ARC provided by Publisher
William Morrow (April 9, 2013)
DANGEROUS REFUGEOn 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.
I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Lowell ~ and one of the main reasons is her dialogue. Her heroes and heroines always have snappy, fun & smart conversations with one another, a lot of the times "getting" what the other means like they've had a meeting of minds.
One of my very favorite books by Ms. Lowell is Running Scared ~ and I was so thrilled that
Dangerous Refuge features a heroine and hero who play off one another verbally like those in Running Scared. So you not only get the sizzle of the physical 'want', but you get that mental meshing of minds...
Shaye is a representative for The Ranch Conservancy, a group that lets land owners keep their large ranches for a return of receiving the land, to be preserved, in the event of the owners death. She loves the big, open spaces and slower pace of life, having been raised in wealth and luxury. She's thriving in the simple life...her job is basically befriend the ranch owners, and get them friendly with the Conservancy. She's gotten close w/ Lorne Davis, a local large ranch owner who'd been working with the Conservancy to leave his ranch to them upon his death. Only something goes wrong...and Lorne dies, leaving the fate of the ranch up in the air.
Tanner Davis, Lorne's nephew, a jaded cop, is suspicous right off the bat about his uncles death. Too many things just don't add up...and for a jaded homicide cop it's too much to resist investigating. First up, the sexy Shaye ~ who found his uncle's body. But it soon becomes apparent Shaye is a pawn in a much bigger chess game....
Shaye and Tanner just WORK together. It's obvious that Tanner is burnt on his city life, and while he maintains that's he's going to return to LA, his dissatisfaction with his life there is apparent. He's rough around the edges to the point he's jagged sometimes, but Shaye is the perfect file for those edges. As the relationship between them builds Tanner softens and opens up. It's obvious pretty quickly Shaye is gone on Tanner, and again it's like they're made for one another.
I loved the dialogue, enjoyed the pace of the romance and while I have to admit I pretty much figured out whodunnit, it was an awesome story getting there!