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Lovely, Dark, and Deep (The Collectors #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  280 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.

When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion
Paperback, 316 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Montlake Romance (first published December 30th 2013)
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Brittain (Tara Belle Talking)

Going into this book:

After reading:

Lovely, Dark, and Deep is an interesting novel because it is driven by the actions of a sociopath that is nearly anonymous and truly twisted. But the reader hardly sees him throughout the plot. It's so rare when you have a true villain that you can't see but you know is there. It isn't some other worldly presence. It isn't a crazy dictator. It isn't an evil overlord who can destroy the world with a mighty sweep of his hand. This is a normal human man who can de
Feb 28, 2014 Marlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

Usually a series is named for the hero, or the heroine. Or maybe a place. Something positive, at least.

The Collectors series by Susannah Sandlin is named after the villains. Those collectors are a group of rich and ruthless men who are playing a high-stakes game together, in secret. They chase after rare, or possibly unique, prizes of great value and significance. They race each other to win.

But there seem to be rules, and while those rules make the game mo
Jul 17, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing
Dark, Lovely and Deep by Susannah Sandlin is a 2013 Montlake publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes when I read a prologue and I just know I'm going to like a book. This was one of those books. The Collectors series is a named not after the heroes of the book, but the bad guys. These people of playing a game and are determined to win at all cost.
Gillian get sucked into the game when she makes a remark on an obscure television show about an ol
Oct 19, 2014 Carien rated it really liked it
I don't normally read contemporary adventure romance, but having loved all other books Sandlin has written, I wanted to give this book a try.

And I'm glad I did.

This is a very enjoyable story. It has suspense, evil villains, an unlikely hero, and an awesome dog!

There's also lots of action, a very enjoyable romance, and did I tell you about the awesome dog?

Seriously: this book is a lot of fun. The characters are interesting and likable. Both Gillian and Shane have their secret hurts, and I liked s
Who's that Lady

It took me a month to read this book! When a book is really good it takes me a few days to read normally because of work; however, this book was totally boring and I kept forgetting that it was on my kindle. Even the supposed "exciting parts were boring. I gave it two stars because I liked the dog.
Feb 04, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Four stars: A sharp, speedy thrill ride with plenty of heart pounding moments!

Gillian doesn't think twice when she mentions her family curse to a reporter during an interview on gators. Her ancestor stole a cross centuries ago and since the family has been cursed to die young. A few days later, she receives a chilling phone call. An unknown stranger demands that she drop everything and go find the templar cross that her ancestor stole. The stolen Templar Cross was lost on its voyage across the A
S. R. Lewis
Oct 12, 2016 S. R. Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was very enjoyable. It had interesting characters, mystery, the right amount of geographic and sea references, with a little action and romance sprinkled in. Easy to read.
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.

Gillian Campbell is a licensed nuisance-gator trapper not only is she a gator trapper she is the only one in the county and is always on call. Gators don't care if it is a holiday or not to them all days are the same. Gillian goes to the hospital to visit her best friend Viv who is in ICU after running her car into a tree in the rain. When Gillian leaves ICU after visiting with Viv she gets a call from this guy that wants G
Barbara Ann
Aug 06, 2014 Barbara Ann rated it really liked it
Susannah Sandlin is off to a very good start in her new Collectors series with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. What made this book so enjoyable for me is the interweaving of a suspenseful plot and setting along with a great cast of memorable characters.

This series revolves around a secret group of rare artifact collectors who are known as “C7.” This group is comprised of uber-wealthy, powerfully connected individuals who compete against each other to see who can be the first to acquire hard-to-find tre
Aurian Booklover
Dec 08, 2014 Aurian Booklover rated it really liked it
It has been three months since I read this book, and I still have not managed to write a review about it. And I am so very sorry that my addiction to Hay Day has kept me from writing a nice one, as I did enjoy this book a lot. I really look forward to reading book 2, as Susannah Sandlin has written a really bad bad guy, and I look forward to see him getting what he deserves eventually.
I really do love treasure hunt books, I used to devour Clive Cussler’s books, and I love Cherry Adair’s Cutter
Mar 18, 2014 Toni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of romantic suspense
Lovely, Dark, and Deep is a gripping story about The Collectors, a group of wealthy, powerful men who play with “lesser” peoples lives for fun. These men think they’re gods, and with the reach they have they might as well be. The Collectors seek rare treasures, but there are very specific rules to the game. Gillian Campbell has no idea what she’s brought down on herself by mentioning a family curse, brought about by one of her ancestors alleged attempt to steal a Knights Templar treasure, during ...more
Maghon Thomas
Oh my!!! My stalkee has a new book! AND it’s totally cool, AND it has a little twist that I am seriously surprised about that I will tell you about in a moment. So, this is about some pretty bad people, The Collectors, who are cruel, and will stop at nothing to get what they want, and are playing a game!

