Friday, June 1, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of BEAUTIFUL SACRIFICE by Elizabeth Lowell

When Avon sent me this month's package of books to read as an Avon Addict, I was thrilled to see a hardback copy of BEAUTIFUL SACRIFICE by Elizabeth Lowell.  Ms. Lowell had wandered off the romance trail for a while even though her mysteries and suspense stories always have an element of romance in them. This one has brought her back to the romantic side of writing. BEAUTIFUL SACRIFICE by Elizabeth Lowell was definitely worth the wait.


According to Maya legend, December 21, 2012, will mark the end of the world as we know it. Is it myth . . . or will their prediction become reality?

Archaeologist Lina Taylor has devoted her life to studying ancient Maya artifacts, splitting her time between digs in Yucatan and the classroom teaching college students. But the professor’s structured, academic life is about to spin out of control. Some extremely valuable and important Maya artifacts have gone missing. Are the culprits fanatics determined to create chaos and usher in annihilation?

Helping out a friend, former immigration and customs enforcement officer Hunter Johnston is determined to recover the missing pieces and he needs Lina’s help. A man used to calling the shots and working alone, he isn’t comfortable letting anyone get close, especially a beautiful and brainy woman like Lina. His gift for reading people tells him there’s a lot going on below that professional exterior, and he’s more than a little curious to probe her depths.

Burying herself in her work, Lina’s had little experience handling men, especially one as fascinating and exasperating as the secretive, headstrong Hunter.  A devoted archaeologist, she has the skill to excavate those protective layers all the way to his core.
But finding the missing artifacts is only the beginning of a mystery that will plunge these unlikely partners into adventure, romance, and danger more thrilling, sensual, and deadly than either of them knows. . . .

                                 *               *              *               *              *               *

Lina Taylor finds herself teaching students far more regularly than seeking adventure on some dig in the Yucatan.  So when her mother asks her about some very special relics that may or may not be missing, lost or stolen, Lina's curiosity grabs hold and doesn't let go.

Hunter Johnston, although no longer working for I.C.E., has kept close ties to it. So when his buddy Jase, who is still with I.C.E., comes to him in for help in solving a mystery at the warehouse of which Jase has become the fall guy, Hunter can't say no. The problem is he needs specialized help. He needs the help of someone he knows has the expertise to uncover the meaning and use of the items as well as have an idea about who might have stolen them. He needed Lina Taylor. What he was about to find out was just how much he needed her.

As the two work together, they discover there's more than just missing Mayan artifacts at stake. Lina begins to fear that members of her own family, going back as far as her great-grandmother, might somehow be involved. As one mystery begins to unravel, another rears its dangerous head. Hunter and Lina find themselves embroiled in something that may have consequences that go far beyond a mere theft. Thrown together, their mutual attraction for each other throws complications into the mix that neither are willing to ignore or discuss until the most dangerous of adventures threatens to solve the problem for them.

BEAUTIFUL SACRIFICE by Elizabeth Lowell is Ms. Lowell at her finest. The story is rich in character, research, settings and best of all, romance.  This tale is full of mystery, intrigue, suspense, adventure, danger and some steamy scenes that will have you fanning yourself for relief. As someone who has a penchant for all things having to do with antiquities and archaeology, my needs were quenched by Ms. Lowell's attention to detail.

I highly recommend BEAUTIFUL SACRIFICE to everyone who has read Elizabeth Lowell's previous works and to everyone who hasn't - you won't be disappointed!

Happy Reading Everyone!

BEAUTIFUL SACRIFICE by Elizabeth Lowell, William Morrow, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, available now in hardback, ebook and audio formats.



Shauni said...

Oh this was a beautiful review. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said.

Elizabeth Lowell has a strong unique style and I love how she intertwines real life politics into her stories without seeming preachy. It's just the background. I seriously feel that she is the premier romantic suspense writer..

Her books are hard edged and gritty (yes I used that word)and yet sensual and romantic.

Great Review!!

Amy Valentini said...

Thanks Shauni, I didn't want to give away too much on this one. It has to be read, although like I said before I could've done without the sewing lesson. *wink*
I'm such a huge fan of her books, I couldn't put this one down. : )