Sigh, I never thought I’d live to see the day when Elizabeth Lowell, mistress of the long and sensual love scene, would write a quickie.
Jade Island is the second in Ms Lowell’s series about the Donovan family. In this one, Kyle Donovan, who is an expert on gems, meets Lianne Blakely, the illegitimate daughter of Johnny Tang and his American mistress. The Tang family, headed by Wen Zhi Tang, are wealthy and powerful. As for Wen, his greatest passion in life is for jade, a passion that none of his children share. Lianne is as passionate about jade as Wen, if not more so, but because of her background, she is not accepted as a member of the Tang family to her great grief.
Lianne and Kyle meet at an exhibit of jade and talk about it. And talk and talk and talk about it. After I finished this book, I felt like I had been at an “Everything and More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Jade” lecture. I pride myself on being curious about anything and everything, but all this jade talk was a bit of overkill on the subject.
Although the Tang family does not acknowledge Lianne as a member, they do not mind using her expertise to evaluate jade pieces that they are interested in purchasing. The aforementioned quickie comes about when Lianne and Kyle are evaluating a collection of jade erotic objects Wen is interested in purchasing. The sexual tension they build up handling all these erotic objects, leads to their first sexual encounter which occurs standing up on a dock and is described in only three pages!
Lianne is framed for the theft of a the Jade Emperor, a major jade artifact, and this theft threatens diplomatic relations between the United States and China. Before the end of the book, there is enough action to satisfy the most rabid of action junkies. There are crosses and double crosses – triads and conspiracies galore! Normally, I like this and Ms Lowell writes a good action sequence, but I felt shafted in the romance department. Elizabeth Lowell is so well known for her sensual writing, that the short and almost perfunctory loves scenes in Jade Island will be a real let-down for those who are looking for romance.
On the other hand, the action is so fast and furious making that this might be the perfect book to give to a man who would maybe like to try a book with a bit of romance, but is leery of too much “mushy stuff”.
The bottom line is, if you like lots of action or if you want to know a lot about jade, you will like Jade Island. Just don’t expect much romance.