So the game of those collectors are these men are basically treasure hunting, with high stakes, which are also deadly, mainly for innocent people. And the non-collects, the normal people, get sw
Celia Breslin
Feb 18, 2015 Celia Breslin rated it it was amazing
Action, adventure, treasure hunting, love, Susannah Sandlin’s Lovely, Dark, and Deep has all that…and a big dog, too. But let’s start at the beginning…

The Collectors (aka C7) are a group of wealthy, powerful men obsessed with obtaining rare treasures using any means necessary. This includes forcing innocent people, such as our heroine--biologist and gator wrangler Gillian--to play the group’s twisted “game.” The story’s C7 villain, a politician with too much money and zero sense of decency, thre
Sandra Porter
Sep 19, 2016 Sandra Porter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pulls you right in.

I enjoyed this story. The characters weren't perfect but so lovable. I'm looking forward to reading the next one in series..
Mar 04, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sandlin gave us a great cast of characters with their own unique voices. From the unseen villain to his thugs I became swept up in their diabolical game. Gillian is smart, an animal lover and one tough, tenacious cookie. Shane is an expert at what he does, but an accident has left him damaged and unsure of himself. Getting caught up in this dangerous game was horrid for Shane but in many ways it is his salvation. Shane and Gillian’s interactions were heated, humorous and at times sexy. The ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Miki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Review was first published on my blog Lecture toute une Aventure

My opinion:
Lovely! The title says it all in fact there are dark moments, some angsty ones and as a whole it’s more than a lovely reads^^. Susannah did succeed in my opinion at this attempt at the thriller genre and I was hooked right at the start.

As always the author is a master at descriptions you really fell like you right next to Gillian and Shane as you see by their eyes and feel their fears and frustration… the psychologi
Karen Voitik
Jul 09, 2014 Karen Voitik rated it really liked it
I received this book from the author and from Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock.

>This book is a stand alone mystery/romance with an HEA.

>This story begins with a mysterious man playing a treasure hunt "game". The person who instigated the hunt is a widowed alligator wrangler named Gillian. She has a sad past that is hinted at. Gillian is forced to find a treasure rumored to have been lost by one of her ancestors in the 1700's, off of a Canadian coast. Now we meet down on his luck ca
Sep 27, 2015 Waverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The audiobook recording by Amy McFadden is fantastic. Sandlin delivers a solid suspense novel, with evil henchmen conspiring against a rag tag crew of folks with an impossible mission, and an insane timeline. Everyone in the book agrees that it's ludicrous -- find a long-lost piece of treasure in the depths of the Atlantic, with next to no prep time, and less than two weeks of dive time? The characters themselves are having a hard time suspending their disbelief, but the relentlessly vicious Big ...more
Colleen Estep
Jul 27, 2014 Colleen Estep rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, review
"Lovely, Dark & Deep" by Susannah Sandlin is a good read, especially if you like sunken treasure and the people who search the sea bottom for it.
This is different though because the searchers did not want to be there.
In the 1600's Duncan Campbell is on a ship headed to the New World with his young son and a cross set with rubies, that was stolen from the Knight's Templar. On the Atlantic coast of Canada the ship goes down with the cross and Duncan, his son survives. The family legend is b
May 29, 2014 Elisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, romance
I really REALLY enjoyed this book! It is the perfect mix of adventure, thriller and romance to keep me hooked without tiring me with either too many details, too heavy tension or too much sentimentality.
I generally avoid this genre exactly for these reasons, but I have to reconsider seeing as there are authors like Susannah who actually manage it!
The premise of the club of the rich and powerful forcing the 'lower' citizens to work for them on some crazy adventure to provide them with ancient or
Elizabeth Horbaczek
3 stars

Just to start things off, this is not a typical book I would read, but I must say it is worth the read. A fast paced read that will intrigue you, especially if you are into national treasure. The love of suspense kept my interest in this book, but I did think it could be longer. I didn't love the book, but I didn't hated it either.

