Title: Night Diver
Author: Elizabeth Lowell
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Acquired Via: Publisher
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell plunges into the adventurous and deadly world of underwater treasure hunters in a heart-stopping tale that superbly combines atmosphere, action, romance, and suspense.
After a family tragedy, Kate Donnelly left the Caribbean behind forever. But a series of bad management decisions has left her family's diving and marine-recovery business drowning in red ink. Now her brother pleads with her to come back to the island nation of St Vincent. Without Kate's financial expertise, the iconic treasure-hunting enterprise started by her grandfather will go under. Unable to say no to the little family she has left, Kate heads back to the beautiful and terrifying ocean that still haunts her nightmares.
Holden Cameron was addicted to the adrenaline rush of active duty—including narrowly surviving an underwater explosives accident. The last thing the former British military diver wants is to babysit a family of thieves on a tropical island—even if they are the world-famous Diving Donnellys. But in his new civilian job, Holden must investigate the suspicious activity surrounding a Donnelly dive to recover treasure from the ancient wreck of a pirate ship.
When equipment, treasure, and even divers begin to disappear, Kate and Holden form an uneasy alliance to uncover the truth. But the deeper they plummet into the mystery, the closer they come to each other. Soon they are sharing their deepest fears and darkest secrets—and a combustible chemistry too hot to ignore.
I'll admit - I went into Elizabeth Lowell's Night Diver with not a little trepidation. I don't read a lot of romantic suspense, and what I have read makes me turn my nose up like the book snob that I am. However, being over adult services at my library branch requires me to be a more diverse reader, whether I like it or not. Luckily, I enjoyed Night Diver very much once the hormones of the protagonists got under control.
Kate is definitely a character I can identify with. After some terrible accident from her teens, she is afraid of the ocean and diving. I'm scared of the ocean, too! I mean, not for the same reasons, but I felt her pain for sure. You aren't going to catch me swimming anywhere that doesn't have concrete on the bottom. But I digress. Familial obligations required her return to paradise, and I respect that she dropped everything to go. Other than that, I couldn't care less about the characters because I liked the story.
You couldn't leave Kate and Holden, the other main character, alone in a room for very long. It didn't take very long into Night Diver before I started to think that maybe the title was an intentional double entendre. I tend to skim over sex scenes because they make me feel pervy to be some omnicient being watching what some other couple is doing in the bedroom. I can't really be a judge of how graphic the scenes were, but they definitely used words that you don't see outside of Sex Ed or romance novels. And one scene took like five swipes on my iPad to skip over, which probably translates to something like ten pages. If that's your thing, I do hope you like it. On a positive note - condoms were always used in their sexytimes, so yay.
The last third of the book was my favorite because ACTION! TREASURE! SUSPENSE! EVIL PLAN! REVELATION! I love a good treasure hunting story, and once the sex was out of the way and non-skin diving was on, Night Diver rocked my socks. I would be reading it on my breaks at work and it would seriously piss me off when I had to put the book down because THINGS WERE HAPPENING!
After finishing Night Diver, I decided that I liked it a lot. Lowell can write some suspense, and I really enjoyed reading about the diving. I may not be sold on romantic suspense novels, but this is assuredly a book that I will not hesitate in putting in the hands of my library patrons.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an electronic advance reader copy of the novel from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.