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Book CoverVeena’s review of Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell
Contemporary Western Romance published by Harper Collins 09 April 13

With Dangerous Refuge Elizabeth Lowell mixes in the suspense of a chilling murder mystery with her roots writing western contemporaries.

Tanner Davis is a burned-out homicide cop in Los Angeles, who has come to his uncle’s ranch to settle the estate when his uncle dies. All seems to be normal, but his instincts are screaming that all is not what it appears on the surface, and what about Shayne Townsend, who seems to show up everywhere Tanner turns. Is she really as innocent as she appears?

As Tanner and Shayne collaborate to find the truth, they find a conspiracy so deep that if it had not been for a series of coincidences that brought them together, the murderer would have gotten off scotfree. First there’s the stash of gold coins that were in the family, used only in times of deep need. Well, the cache is missing and coins turn up in the most unexpected places. Was it a greedy crime of opportunity or a well-planned, well-thought-out attack? As Shayne and Tanner follow the clues and the body count starts to add up, it’s obvious that all is not well in the quiet corner of town where Tanner grew up.

Of course, now they are both in a killer’s crosshairs. He’s killed to protect his secrets and has no qualms about killing again and again. As they try to stay one step ahead of the killer, Tanner starts also to find absolution and the love for the land and family that he had walked away from so many years ago.

I really enjoyed the book and truly feel that in many ways the emotions that both Tanner and Shayne experience took me back to the deep emotions that the author used to be famous for. It also brings forth the dilemma of small-town ranching and the survival of the small towns in USA, as people move into cities and pursue dreams and hopes that cannot be realized in those small towns.

The story moves at a good clip, the suspense kept me involved all the way to the end. I have Ms. Lowell on an auto-buy list, but the last couple of books were disappointing. So I am extremely pleased with this story and hope to continue to see more great books come my way.

Grade: B


On the surface beautiful, quiet Shaye has little in common with dark, dangerous Tanner Davis. He’s a suspicious 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 burning 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.

Read an excerpt.