This Time Love

This Time Love

3.1 14
by Elizabeth Lowell

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At 19 Joy Anderson had been innocent, trusting and totally in love with Gabriel Venture. Gabe was a journalist on assignment. Joy had been his guide. Together they explored Lost River Cave and an irresistible passion for each other. They found shattering beauty in both.

But that wasn't enough to hold Gabe. Drawn by new challenges, new explorations, he left

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At 19 Joy Anderson had been innocent, trusting and totally in love with Gabriel Venture. Gabe was a journalist on assignment. Joy had been his guide. Together they explored Lost River Cave and an irresistible passion for each other. They found shattering beauty in both.

But that wasn't enough to hold Gabe. Drawn by new challenges, new explorations, he left Joy. Nothing remained to her but bitterness and the child she was carrying. Now seven years later Gave was back — tougher, harder, haunted by memories of Joy. When he found her, she said he was too late. But is it ever too late for love?

Author Biography:

Elizabeth Lowell is the award-winning author of numerous historical and contemporary novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Forget Me Not, Only Love, A Woman Without Lies, Autumn Lover, and, Winter Fire. Her most recent major accomplishment is a four-book series of suspense novels featuring the unforgettable Donovan family — Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove and Midnight in Ruby Bayou — all of which were immediate New York Times bestsellers. There are more than fifteen million Elizabeth Lowell, books currently in print. Ms. Lowell, lives in the San Juan Islands with her, husband, with whom she writesmystery novels under a pseudonym.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Globe-trotting adventurer and bestselling author Gabe Venture returns to the remote, "unearthly beauty" of New Mexico's Lost River Cave and the memories of the young woman he left there seven years ago, in Lowell's latest, a revisiting of her 1986 romance Sequel. Hardened beyond her 27 years by the untimely death of her parents and the effort of keeping her single motherhood secret from Gabe, cave expert Dr. Joy Smith-Anderson is not worried she'll fall for him again, but she is afraid he'll discover just how much she's come to hate the man who "taught her about love and betrayal." Gabe's writing an article on the cave, which is bound to draw publicity and should help Joy receive a much-needed grant for further exploration. Because of the stakes, the duo repeatedly tries pushing aside their inner turmoil during the reunion for work, highlighting Lowell's strength at expressing subtle emotional shifts in her characters. While the author's well-researched cave information and descriptive passages of natural scenery adapt well to audio translation, the dialogue doesn't fare as well. Lines like "She's in my blood like malaria" are barely palatable in print, but hearing the female narrator's affected, overly gruff rendition makes them truly comical. Listeners may find the otherwise professional recording quality and portrayal of female voices seriously marred by the lack of a second, male reader. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Forecasts, Dec. 16, 2002). (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When Lowell rewrites her 1980s Silhouette novels, she adds a male point of view, profanity, and a more detailed plot. Unfortunately, she doesn't excise any of the intense emotionalism that worked so well in category format but is unrealistic in a longer work. Joy Anderson and Gabe Venture fell in love seven years ago, but Gabe had too much riding on his career to stay with her. He never learned about the child she carried, so neither one is prepared when they meet again. Gabe and Joy operate on an emotional level so high and deep that it would break the average mortal. Their mutual guilt and pain grow heavier as the story progresses. Laural Merlington has little difficulty expressing those emotions or remembering the characters in play. However, she can't overcome a story burdened with endless angst. Public libraries should purchase for popularity.-Jodi L. Israel, MLS, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

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Chapter One

I couldn't have heard right.

Joy Anderson closed her gray eyes and fought to breathe. Hand clenched on the radiophone, she prayed that she hadn't heard her boss say Gabriel Venture's name. This was just a nightmare and all she had to do was wake up.

Warily her eyes opened.

Nothing changed.

She was still sitting in a patch of pure yellow sunlight pouring through the cottage's four-paned kitchen window. The phone was hot to her touch, all but burning her ear.

She couldn't see the man she was talking to. She didn't have to. The memory of Harry Larkin's broad, professionally amiable face was imprinted in her mind. He was the one who had managed to land the two-year grant that was running out while she sat in the New Mexico desert and listened to the name of her nightmare.

