Sunday, August 3, 2008

Amber Beach by Elizabeth Lowell

Amber Beach is the first in a 4 book series about the Donovan family. I picked this up as a used hardcover at Hastings, where I like to buy any hardcover romance that's under $5. I'm conflicted on Elizabeth Lowell as an author - I love some of her books, and others leave me cold and/or frustrated - sometimes using the same techniques she used in the books I love!

This one is a solid 4 star read for me, though - didn't love it but liked it quite a lot. Honor Donovan is the heroine - she has a twin, Faith, that we only hear about; a brother Kyle who's gone missing along with a fortune in Baltic amber; the eldest brother Archer that we meet at the end; and 2 brothers I guess are also twins that, like Faith, we only hear about. I'm trying to figure their ages since Archer is the eldest at 34 and Faith and Honor the youngest at 30. Mom and Dad were busy there for a few years, I guess.

The hero is Jake Mallory, who answers Honor's ad for a fishing guide when she moves into Kyle's home in the Pacific Northwest. She's hoping to find someone who will teach her to use Kyle's boat so she can putter around the San Juan Islands and find him. She doesn't know Jake is one of Kyle's best friends who thinks Kyle has betrayed him - because now the Donovan family thinks Jake betrayed and possibly killed Kyle and stole the amber for himself.

Lowell gives them terrific dialog, biting and fast and sarcastic and witty, that comes across as real albeit often confusing (I found myself counting out the lines when I lost track of who said what). And the chemistry between the 2 was instant, and pretty good. Although Honor doesn't immediately suspect Jake's involved in the disappearance of Kyle, though, she should have sooner than she did - didn't she think it was weird for a dufus fishing guide to have so many questions about her brother??

The plot involves several governments and some goons, all wanting Kyle and the amber, so there's a sexy female US agent who is Jake's former lover, a sexy female Lithuanian freedom fighter who is Kyle's lover, some mentioned but never revealed SEALS, an overworked Coast Guard guy and some Russian thugs, a break-in and some boat chases and some gun play. Frankly, I never did figure out why the US government was involved, but there ya go - you just have to follow the author's premise, and if the story is good, you overlook things like credibility. After all, I read time travel books, why should I question this plot??

As I said, it was a solid 4 star read for me because I enjoyed it enough but didn't love it like I love some of her other books (Only His, Only Love, To The Ends of the Earth, Too Hot to Handle, to name a few) and I didn't throw it against the wall like some of her books either (which I managed to give 3 stars to, dangit, just because although they made me mad, I didn't actually HATE them, go figure).

1 comment:

Heather's Fave Books said...

I loved this series and was so disappointed that she couldn't finish it. This is the only series of hers that I liked and would read again.