Long story short, the c7, a group of not so nice guys wants this cross. Gillian has thirty days to find it and give it to them. There is so much angst and twist
Avey Shannon
Mar 15, 2014 Avey Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rate of 4.5 out of 5 stars only because it was in a serial format, an avid, fast reader does not like the wait involved to finish a tale and Lovely, Dark, and Deep (The Collectors)by Susannah Sandlin was indeed an excellent well-written story. Each episode was well scripted; its characters very interesting, vivid, and realistic and then Ms. Sandlin would leave the reader with just the right amount of cliffhanger-mystery to anticipate the next episode. Ms. Sandlin did an excellent job with this ...more
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon

Meh. I just felt a disconnect with this book. The character development was ok but the relationship felt way too rushed.

There were times when the bad guys acted our of character and pulled me out of the story. These guys were cold, cruel and calculated toward the end of the book their actions made no sense.

Also, the introduction of a few of the side characters hurt the story. I didn't like Charlie for example and neither did I care for Harley or understand his role in the story other than a p
Jul 17, 2015 Marcia rated it really liked it
I won this book from a giveaway by the author. WOW! A rich powerful man coerces, (threatening to murder loved ones) several people to seek a legendary Templar Ruby Cross in the icy depths off Canada. This romance thriller doesn't take a break until the end. A very well written and exciting read. My only problem with the book, was that the ruthless billionaire treasure hunter, was described as a conservative, but the actions were those of an arrogant Democrat, who I pictured as a cross between ...more
Shelli King
Aug 15, 2014 Shelli King rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading this book, but I found that it was well-written and quite entertaining. The characters are very human and the storyline is compelling. It does have one very racy scene and a couple of less racy ones, but they fit with the plot and aren't just there for the sake of being there.

It is probably racier than some of my friends will be comfortable with, but those brief passages aren't hard to skip.
Dec 26, 2014 Maxie rated it really liked it
Lovely,Dark and Deep penned by talented author Susannah Sandlin is a fun, exciting ride through deceptions and governmental type secrets. The characters are well defined and the plot contains mindful stimulations that kept me engaged. This is the first of the series and will not disappoint Ms. Sandlin's audience.
Enjoyed it tremendously.
Oct 08, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down. Good characters, and a bad guy you loved to hate. The story kept moving, always a new twist. I especially appreciated that the book was about the mission to recover the cross, and not just the romantic envolvement of the main characters, or even details of the equipement used (something I find boring except in a manual). Have already recommended it to some other people.
Aug 02, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
Received this book free from Goodreads Firstreads. This book was a lot of fun to read. Loved the characters, though I wish Sandlin could have given a little more in-depth history for some of them; the storyline kept me reading WELL past my bedtime!Sandlin is one heck of an author!
David Squires
Jan 27, 2015 David Squires rated it really liked it
Not really in to romances but i thought i would give it a go. realy enjoyed it, jut got the next in the series called Deadly, Calm and cold. If uou like Andy Mcdermott Eddie Chase abd Nima Wilde you will love this.
Jul 16, 2015 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good story

This story moved along very quickly. I liked the characters. The only thing that bothered me was how clueless Shane the main male character was . For someone who was in the marines he wasn't a very good fighter
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Pseudonym of Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne Johnson writing as Susannah Sandlin is the author of romantic suspense and paranormal romance, often set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night! She is the author of the Penton Legacy series (REDEMPTION, ABSOLUTION, OMEGA, ALLEGIANCE and STORM FORCE (spinoff), The Collectors series (LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP and DEADLY, CALM, AN
More about Susannah Sandlin...

Other Books in the Series

The Collectors (2 books)
  • Deadly, Calm, and Cold (The Collectors, #2)

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