Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell

REFUGE
Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (373 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated 4 Stars
Reviewed by Poppy

On the surface beautiful, quiet Shaye has little in common with dark, dangerous Tanner. 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.

The prologue of this story started with a bang, giving a hint of what was to come. I was intrigued at once and was anxious to find out what was going on.

The two main characters, Shaye and Tanner, met at the very beginning, and there was immediate attraction. The mystery was the most important thing, however, so they both tried to keep this at bay. The author was very clever as she led these two through the step by step investigation into the death of Tanner’s uncle.

Each of the two had different skills and by combining them became stronger. They didn’t often see eye to eye, yet they were able to work together in searching for clues even as sparks flew between them.

Usually I can figure out most of the guilty parties and the reasons for the mystery, but in this case, even though they found some of the guilty parties, I could not figure out the rest of the plan until the last chapters.  The resolution was a surprise and was exciting and suspenseful.

There were, however, a couple of things that bothered me. I felt that the author did not follow up on a couple of clues that were thrown out. Also at the conclusion, although Tanner was so injured that he could barely walk, he was suddenly able to fight a healthy, strong person and win. Then the next step in the ending was told after the fact, and I felt cheated in not being able to participate in the conclusion.

Overall, though, this was a really good mystery and I enjoyed reading it.

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