Read The Ruby by Ann Maxwell Elizabeth Lowell Online


Danger At Every Turn When an exquisitely crafted, authentic imperial Faberge egg mysteriously shows up at Laurel Swann's home studio, she knows it can only be from one person -- her father, who has drifted in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. But this time Jamie Swann leaves her something too many people will kill for.Out of her league and desperate, LauDanger At Every Turn When an exquisitely crafted, authentic imperial Faberge egg mysteriously shows up at Laurel Swann's home studio, she knows it can only be from one person -- her father, who has drifted in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. But this time Jamie Swann leaves her something too many people will kill for.Out of her league and desperate, Laurel is forced to accept help from the very man who is trying to ensnare her father in his own web of double crosses. Cruz Rowan can help her stay alive, but will he do the same for her father?Elizabeth Lowell, writing as Ann Maxwell, deftly combines the nonstop action of a spy thriller with the heart-pounding excitement of true love and adventure....

Title : The Ruby
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061042690
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Ruby Reviews

  • Anita
    2019-02-22 10:18

    First of all, I read this book as part of the My TBR List monthly voting meme (see links below).  But I couldn't finish it in time for so many reasons--one of those reasons being that I just couldn't really get into the book.Elizabeth Lowell is an author I have read before--there were a few of her books I enjoyed.  Her Romantic Suspenses are exciting and constantly forward-moving, which helps to keep the reader in the game even if said reader has no idea exactly what's going on.  Because Elizabeth Lowell DOES also have the tendency to scatter the focus of her books.  Sometimes there are so many story tangents and characters that you have a hard time figuring out what the story is actually about.When it comes to Whirlpool, I was actually quite satisfied with the story progression, story outline, and the story concept, in general.  The execution wasn't terrible.  I knew where the book was taking me, and I knew what the main conflict was.  In contrast, it was actually the characters that made the book unbearable for me.  Because when you insert two alpha-jackass heroes and one doormat heroine... it really makes for some rage reading.I have so many issues with our main couple, and the heroine's father.Laurel really is a bonafide Category Romance heroine.  To be honest, I didn't have as big a problem with her as I had with how she handles the situation between her father and her lover.  Both men are nothing but jackasses to her.  But she lets them use her, and then lets them turn around and continue shoving her around.  They keep talking (and monologue-ing) about how much they care about her and how they have her best interests at heart; but they act like they don't care one way or another if she gets hurt in the process.Despite what Cruz kept saying about Laurel--that she's the innocent who got dragged into the mess her father created; that her father is just using her; that he never really wanted to hurt her--he still went and did those exact same things.  And it doesn't help that Laurel doesn't even blame him or get angry or upset.  She just allows him do whatever he wants.  Then she wants to go and blame herself if two testosterone-fueled men end up killing each other.And it's the same way with her father, too.  Although, to be honest, I dislike her father much more than any other character in this book.  Because with as much experience in the dark, twisted world of government politics, and private mercenary dangers as Jamie Swann has, I refuse to believe that he DIDN'T know the kind of danger he was putting his daughter into the moment he sent the stolen Fabergé to her address.  From that moment forward, he already put a target on her back, and it matters not a whit that he figured he'd just disappear and Laurel could go on with her life.I'm not entirely sure whether to blame the character himself, or poor planning on the author's part.  Because Laurel's father--who keeps claiming over and over again that if Laurel just stays out of the entire business then she'll be safe--keeps making other stupid decisions and saying other stupid things that lead killers and assassins right to Laurel's door.  I have a hard time believing that someone as highly trained and experienced as him wouldn't have figured that out.I'm just a common layperson reading a book, and I figured it out.If he had intended to keep his daughter safe, he should have never contacted her in the first place or done anything to draw her attention to the bad guys... (a relative term considering the fact that I'm not even sure that old man Swann was a good guy himself).And then the things he says to Laurel when he finds out that she's working with Cruz... highly crass and inappropriate.  He does not get to say things like that to his own daughter, especially since he spends a lot of time trying to convince her that he's got her best interests at heart... when obvious actions seem to say otherwise.  Also, I figure he kind of forfeited his right to be judgmental about his own daughter when he wasn't exactly a pillar of fucking morality himself.  And when he's the one who brought all this trouble down into her life in the first place.Jackass AND stupid.But anyway...Romance-wise, the feelings and love development was way too insta and way too abrupt.  I have a hard time accepting stories wherein a strange man breaks into the heroine's home, but the heroine still manages to immediately feel the stirrings of attraction, and immediately decides that she trusts him not to do bad things to her.  The continued antagonistic development of Laurel and Cruz's relationship was also hard to accept because of everything going on between them.  And especially when Cruz continually broods over the fact that Laurel is protective over her father.I mean, what did Cruz expect?  That Laurel, who has always loved her father despite how he's treated her her entire life, would suddenly turn around and go, "Oh.  Okay.  I'll help you track down my father, capture and arrest him, or possibly get him killed!"Anyway, basically this book was just chock full of romantic clichés and frustrating people.At least the suspense part of the story wasn't too bad, even if the random forays into our villain's heads was a little disturbing.***2016 Reading Challenges:• Goodreads Reading Challenge• BookLikes Reading Challenge• Reading Assignment Challenge• Bookish Resolutions Challenge• Mount TBR ChallengeMy TBR List -- November Winner!Meme hosted by Because Reading Is Better Than Real Life

