Cover image for Midnight in Ruby Bayou
Title:
Midnight in Ruby Bayou
Author:
Lowell, Elizabeth, 1944-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
386 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780380974054
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"Romantic suspense is her true forte."
-- Minneapolis Star-Tribune

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell creates suspense and emotional intensity with her classic Midnight in Ruby Bayou, a riveting romantic thriller in her popular four-book series featuring the remarkable Donovan family. A recipient of the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, Lowell delivers a treasure of a story that seamlessly blends passion and peril as a beautiful artist and a dashing adventurer join forces on a hunt for a legendary fortune in gems. Midnight in Ruby Bayou is a treat for Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, and Jayne Ann Krentz fans.


Author Notes

Elizabeth Lowell is actually a pen name for the real person named Ann Charters Maxwell. Maxwell was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1944. She was educated at the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Riverside, where she received a B.A. in 1966. She married Evan Maxwell, a journalist, on September 4, 1966. They have published numerous novels together including The Silk Strategy, The Ruby, Steal the Sun, Redwood Empire, and The Golden Mountain.

Maxwell started her writing career in 1975 with the science fiction novel Change. She has written over 60 novels and one non-fiction book. The novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, from romance to mystery to suspense. She has written under numerous pen names including A. E. Maxwell, Annalise Sun, and Lowell Charters. In 1982, she began publishing romance novels as Elizabeth Lowell. She was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in 1994, Romance Writers of America Best Historical Romance in 1994, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. Her title Beautiful Sacrifice made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The saga of the Donovan family, presented in Amber Beach (1997) and Jade Island (1998), continues here in this stand-alone installment featuring jewelry designer Faith. Owen Walker, injured in Afghanistan while seeking rubies in the employ of the Donovans, is assigned to guard Faith and the exquisite ruby necklace she has just created until it can be delivered to its owner. As murderous Russian Mafia and run-of-the-mill, thuggish, homegrown mobsters make attempts to steal the jewels, Walker skillfully protects Faith and the jewels, eventually leading them to Ruby Bayou, where the necklace will be handed over on the occasion of a friend's wedding. Arriving a few days beforehand, Walker finds the FBI has followed them and set up camp within spying distance. The plot thickens as Lowell reveals that Ruby Bayou is the ancestral home of the Montegeau family, whose current members include the bridegroom Jeff, who is soon to marry Faith's pregnant pal, Mel; Jeff's father, Davis, who is well on the way to losing more than the family fortune; and Aunt Tiga, a great cook who lives in her own deranged fantasy world but who may hold the key to the mystery of why all the bad guys are after Faith, not to mention the secret of a long-lost treasure. Lowell does not stint on the romance as she brings together two deeply wounded individuals who fear ever loving anyone else again but who can't beat the heat that builds up between them. --Diana Tixier Herald


