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Midnight in Ruby Bayou [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Lowell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 8 2000
From New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell comes a tale of adventure and electrifying suspense. Faith Donovan has poured her heart and soul into making exquisite artistic jewelry favored by the rich and famous. Her creations require rubles of the finest quality. To get such gems, Faith, whom experience has taught to trust NO man outside her family, must work with Owen Walker, an easy-going Southerner with an intimate knowledge of the ruby trade and mans murderous greed. Faith and Walker travel to Savannah to seek the help of the Montegeaus, a family reputed to be in possession of a fortune in fine gems. Drawn into a terrifying web of greed, corruption, and betrayal, Faith and Walker discover the dark and shameful secrets of generations of Montegeaus. Horrified by what they have learned and the danger that is closing in on them, they race for their lives across the black water of the salt marshes-pursued by greedy men and a deadly past.

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Product Description

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Well, at least the hero is a keeper June 5 2002
By Susan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I must be in a minority of one, if E. Lowell's books are so very popular. What does she or her readers have against a female protagonist with strength, depth or any kind of character? Granted, these books are fantasy and can't be taken as anything other that fantasy, but do women really fantasize about being morons with no spine? Is there a heroine in any one of Lowell's books who doesn't have a phobia due to one incident in which they were in danger in their past? Honestly, do most women really dream about being weak kneed, lily livered cowards? I guess they must, since books like Lowell's seem to be all the publishers will toss off the assembly line.
However, I'm writing this review (and giving the book 2 stars) because there was one bright spot in it. For once, Lowell has written a hero with charm, humor and appeal, unlike the cardboard cutouts in the other books in this series. Man, was that guy sexy and cute. Of course, it wouldn't be a Lowell book if the hero didn't protect the heroine without her knowledge (because, every one knows women are not to be trusted to protect themselves, they don't have the brain power and are too emotional to deal with a stressful situation with any kind of toughness). In spite of that, I like Walker and wish Lowell would try to flesh out other characters as well. And please, if you're reading this, Elizabeth, please try to get beyond the damsel in distress syndrome. It's so very tired, and surely you and your publishers realize there are women like me in this world. Women who actually fantasize about a man who can fall in love with a strong, skilled and confident woman.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Colourless, except for the rubies Aug. 1 2001
By Jenn
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Once again, Lowell saves a tired plot with clever banter and one likeable character. Owen is, for me, the best male character of the series. He is warm without being mushy, savvy without being hard like Archer. Even with his recent injury, he manages to be extremely tough to kill. Too bad he wasn't paired with a more memorable female lead, but Faith lacks spine. Recovering from a very weak chioce on her last boyfriend, I began to wonder halfway through if she didn't deserve the weenie after all. There was just something missing in her character.
The plot itself is pretty mundane, missing gems, bad guys, eccentric southern family with a history of abuse and other weird stuff. The resolution of the conflict also lacks sizzle. Faith, proving once again what a flat character she is, caves competely, without even an attempt at assertiveness.
There wasn't as much information on rubies as I have come to expect, either. I missed the soundbites of lore and legend, coupled with the gemacological tidbits
The improvement I would suggest is for Owen to leave Faith, meet a woman with a bit more oomph, and have a rough and tumble courtship that doesn't involve steroetypical bad guys (The Mob? Come on!). Now that would be a book worth keeping. This one, I fear, is defintitely one to recycle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Lowell Read Aug. 1 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Midnight in Ruby Bayou continues the saga of the Donovan family, presented in Amber Beach (1997) and Jade Island (1998). Faith Donovan, jewelry designer, has created a necklace containing $1 million in rubies which, it turns out have dubious ownership. Her plan is to exhibit the necklace at a jewelry show in Savannah, Georgia, before turning it over to the owners, the Montegeau family, at the wedding of Jeff Montegeau, family son, and Faith´¿s pregnant pal, Mel. Owen Walker, ruby expert employed by Faith´¿s brother, Archer Donovan, is called upon to guard the necklace when Archer insures the rubies in transit. Mysterious accidents begin shadowing the designer as bloodthirsty Russian Mafia and local mobster thugs, attempt to steal the jewels. Walker, recovering from injures suffered in Afghanistan while seeking rubies for the Donovan family, becomes Faith´¿s capable bodyguard. Local FBI agents add their twists as they follow Walker and Faith.
