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Dangerous Refuge

Dangerous Refuge

4.0 30
by Elizabeth Lowell

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Murder and mystery spark unexpected romance in this captivating new tale from the beloved New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell

On the surface Shaye Townsend has little in common with Tanner. He's a hard-edged big city cop come home to the historic Davis family ranch to settle his uncle's estate. She's working for an environmental


Murder and mystery spark unexpected romance in this captivating new tale from the beloved New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell

On the surface Shaye Townsend has little in common with Tanner. He's a hard-edged big city cop come home to the historic Davis family ranch to settle his uncle's estate. She's working for an environmental conservancy that acquires and protects old ranches—and she wants to preserve the Davis homestead.

When the suspicious death of Tanner's uncle at his ranch throws the two opposites together, tempers flare and sparks fly. While they have trouble seeing eye to eye, Shaye and Tanner agree on one thing: They need to uncover the truth.

Combining their unique skills—Shaye's low-key approach and local connections and Tanner's experience as a homicide detective—the unlikely pair share long nights in the pursuit of justice. Before they know it, the friction they generate turns to heat, igniting a love neither ever expected to find.

They believe passion this intense cannot last. But when Shaye becomes a killer's target, Tanner realizes he'd give up anything to protect her—including his life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Early in this romance-heavy stand-alone from bestseller Lowell (Beautiful Sacrifice), L.A. homicide detective Tanner Davis returns to the rugged Nevada ranch country of his youth to settle the estate of his late uncle, Lorne Davis. Tanner isn’t exactly looking for love—or murder—but both are very much in the cards. In fact, just a bit of digging in Refuge, Nev., raises Tanner’s suspicions about his uncle’s demise, while just a few minutes with smoking hot Shaye Townsend—one of those with potentially the most to gain from Lorne’s death—arouses, well, let’s say other areas. Predictably, much sexual tension ensues between the love-scarred duo as they warily join forces for an increasingly dangerous investigation. Despite Lowell’s limited descriptive vocabulary, Tanner, Shaye, Lorne, and many of the other characters ring true, and the action concludes with an exciting chase through a desolate Sierra Nevada terrain of abandoned mine shafts and aborted dreams. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (May)
USA Today
“You know when you pick up an Elizabeth Lowell book, you’re going to get strong characters, a vivid setting and a thrilling story.”
Johanna Lindsey
“Elizabeth Lowell is great!”
Jayne Ann Krentz
“This author delivers pure, undiluted excitement.”
“Romantic suspense at its best.”
Amanda Quick
“A law unto herself in the world of romance.”
Johanna Lindsey
“Elizabeth Lowell is great!”
Library Journal
Los Angeles homicide detective Tanner Davis returns to rustic Refuge, NV, on the eastern slopes of the Sierras, when his 86-year-old uncle Lorne is found dead on his ranch. Tanner assumes Lorne died of natural causes, but when complications regarding Lorne's will arise and his bequest to the National Ranch Conservancy is called into question, the situation changes. Soon Tanner and conservancy rep Shaye Townsend are thrown together as they try to sort things out—and Lorne's suspicious death is foremost on their minds. VERDICT Smart, realistic characters, a beautifully described setting, a cultural/economic issue that deserves to be highlighted, and an intriguing puzzle meld into a riveting mystery that won't disappoint. Lowell (Death Echo) lives in the Sierra Nevadas.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

Dangerous Refuge

By Elizabeth Lowell

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Lowell
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-213273-4

THERE WAS NO doubt about it. He was dead.
Shaye Townsend swallowed hard, breathed care-
fully through her clenched teeth, and swallowed again.
The sick feeling subsided. The grief didn't. Although it
wasn't the first time she had seen death, it was the first
time she had known the person who died.
Lorne Davis was lying on his back, lean and dark
and motionless as the black shoulders of the moun-
tains holding up the western sky. The air had a bite that
whispered of summer's end. The first sunlight of day
was caressing the highest icy peaks, but there was no
warmth yet. The sky was clear, endless.
No need to feel for a pulse, she thought as tears
blurred her vision. No need to cry, either. He died the
way he wanted to, boots on, working the land he loved
more than anything else.
The deeply slanted sidelight revealed no sign of a
struggle around the body or any flailing pain before the
end. Death had come quickly. It had taken the scaven-
gers a while longer, but they, too, had arrived. If Lorne
had been wearing a hat, it had vanished in the restless

2 Elizabeth Lowell
wind. He wasn't wearing a jacket, either. It must have
been warm when he died.
Whenever that had been.
The rising sun showed more than Shaye wanted to
see, more than enough for her to guess that Lorne had
spent at least a day in the open. Probably more.
I can't even cover his ruined face.
The local deputies would lecture her if she went any
closer to the body than she was now. So would her vol-
unteer search- and- rescue unit. Her training had been
very clear: If there was no chance of life, the body was
to be left undisturbed until the authorities arrived.
He'll never laugh and call me a skinny city blonde
again. Never serve me coffee that would etch glass and
silently dare me to ask for sugar or cream. Never stand
in the dusty yard next to me and watch night flow like
a lover up the mountain slopes.
Roosters crowed from the direction of the barn,
telling the hens it was time to get out and scratch for
a living. Lorne had enjoyed the busy chickens, and
Dingo, his half- wild dog, had known they were off-
limits for eating or chasing.
Tears streaked Shaye's cheeks as she fumbled in her
fleece jacket pocket for her phone. The lining of the
pocket felt almost hot against her cool fingers.
Her movement sent a rustling through the nearby
sagebrush, where the animals that had scattered at her
appearance waited for her to leave. Magpies and crows
had come with the increasing light. They settled on the
rails of the ancient corral, watching, waiting. Two vul-
tures flapped harshly overhead, fighting gravity for a
chance to feed.
It was early for the big birds to be flying. Usually