  • Dollie
    2019-03-24 12:03

    I’ve been trying to read my physical books (bookcases and boxes full of them) so I grabbed this one. It was about a woman who’s torn between the man she’s just fallen in love with and her father. Her father has stolen what is thought to be a Fabergé egg, which has a very valuable surprise inside. Everyone seems to be after this egg and Laurel doesn’t know who to believe. It ended predictably. I wished there’d been more mystery and less romance. The best thing I can say about this book is that now I can get it out of my house.

  • Angela
    2019-03-24 16:07

    I've posted before about my affection for Elizabeth Lowell's books, formulaic though they are. Whirlpool is no exception, though it's an earlier example of a formula she's used to better effect in more recent books: i.e., an independently operating agency out to recover a Valuable Shiny Thing, a hero who's a Reluctant Operative of the Agency and who is assigned over his protests to look out for the heroine, and of course a Heroine Who Has the Shiny Thing, and who must be protected from the Bad Guys Who Want the Shiny Thing. In this particular case, the Agency is Risk Limited; the hero, Cruz Rowan; the heroine, Laurel Swann; and the Shiny Thing, a Faberge egg that her father has foisted off on Laurel, an egg with a priceless treasure hidden inside of it. A treasure which, naturally, the Bad Guys are desperate to get hold of.Here, however, is where the book falls down for me. I had to specifically remind myself of what this book was about, as I remembered very little of it except for the overuse of a particularly annoying trope: i.e., the Bad Guys being signified as the Bad Guys because they're the ones having lots of kinky sex. This is emphasized almost more than the primary bad guy being obsessed with medical treatments keeping him looking far younger than his actual age, though that was played up a lot too. Overall, though, it was annoying. And there wasn't much substance in the characterization of the Home Team to balance these problems out.Lowell's done better, so if you'd like to see her in better form, there are plenty of other options. For this one, two stars.

  • Chana
    2019-02-27 11:04

    I think it would have been a much better book without the adult scenes which made the book crude and somewhat idiotic in my opinion. It wasn't bad as a romance or a spy thriller but I was grimacing in distaste at the author's adult scenes. And it was an awfully long book for what often seemed like little content. In fact, I was going to give it a 2 rating but then I liked the ending so was generous and gave it a 3. The story line basically is that a Faberge Imperial Egg has gone missing from a shipment of Russian art destined for an exhibit in Los Angeles. An organization called Risk Limited is hired by the Russians to find the missing egg. In the meantime, a man mails his daughter a package. When she opens it, she finds the Faberge Egg. Shortly thereafter her father shows up, takes the egg and says you never saw it, forget about it. But she can't. She worries about her father, an agent of Risk Limited shows up at her house, then assassins show up at her house. Add in the billionare who built the museum which will exhibit the Russian art and you have the 'whirlpool' of characters and action that make up the story.

  • Jessi
    2019-02-21 17:05

    About what you'd expect from an Elizabeth Lowell mystery story. Lots of guns and running. A little romance. Laurel Swann, a jewelry artist, is caught up in a web of deceit when her father, a con man who is assumed to be dead, sends her a Faberge egg. People start coming out of the woodwork to find the egg, most of them trying to kill her. Luckily, one of the men is Cruz Rowan. He realizes that she is innocent and immediately sets about protecting her. Of course, they fall in love and good conquers all.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-20 11:28

    I need to stop reading this genre for awhile. I've gotten pissed off at the last few I've read. I've gotten to the point I can't brush off the stupid tropes like I used to.For example, why do these things only ever happen to the Sexiest People Alive? I don't even think there were ANY average looking people presented in this book. Don't normal looking people ever experience crime? Ugh. The characters. There were cringe worthy stereotypes and our leading man would sprout off sexist comments/thoughts out of literally nowhere. It was like having the brakes slammed on whenever it happened, because it was out of nowhere. Some of the descriptions of people made me feel gross, and the sex scenes literally made my skin crawl. I've been reading these since I was thirteen, and not once has a sex scene made me feel so icky. I spent the whole time hoping the dad would get shot- talk about toxic. 'A pretty rock is more important than my daughter's life!', and I think the book wanted us to condemn him, but then at the end when you have our hero having pity for him, and I'm not sure. If we're supposed to feel sorry for him, then ugh. Also, fuck me that was the most ridiculous relationship I've ever read in any of these, and I've read a lot. How the hell did Lowell think that was remotely sane or believable? It made NO sense for it to go that way. On a side note that I'm not blaming on the author but whoever wrote up the blurb on the back. The back cover lied. It says that the female lead's father and male lead are enemies of some kind. They'd never even really heard of each other besides a few news snippets until they do some research. The hell? One point I have to give in favour of this book is that they used a Faberge egg as a main plot device. I've never seen that before. Props on originality.

