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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Elizabeth Lowell delighted readers with her first two sagas about the high-powered, Seattle-based Donovan family, Jade Island and Amber Beach, both of which became instant New York Times bestsellers. Now comes Pearl Cove, the third in this series about a family of international gem traders, this time featuring the aloof, mysterious, and seemingly self-contained eldest Donovan son, Archer.
Archer Donovan is the eldest son in the powerful, gem-dealing Donovan family. Like his siblings, Archer is something of an expert when it comes to precious stones, but until recently he made his living doing covert operations for Uncle Sam. It was during one such job that Archer discovered he had a half brother in the same business — Len McGarry, the result of a dalliance Archer's father had as a teenager. No sooner did Archer find Len then he very nearly lost him, when an assignment went horribly wrong and nearly cost Len his life. Archer was able to save him, but injuries condemned Len to a life as a bitter and mean-spirited paraplegic. In the process of rescuing Len, Archer met and fell in love with Hannah, Len's wife, a fact Archer worked hard to hide. But Len caught on anyway and banished Archer from his life, though not before giving him half ownership in a pearl farm Len owned — a gesture of gratitude for saving his life.
As a silent partner in the pearl farm, Archer has little to do with it until he is awakened in the middle of the night 10 years later by a frantic yet wary phone call from Hannah informing him that Len is dead. While it appears that Lendiedfrom injuries sustained in a recent cyclone that struck Pearl Cove, Hannah is certain he was murdered by someone who was after Len's prized collection of black rainbow pearls. Most of the pearls are missing, including the prize of Len's collection, the Black Trinity, an exquisite three-strand necklace of black pearls. While Pearl Cove is suffering financial difficulties, Len's secret for creating the one-of-a-kind black pearls which gleam beneath their lustrous surface with every color of the rainbow, is worth billions of dollars. And there are plenty of interested parties who want to get that secret: the Aussies, the Chinese, the Japanese...even Uncle Sam himself.
It doesn't take long for Archer and Hannah to confirm that Len's death was no accident, and that Hannah is likely the next victim in line. Along with trying to find out where the missing pearls might be and who the killer is, Archer is forced to deal with his feelings for Hannah, which are more intense than ever. Hannah is also attracted to Archer, but she has spent too many years trapped inside the bitter marriage she had with Len. With each cautious step they take, they draw closer to discovering the missing jewels, Len's murderer, and the love they feel for one another.
With appearances from characters who were featured in the first two books in the Donovan series, Pearl Cove is a steamy tale of keen suspense and high intrigue, anchored by a delicious sense of intimacy and continuity with the main characters. There is still one more Donovan offspring whose story Lowell has yet to tell: Faith, the Donovan boys' sister. If the first three books in this series are any indication, the fourth promises to be a true gem.