From Publishers Weekly
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 MontegeauAher best friend Mel's future father-in-lawAto 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 scenesAeven by genre standardsAdetract 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)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
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
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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