Jade - a small word that conjures up visions of mystery, tranquility and the secrets of the Far East! The magnificent jade necklace lying snugly between the breasts of beautiful Lianne Blakely inspires anything but tranquility in the heart of Kyle Donovan, however. Kyle, one of the awe-inspiring Donovan family introduced in Amber Beach, has agreed to look into the possible theft of some priceless jade, an international crime that may have serious repercussions on the Donovan empire. Petite Lianne Blakely, illegitimate daughter of a high-ranking Chinese jade importer and his American mistress, is one of the prime suspects. Known for its amazing accuracy when predicting trouble, Kyle's gut is on overload, along with a number of other body parts as he meets Lianne and pursues the trail of a thief.
This is the second book in her series about the Donovans, and Elizabeth Lowell has continued to outdo herself in creating taut and suspenseful stories populated with wonderful characters. If you are a jade collector or fancier (as I am) you will find this book to be immensely educational - the research Ms. Lowell obviously put in prior to writing this story is right there on the pages! If you are a lover of romance, you'll adore the sparks that fly between Kyle and Lianne - they must work through cultural differences and ignore the tremendous sensual attraction that explodes between them if they are to survive and unmask the real villain. Kyle's sense of right and wrong is challenged by the intricacies of Oriental customs, and Lianne's defense mechanisms begin to crumble as they come under attack by this incredible man!
The plot is complex and tense; the characters are everything that they should be - Ms. Lowell's research obviously included much time spent on the dynamics of Oriental families. The Donovans are a magnetic and overwhelming bunch, exactly the kind of larger-than-life heroes that were meant for this kind of romantic suspense! Archer Donovan (who gets his own adventure in Pearl Cove) again makes an important contribution to this tale - he is in many ways the anchor for this family, besides having contacts and a history with "Uncle" that allows him access to high-level and confidential information. To say more might give away too much of this plot, so I will simply encourage anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the international world of precious gems to grab a "Donovan" novel - this particular book will provide hours of exciting entertainment and a truly splendid love story as well. I note that the latest in the series is Midnight in Ruby Bayou, but there are still more Donovans - we await the next adventure, Ms. Lowell - soon, please?