Publisher's Weekly Review

A close-knit family in the jewelry business, a clan of Southern aristocrats descended from smugglers, the FBI and a Russian assassin clash in this juicy final episode in Lowell's Donovan series (Pearl Cove, etc.). When Seattle-based jewelry designer Faith Donovan is commissioned by Davis MontegeauÄher best friend Mel's future father-in-lawÄto design a necklace using 13 priceless rubies of uncertain origin, she becomes the target of an assassin trying to recover jewels stolen from the fabled Hermitage in Leningrad. To protect Faith, her brothers assign Owen Walker, dashing troubleshooter and gem expert, to accompany her and the necklace to a jewelry show in Savannah and then on to the wedding on Hilton Head Island. From the moment Faith and Walker start out, the fate of the rubies becomes entwined with their budding romance. As Faith and Walker learn when they come to stay at Ruby Bayou, the Montegeau family's crumbling old plantation on Hilton Head, the alcoholic Davis has mortgaged the place to keep a failed land deal afloat, and as a result he's now mixed up with a New Jersey crime family. Davis's sister, Tiga, hasn't been right in the head for years, ever since her father, who had forced her into incest, was blasted with a shotgun by parties unknown. That same night, the Blessing Chest, filled with all the family gems, disappeared, and only Tiga knows where it might be. Though constantly shifting points of view and a few gratuitous sex scenesÄeven by genre standardsÄdetract from the tale, Lowell wraps things up neatly as all parties converge on the Bayou, and Faith and Walker contrive to save the day. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Jewelry designer Faith Donovan has created a peerless necklace containing $1 million in rubies. Her plan is to exhibit the necklace and turn it over to the owners. Unfortunately, the gems appear to have dubious ownership. Owen Walker, ruby expert, works for Faith's brother Archer, who is insuring the rubies in transit; he also makes an excellent bodyguard. Faith is torn between resentment and attraction; Walker is simply torn. He wants Faith but doesn't believe he's in the same class as the Donovans. When mysterious accidents begin dogging the designer, social classes take a backseat to staying alive. Laural Merlington is a good match for Lowell's often emotionally charged story. Although her male voices and Southern drawl could use work, she effectively manages to keep the characters distinct and the pace lively. This is the latest Donovan family sequel; public libraries should expect demand. Recommended. Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Midnight in Ruby Bayou Chapter One Seattle February Owen Walker lived in a bare-bones efficiency apartment overlooking Pioneer Square, one of Seattle′s less upscale tourist attractions. The front door was unimpressive, no happy barks or impatient kitty yowls greeted Walker′s approaching footsteps. The closest thing he had to a pet was the refrigerator mould that grew while he was overseas on assignment for Donovan International. Lately that had been most of the time. Other than installing a new, stronger dead bolt when he took over the apartment, Walker had spent little effort making the place into an urban cocoon. The bed was big enough for his six-foot frame. It also served as a couch to stretch out on and watch TV if he was home long enough to get involved in the misfortunes of the Seahawks or the Mariners or the Sonics. Recently he had been lucky to keep up with his own problems, much less those of the teams whose members were traded around faster than hot gossip. Today hadn′t been any different. Even the problems had problems. The latest one was the assignment Archer Donovan had dropped on him this afternoon.See if the rubies Davis Montegeau sent Faith match any on the international hot list. I don′t want my sister′s reputation as a designer ruined by using stolen goods. Montegeau sent what she described as fourteen superior rubies, between one and four carats. They′re loose now, but could have been part of a single piece of jewellery. Since Archer didn′t want his little sister to know that he was sticking his nose in her business without her invitation, Walker didn′t have the actual rubies to work with. All he had was a verbal description. Walker had spent the past four hours on Donovan International′s phones with various global cops. He hadn′t accomplished anything but to make his injured leg stiffen up. So far the rubies had come clean. He had the callused ear to prove it. Tonight he would check them out on the Internet. But first, food. Automatically he threw the locks on the door behind him, hung his cane over the doorknob, and limped to the refrigerator to see if anything looked like a late lunch or an early dinner. Whichever. His body still wasn′t certain which continent it was on. Despite the clean black slacks, crisp dark blue shirt that matched his eyes, and close-cut black beard, he felt like something the cat had dragged in and the rat refused to cat. Jet lag -- or the beating that some eager Afghani bandits had given him last week - made him feel every one of his thirty-odd years like a separate insult. Thoughts of the near disastrous Afghanistan trip fled when the smell of garlic sausage from last night′s take-out Italian hit him in a wave. After the second breath he decided that the sausage wasn′t from last night. More like three nights ago. Or four. Maybe five. He′d had a real craving for Italian when he returned from Afghanistan, but he hadn′t wanted to gimp through Pike Place Market looking for fresh ingredients. Instead he had eaten way too much take-out food since he had climbed stiffly down the steps from the company plane into the Pacific Northwest′s February gloom. Cautiously he opened the lid of the nearest leftover box. Nothing looked green, and there probably wasn′t enough left to poison him anyway. With a mental shrug he put the sagging box in the microwave and nuked it. While invisible energy tried to breathe new life into old takeout, he decided to call the meal an early supper. For that, he could open one of the long-necked beer bottles that had waited patiently during his absence. By the time the microwave cheeped, he was on the Internet, requesting a global search for stolen loose rubies bigger than one carat or for stolen jewellery that contained fourteen rubies of more than a carat. While the computer chewed on his request, he walked back to his pocket-sized kitchen, opened the microwave, and grabbed a fork from a nearby drawer. He took his first bite of lukewarm supper on the way to the computer. The pasta had the texture and taste of rubber bands, but the sausage was still spicy enough to make his mouth tingle. He had eaten much worse food and been glad to get it, both as a boy and more recently, when he had shared campfires and rations with Afghani miners. Between bites, he scrolled through a list of stolen rubies that had been posted by everyone from maiden aunts to Interpol. Some offered rewards, no questions asked. Others offered a finder′s fee, also no questions asked. Law enforcement organisations of various kinds offered telephone numbers and the opportunity to be a good citizen. Smaller rubies were missing, but most of them were described as having a modern cut. Some were said to be family heirlooms, but in Walker′s experience that could mean anything from 1550 to 1950. It was possible that the Montegeau rubies Faith Donovan was designing into a necklace had come from one or more of the long, long list of stolen heirlooms, but he doubted it. The dates on the postings went from last week to thirty years ago, and originated from twenty-three separate countries. None of the lists mentioned fourteen superior rubies -- set or loose - that ranged upward from one carat. So much for work. on to private pleasures. Walker scraped the last of the pungent sauce from the carton, took a drink of beer, and went to another web site, one he often visited. This one was an international clearinghouse for sales of gems and jewellery of all kinds. As he did every night that he was near a computer, he entered a request for rubies that were carved or inscribed in some way. Midnight in Ruby Bayou . Copyright © by Elizabeth Lowell . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Midnight in Ruby Bayou by Elizabeth Lowell, E. Lowell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.