The plot thickens at Ruby Bayou, ancestral home of the Montegeau family, when Lowell introduces Jeff's father, Davis, a descendant of pirates and owner of a missing Blessing Chest reported to hold a fortune in gems, Davis´¿ sister Tiga, and the family hound Boomer. Montegeaus dark secrets of the past and present begin unfolding and deranged fantasy world of Aunt Tiga offers clues to why the bad guys are after Faith and the secret of the long-lost Blessing Chest. Even CIA agent April Joy from the other books reappears to add spice to the tale. Through clever banter and the unmistakable sexual tension spiral that Lowell is so well known for, the romantic attraction between Walker and Faith merges into trust and commitment as each overcomes their fear of loving someone again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing July 30 2001
By blaze
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove (in that order too) and recently I completed Ruby Bayou.
I must say I am rather disappointed by the story.
I wonder whether this is some sort of trend - coz the stories of Kyle and Archer (Jade Island and Pearl Cove, respectively) were so well-written I read it more than five times EVERY DAY. Amber Beach...rather bland, coz the focus was too much on the amber and less on the romance. Ironically, Ruby Bayou is also the same. The talk on rubies was too much I simply skipped the pages. It's ironic that the stories of Faith and Honor are more-or-less the same.
The book is also rather overdone. Russian Mafia, US mob, US government, and family secrets intermingle together, vying for space and attention in the book. It's too much. Overcrowded. And furthermore, I was rather disappointed by the fact that Faith should get somebody who is shorter than Jake (her twin Honor's husband), smaller than Jake or the Donovan men, and with no education. Okay, not having an education doesn't necessarily mean Owen Walker is stupid, but still..... it puts him down a level from the intimidating Donovan men, and also Jake Mallory.
Furthermore, Lowell didn't furnish the book with HOW the whole Donovan family would react to a match between Faith and Walker - employer's sister and employee. I was DYING to know their feelings on that and was vastly disappointed that Loweel didn't even put that in. In addition to that, so little of the other Donovans lives were put in. Example, in Jade Island, Kyle brought Lianne home to meet the family, and we were entertained with various family pranks and all that.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and charming
One of the better romances I have read. Not quite on par with some of the other Donovan series books, but still head and shoulders above most romance novels. Read more
Published on May 22 2004 by Kelli
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS BOOK
Once again, the Donovans win your heart. I can't say enough about Midnight in Ruby Bayou. I have read it 4 times and loved it more each time. Read more
Published on May 28 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
I read the first three in this series and absolutely loved them. This 4th book was just as good as the first three. Loved the mystery combined with the love story. Read more
Published on April 22 2002 by Nora
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Owen Walker!
This was the perfect ending to the Donovan series. Faith and Walker both had to overcome past hurts to find love within each other. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2002 by Mary Irvine
4.0 out of 5 stars Midnight on Ruby Bayou
GREAT!! A great ending to the series. Although Owen is attacted to Faith,when her brother and Owen's boss ask him to guard Faith he does. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars My first Lowell book
I enjoyed it - I found the characters to be interesting and likeable. I thought the plot could have been more suspenseful.
Published on Aug. 22 2001 by J. Bourne
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
No suspense, no tension and not much sizzle. Not really up to the other "Donovan" books, Amber Beach, Jade Island and Pearl Cove. Owen Walker steals the story. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2001 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better.
It took me a week to finish this book. Usually it takes me three days max. The ending was boring, alot of questions were left unanswered and no loose ends were tie. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2001 by MeloRaymie
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I thought this was the best of the whole series. When I finished this one, I wanted more. It keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what could possibly happen... Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2001
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