  • Jovdb
    2019-02-27 12:10

    3.5 starsAn entertaining audio book and well read.This was a Romance/Thriller type book.Laurel Swann is an artist who makes jewelry. Her father, Jamie Swann, has some mysterious job that has kept them apart for most of her life and resulted in her parents being divorced.Jamie Swann, send Laurel a mysterious package that turns out to contain a Faberge Egg. Apparently, this Egg was supposed to be in an exhibition but Jamie stole it. The story unfolds from that.There are various elements of society, including Russians, who are searching for the Egg, which reportedly contains a ruby beyond price. The Russians bring in Risk, Inc to help them locate the Egg, especially the Ruby. One of the operatives, Cruz Rowan is assigned to protect Laurel.Of course, Cruz and Laurel fall in love. A lot of the plot is very familiar but the ending is good.As other readers have noted, the sex scenes didn't need to be that explicit and didn't really add to the story.Otherwise, the main plot, and especially the ending, was enough to keep me interested through several exercise sessions and bike rides!

  • Zina Timoney
    2019-03-03 14:10

    Decent plot, so-so writing with a bad romance in the mix. 3 stars for the plot

  • Elaine Tucker
    2019-02-21 14:03

    A good Easter egg hunt book

  • Dawn Riley
    2019-03-10 17:16

    It was ok but I wouldn’t reread it.

  • Sherri
    2019-03-18 10:19

    3.5 stars. More gritty than usual for Elizabeth Lowell, but the falling in love after one sexual encounter business is so not how life actually happens.

  • Cruth
    2019-03-23 12:07

    Author: Elizabeth Lowell writing as Ann MaxwellFirst published: 1995 as The RubyLength: 6942 kindle locations, 431 pagesSetting: Contemporary, mostly California.Sex: Infrequent between MCs, Aggressive between background characters.Hero: Bodyguard, Investigator.Heroine: Jewellery designer.Includes: Excerpt from Dangerous Refuge.Note that the sex between background characters is aggressive, verging on violent.“She closed her eyes and savoured the skill of the man who was playing with her the way she liked it bast, holding her suspended between pleasure and pain, letting her know it could go either way.” loc.2799, p.178Very reminiscent of future books, particularly The Donovans and Rarities Unlimited, with powerful people hunting rare art.Enjoyable. Interesting. Sexy. A lot of time spent with the BadGuys.A fun outing.References:Author’s website: 9780061756047)-CR-

  • Kathy Martin
    2019-03-04 11:09

    Laurel Swann is a jewelry designer who has a father who drifts in and out of her life. She loves him, but she isn't sure she likes him. When her father sends her a package containing a Faberge egg, he dumps her into the middle of a twisted plot where everyone has at least one agenda and no one cares about an innocent caught in the middle. When one of the conspirators hires Risk, Ltd. to get the egg back without alerting any government, Cruz Rowan is the one who comes to find Laurel. Shortly after his arrival he saves her from assassins and takes her home with him to Risk, Ltd. headquarters. Laurel takes one look at him and wonders why he is the one to crash the boundaries she has raised between herself and men. She knows he has an agenda and she doesn't know what it is.Cruz has the same reaction to Laurel. She's the woman who manages to get under his guard. He'll do anything to keep her safe and is afraid that he will have to kill her father to do it. This story was nicely twisty with all sorts of complex characters. While the villains were painted black, many of the other characters were painted in various shades of gray. Figuring out their motives and angles kept me busy through the whole book. This isn't the first book I've read by Lowell with an innocent and honest heroine who isn't at all naive or a hero who has been so long in the dark that he doesn't think he deserves or can survive in the light. However, this was a great example of a story that uses those types.Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy this exciting romantic suspense title.

  • Erin
    2019-03-08 18:04

    This is a somewhat suspenseful, competently written novel, but I had 3 problems with it: 1) it was written in 1995, and it shows: cell phones smaller than a brick are still new and experimental, the main plot is preoccupied with former Soviet operatives, etc. I'm willing to let that go, assuming it's set in 1995, though. Which brings me to, 2) They very short chapters were a problem for me, because I felt like just when we were getting into the heads of the characters, we'd get jerked away and into a new scene with different characters. I found it distracting. And 3) I can't figure out why Cruz and Laurel like each other. They're attracted to each other, sure, I buy that, but they never even just, like, have a conversation about things not related to the central mystery. I just don't buy the romance.

