Ms. Lowell is an author who has spelled ROMANCE for me since the day I graduated from children’s books and started reading this genre. I used to go to a little bookstore in Thousand Oaks where the bookseller would offer me new authors based on my Elizabeth Lowell yardstick. What appeals to me the most about her writing is the unfolding love story between the two protagonists, the inside story about what makes them tick, the witty conversation that I wish I could remember and use in my own interactions, and, to top it all, mystery and suspense. While the story is very true to the author’s style, it does follow a pretty predictable course with a few surprises lurking in corners to the keep the blood flow going.
Kate Donnelly has shaped herself into the image of a successful business woman from the frightened young girl who’s left her only family behind in order to come to terms with the painful death of her parents. But blood can’t be denied and her brother needs her help to get him out of a jam of his making in order to keep his and her grandfather’s livelihood secure. When Kate reluctantly arrives on the island of St. Vincent, she’s plunged right into the deep end of her fears of the ocean and sailing and treasure hunting.
Witness to her fear is Holden Cameron. He’s the auditor dispatched by her brother’s current client, the British Government, to investigate why the ship is not hauling as much treasure as they did. Suspecting that the Donnellys are skimming and keeping some of the treasures for themselves, he’s on scene to prove his theory and close down the salvage operation, which would result in the shutting down of the Donnellys’ business.
Pretty soon it’s apparent that something is indeed wrong on the operation, but being able to identify the culprits and salvage the Donnellys’ business and her grandfather’s ship are not going to be easy. Kate is forced to face her fears and defeat them one by one with Holden on her side as she unmasks her family’s enemies. Can she stay one step ahead and keep all she loves safe this time around? Well, you’re going have to read the book to witness the chemistry between Holden and Kate for yourself and witness some of the surprises that come along the way.
What I miss the most about Ms. Lowell’s more recent books is the lack of spine pounding adrenaline. It seems that the story seems to take a little longer to take off because of the slow buildup and then it follows a more predictable pattern.
After a family tragedy, Kate Donnelly left the Caribbean behind forever. But a series of bad management decisions has left her family’s diving and marine recovery business drowning in red ink. Now her brother pleads with her to come back to the island nation of St Vincent. Without Kate’s financial expertise, the iconic treasure-hunting enterprise started by her grandfather will go under. Unable to say no to the little family she has left, Kate heads back to the beautiful and terrifying ocean that still haunts her nightmares.
Holden Cameron was addicted to the adrenaline rush of active duty—including narrowly surviving an underwater explosives accident. The last thing the former British military diver wants is to babysit a family of thieves on a tropical island—even if they are the world-famous Diving Donnellys. But in his new civilian job, Holden must investigate the suspicious activity surrounding a Donnelly dive to recover treasure from the ancient wreck of a pirate ship.
When equipment, treasure, and even divers begin to disappear, Kate and Holden form an uneasy alliance to uncover the truth. But the deeper they plummet into the mystery, the closer they come to each other. Soon they are sharing their deepest fears and darkest secrets—and a combustible chemistry too hot to ignore.