Gabriel Venture rising out of the past, haunting her in daylight as he had in dreams.

"Yeah, it's quite a shock, isn't it? The great Gabriel Venture is coming to your very own boondocks to do a major article." Satisfaction rang in Harry's voice. "But then, he makes a specialty of places that are so remote they don't even have cell phone coverage. He was even here some time ago, back when nobody but dedicated amateur cavers knew much about Lost River Cave."

Some time ago?

Joy started to close her eyes, then forced them to stay open. No place to hide. No way out. Just herself and the past crashing down around her, bruising and cutting and battering.

Oh yeah, Gabe was here. Six years, eleven months and twenty-nine days ago, give or take a few hours. But who's counting?

The bitter words went no farther than Joy'smind. She was too shaken to speak and much too careful of her own and her daughter's privacy to reveal that she knew the time of Gabe's departure to the day and hour.

It was hard to forget. Kati had been born nine months after Gabe drove out of New Mexico's pale, searing deserts in pursuit of the Orinoco River's steamy green mysteries. Joy had loved Gabe then, and had envied him the freedom of the world waiting at his feet.

When he left, she'd hated him.

And resented his freedom even more.

Joy slammed the door on that line of thought. No matter how difficult it had been to watch while Gabe explored the world the way she had always wanted to, she wouldn't have traded Kati for all the freedom on earth. Not then. Not now.

Resenting what couldn't be changed was a game for spoiled children. She was no longer either spoiled or childish. A mother couldn't afford to be. Especially a single mother.

"I told Gabe's editor that we would be only too happy to help him," Harry continued, unaware that he had lost his distant audience. "It's about the only way the Lost River grant might be renewed."

Realizing that it had been too long since she had put air in her lungs, Joy took a quick, shallow breath, then another.

"I don't have to tell you what a grant renewal would mean," Harry said. "Not only your own job, but those of the people who work for you. The National Park Service has been very pleased with your groundbreaking exploration and academic papers on Lost River Cave. So has the university. The whole thing has been quite a feather in our cap, publicity-wise." He paused, waiting for her response.


"Dr. Anderson?"

With an effort Joy pulled her shattered thoughts together. From her subconscious she called up the last few moments of Harry's speech.

Only too happy to help him.

She shuddered as she felt the full force of feelings she thought she'd buried so deep she would never have to face them again. Or face herself ... the child she had been, certain that all she had to do was ask, believe, love, and what she wanted would come to her wrapped in a shiny big bow.

She had been wrong.

When she realized how wrong, she'd wanted to bury her foolishness in the past along with Gabe, bury it beyond recovery. But it was all coming back now, knives of rage twisting through her.

All I want to do with the great Gabriel Venture is never to see him or hear his name again.


Barring that piece of good fortune, I'd like to drop him down Lost River Cave's deepest, blackest hole and throw the damned rope in after him.

The savagery of her own bleak emotions shocked Joy even more than hearing Gabe's name had. Until this instant, she believed that she'd forgotten -- if not forgiven -- Gabe's sweet smile and sweeter touch, and the terrible bitterness of his betrayal.

Betrayal? No. Stop right there. That's the spoiled child whining about life being unfair. That child grew up.

She had to.

Unconsciously Joy squared her shoulders.

The adult knows that Gabe didn't betray me. He never promised me one single thing. He just took what I offered, thanked me kindly, and left me holding the bag. Quite literally.

But Kati was inside that bag.

Hating her father won't do me any good, won't do Kati any good, and it sure as hell won't bother Gabe. Hating him almost destroyed me once. I won't let it touch me now. I won't let him touch me.

Ruthlessly Joy shoved her emotions into the dark pit she called the past. After Gabe had left her, she'd raged in silence against him, cried out her loneliness in her parents' arms until her throat was raw, and kept on raging inside herself until she was emotionally exhausted.

Then her parents had stepped on the wrong helicopter and died ...

This Time Love. Copyright © by Elizabeth Lowell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lowell's acclaimed suspense novels include the New York Times bestsellers Die in Plain Sight, Moving Target, and Running Scared, as well as the four books featuring the Donovan family, Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. Lowell has more than thirty million books in print. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, with whom she writes mystery novels under a pseudonym.

Brief Biography

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

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