  • Sharla
    2019-02-28 10:26

    I am usually a big fan and Elizabeth Lowell's work, but this one I found a little lacking. I found it very slow starting. I think the realization came when I found myself saying I was too sleepy to ready before before I went to bed at night. My thought is, if a book is really good, I would want to read a least a chapter before I fall asleep. I had to really push to get it finished before my 3-week library loan period ended and in the last couple of days of pushing, the plot did finally take off and I ended up enjoying it ... thus the 4 stars instead of 3.

  • Diane Rapport
    2019-03-17 15:13

    Elizabeth Lowell generally has interesting plots often connected with fine arts and jewels. This is one of her earlier efforts and the jewel in this case is a missing Faberge Imperial Egg. As in several of her other books, the top of the line high end security firm Risk Ltd is given the job of tracking down the missing egg. Add in a beautiful, independent woman, a dark, brooding loner of an agent, several psycho bad guys, and there's your story. Reasonably enjoyable, a quick weekend read, but not particularly memorable.

  • Mary
    2019-03-08 10:03

    This one just failed to spark my interest. The art history aspects are the coolest bits, but I failed to connect with the characters. I think I have a hard time with books where the sex feels kind of cheap - which was the author's intent in some scenes - but I think I'm a closeted prude sometimes haha. This was recommended by a friend who's taste usually mirrors my own really nicely, so I'm sad to have to give up on it!

  • Kathy
    2019-03-13 18:20

    International suspense novel, well narrated by Carrington McDuffie. Naive jewelry designer with a father who is a spy-gone-bad gets caught up in a theft of a Russian Faberge egg. She falls in love with a private detective on the case. Explicit sex was a little difficult to take being read aloud. Characters were a little exaggerated, plot contrived, some scenes read like a romance novel -- but the book held together and kept me interested.

  • April
    2019-03-20 13:18

    Not a bad book by any stretch, but not great either. The story line, characters and action were all pretty run-of-the-mill, but the sex was definitely different from previous Lowell stories I've read. Actually, now that I think of it, she was VERY graphic for all of the secondary characters, but not at all for the primary characters. Seemed odd to me while reading it and still does. I really don't want to know that much about the main character's DAD. lol

  • Darcia Helle
    2019-03-05 13:22

    Whirlpool mixes suspense, mystery, and romance with a little intrigue and deceit. Elizabeth Lowell is a great writer and this book is no exception. The plot is multi-faceted and held my interest throughout. I found some parts a little too longwinded and descriptive for my taste in suspense. At times, it was a like taking the scenic route home. But overall this is a very enjoyable read.

  • Clarissa
    2019-03-18 16:04

    It was....okay...I read it, it passed the time, but it didn't really catch my interest. It could have been any one of the similar romance suspense thrillers that she writes.The story got needlessly complicated with russian spys and double crossings (and triple crossings) almost like she was trying to hard.

  • Tina
    2019-03-04 11:20

    A previously unknown Faberge egg, a priceless ruby, and an innocent woman unwittingly caught in between dangerous international factions. Who can she trust; her father the thief, the unscrupulous billionaire, the hardened warrior assigned as her bodyguard? If she trusts the wrong man, it may be the last thing she ever does

  • Stacey
    2019-03-19 17:19

    i really enjoyed this novel. Suspense, intrigued and stars and co-stars. the plot was well written. i love Cruz moves, attitude and aptitude. it was good to see all the twist and outcomes.a must reader.

  • Michele Cooper
    2019-03-19 11:08

    Read this as an Elizabeth Lowell novel called 'Whirlpool'. This title probably makes more sense. It's quick fast and not meant to be 'real'. I enjoyed it, but there are other novels by the same author I like better.

  • Peter
    2019-02-28 13:04


  • Alexis-Morgan Roark
    2019-03-12 16:12

    The heroine's father made me want to scream! What a user. Not just a user, but a slime ball, sleazy, user. Just ewwww!In the end, he did not vindicate himself to me. Pehaps in another book.And what's with the Scotsman and the owner of the agency? Hmmm??

  • ❀ Crystal ✿ -
    2019-02-27 16:06

    This entire story was like an unbelievable movie. It takes place in a matter of days. (Who can legitimately fall in love in a few days???) Surprisingly, it all worked out to still be a decent book, drama and all.

  • Deepa Rao
    2019-03-13 12:06

    Nice swashbuckling adventure romance complete with FBI agents, private security, dashing heroes, Russian art dealers and a missing Faberge egg. Good escapist fiction.

  • PWRL
    2019-03-13 18:19


  • Farshana
    2019-03-04 13:13

    hmm..thr was nothing solid in the book, even Hudson killing and running around for the egg was too flimsy.