In the scorching heat of the Southwestern desert, a frightened old man knows his time is quickly running out . . . as the lethal secret he protects can be hidden no longer.
Risa Sheridan knows everything about gold—its mysteries, its allure, its perils. Her boss, Shane Tannahill—owner of the ultra-successful Las Vegas gambling mecca, the Golden Fleece—is addicted to the stuff. Now an ancient Celtic piece is being offered to Shane for his collection, with the promise of more to come, and the casino owner is hooked. But though she shares Shane's enthusiasm, Risa is wary—because something about this particular artifact is mysterious and troubling, something that says "stay away." It is a voice that should be heeded, because soon people are dying all around them. And whether it's an ancient curse that has taken hold of their lives or the simple, murderous greed of unscrupulous adversaries, there is suddenly no place in the surreal, blinding glitter of Vegas for Risa and Shane to hide . . .
The most dazzling, spine-tingling combination of adventure, thrills, and sensuality yet from the gold standard in contemporary suspense fiction.
Who would have thought there'd be a market for retro kitsch la Remington Steel, complete with two protagonists fighting their attraction for each other as well as dumber-than-doorpost crooks? Apparently, Lowell, whose long string of romantic suspense novels (Moving Target, etc.) have earned her a Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award. This latest involves antiques, druid gold and psychic powers and is set primarily in post-mob Las Vegas with side trips to Sedona, Ariz. Risa Sheridan is a consultant for Rarities Unlimited, hired by casino mogul Shane Tannahill to find something spectacular to display at a New Year's Eve opening bash for his new gallery. It looks like Risa's hit pay dirt when she comes across some gold druid pieces that a WWII vet purloined from Wales during the war. But there are complications. Risa's childhood friend Cherelle, a faux psychic who goes by the name of Lady Faulkner, had been scamming the vet and is now in pursuit of the gold, too. Then there are Shane's rival casino bosses, who are looking for something to frame him with so they can edge him out of the picture. Can they somehow use the discovery of druid loot to achieve that end? Lowell's research is thorough, but it's often presented awkwardly, with copious information on authenticating antique jewelry as well as slightly more interesting background on druidic lore. The narrative is formulaic from start to finish: will any reader notguess that after Shane warns her away for safety's sake, Risa still dangerously goes for the gold solo in the end? An all-talk wrap-up takes the edge off the action, but Lowell's readers will be more interested in the romance, anyway. 7-city author tour. (One-day laydown Apr. 30)