dangerous refuge 3
they waited for the sun to heat the air enough to raise
thermals. Then the vultures would rise on the warm-
ing air and do lazy cartwheels, waiting for something
to die.
They must have been here yesterday, knew food was
waiting for them today.
She choked off an irrational need to scream at
the scavengers. They were what they were— nature's
cleanup crew. Nothing personal.
His last words to me were a furious phone message.
He died cursing me.
A slow wind blew down from the mountains. It dried
the tears on Shaye's cheeks as it dried everything else
it touched. The country on the east side of the Sierra
Nevada Mountains was arid, unforgiving, and beauti-
ful in a spare, open way.
She punched in three numbers on her cell phone,
waited, and then realized there was no cell ser vice
where she was. She thought of the backpack of search-
and- rescue basics she always kept in her Bronco. The
flashlight, first- aid kit, bear spray, and other necessary
tools wouldn't help her now, but the SAR beacon could.
I could use the locater, she thought. It's close and
has a radio. I wouldn't have to leave Lorne.
But the beacon was only to be used in a life- or- death
emergency. This was urgent, yet it wasn't an emer-
gency. Death didn't care about a few minutes or a thou-
sand eons.
She muttered something unhappy, waved her arms
wildly to drive the waiting scavengers farther back, and
retreated toward the weathered barn across the dusty
ranch yard. By some quirk of geography, the barn was
one of the few places on the ranch that had any cell

4 Elizabeth Lowell
connection. Lorne had been disgusted when she had
discovered it. He had prided himself on needing noth-
ing from civilization— and giving nothing in return.
The only exception to his daily solitude was Dingo,
the tawny mutt with erect ears, curled tail, and dainty
feet. Lorne had allowed the dog to share first the edges
of his life, then his small home. Like Lorne himself,
Dingo was aloof with people, independent, but had a
reluctant need for companionship.
Both mutt and man had softened toward Shaye in
the last months. In Dingo's case it was the treats she
brought him. In Lorne's it was the slow understanding
that she shared his love for the land in all its enduring,
unforgiving grandeur.
A few days. A few days gone and she came back to
And all because her boss had never met any paper-
work she couldn't trash.
Shaye turned away and walked quickly toward the
barn. The dawn wind flexed, ruffling the feathers of the
bald- headed black birds sidling closer to Lorne's body.
She spun around, shouted, waved her arms, and threw
rocks. The birds grudgingly retreated. She thought
about pulling out the bear spray and blasting them with
concentrated capsicum, but that was anger and revul-
sion talking. Rocks would work better.

Excerpted from Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell. Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Lowell. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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
B. A., University of California, 1966

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Dangerous Refuge 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a little disappointed in this book. It seemed like the sex scenes were on every other psge instead of developing the characters and plot. I so enjoyed other books by this author because of the research. When I finished the book I felt like I had learned a lot about a new subject, such as her books regarding the diamond trade, rubies, jade, amber, etc. The only thing I learned from this one was that the two maincharacters had an instant and extremely active sex life.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Shaye Townsend has come to love the Nevada landscape. Working for the Conservatory, saving historical homesteads and farm land, she gets to save the treasures she loves. Shaye has even come to care for many of these rural farmers as well as their farms. Tanner Davis is called away from his LA Detective duties to his uncle’s farm. His uncle has died and there is problems with his uncles will. Tanner quickly discovers that his uncles untimely death and the circumstances surrounding how he was found doesn’t add up.  Shaye and Tanner join forces to discover what truly happened on the Davis farm that fateful night. The fiery attraction between Shaye and Tanner grow during their investigation. The more they discover the more danger they encounter. Some people would do anything for money, including kill.  Elizabeth Lowell captivates us with her vibrant writing and strong and relatable characters. I really enjoyed Dangerous Refuge, it was an extremely engaging murder mystery with a strong a passionate romance.  This ARC copy of Dangerous Refuge was given to me by Avon - William Morrow. Publication Date April 30, 2013.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great book. about 300 pages and it kept me interested all the way thru! Lowell is one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's been awhile since I've read an Elizabeth Lowell book. This was a really great book. The book held my attention. I was trying to decide who killed Lorne at the start of the book. Just a great book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shortstride More than 1 year ago
Good read
themerrywindchime More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Lowell's books have given me a lot of pleasure over the years. I usually buy a book if it has her name on it. I enjoyed <b>Dangerous Refuge</b> too. It provides a good plot and interesting characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like a good suspense this is the book for you. Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend...
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When I read a book that has me setting aside those things I ought to be doing and reading instead, I have a good read and an excuse to feel naughty. Hate to finish because I want more.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, Elizabeth Lowell comes through with a book you just can't put down. She makes the reader feel as much a part of the story as the characters themselves. One of my favorite authors.