeting. Then she turned away from him with cool finality.

"Mr. Murphy?" she called huskily.

Whip felt his body tighten as though the girl had stroked him from forehead to heels. Her voice, like her walk, was pure summer honey.

I've been too long without a woman.

No sooner had the thought come to Whip than he knew it wasnt true. He had never been a man to be controlled by his sexuality. He had spent too many years in too many cultures where women were prohibited to foreigners; even to a polite, softspoken foreigner with strong shoulders and smokegray eyes and hair the color of the sun.

"Mr. Murphy?"

There was a rattle and muttering, followed by the sound of reluctant footsteps from the back room. The storekeeper left his cozy seat by the stove for the barnlike, unheated room where supplies were heaped about in untidy piles. Owning the only store in Echo Basin's remote gold country had spoiled Murphy. He made his customers feel that he was doing them a favor by selling them his overpriced goods.

Behind Whip the mercantile's door opened. Reflexively he spun around and stepped out of the way. As he moved, his left hand went to the butt of the bullwhip, that was riding his right shoulder. Though quick, the motion wasn't threatening. It was simply the action of someone who was accustomed to living alone in dangerous places among the most dangerous of all animals-man.

The four men who crowded through the door were examples of why Whip was careful not to turn his back on anyone in Echo Basin. The Culpepper boys were worse than the usual run of gold hunters. Loud, lewd, unwashed and lazy, they weren't especially beloved by anyone. Including, if rumor could be trusted, their Arkansas mother.

Few people were really sure which Culpepper was Beau, or which was Clim, or Darcy, or Floyd. No one cared. There wasn't a finger's worth of difference in the lot of them. Brown hair, pale blue eyes, rawboned, quick to anger; the Culpeppers were all the same. They were pack animals. They prospected, hunted, fought, and whored together.

It was whispered that the Culpepper boys also worked together to rob miners who were taking their gold from Echo Basin to Canyon City, but no one had ever caught them at it. Nor had anyone pushed the matter, publicly or privately. Men who crossed the Culpeppers had a nasty habit of waking up bruised, bloodied, and of a mind to pull up stakes...

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2007

    A lot of repetition....

    This book started out great! Then, dragged on and on. Felt like it was all about 'the guy' getting 'the girl' in bed. He thought she was a widow, but after several steamy scenes 'not all the way' they finally agree to go 'all the way,' he discovers she's a virgin and 'get this' gets MAD. This is about where it drags badly. Because the rest of the book is all about him not trying to have sex with her while page after page of his 'and her' thoughts of wishing they did have sex. 'Whip' started off romantic, i.e., flowers, hunting and chopping wood, etc, but he only had one goal...sex. Kinda weird in that the beggining implies he was 'searching' for the mysterious girl of his dreams that haunts him and greets him from a cabin. When he realizes he found that girl, he still just wants...sex and tells her he'll stay around only until the next 'sunrise calls him.' Whatever. Get this after they finally have sex 'page 330--good grief' it's page after page of him not trying to 'go all the way' in an effort NOT to get her pregnant. EGADS. I had to skim the last 1/4 inch just to FINISH this book. UGH! Loved the dog!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Amazing

    Loved the hole series, great family bonds and emotions between siblings

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    great

    my favorite in the series! loved them all though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2001

    A Must Read.

    Ms. Lowell never disappoints. This story is another proof as to why she's one of the best romantic authors today. Every single book is incredibly wonderful. You have to read it to believe it. I'm looking very forward to reading the other 'Only' books.

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