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Amber Beach

(Donovan #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,774 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Deadly secrets are buried on Amber Beach ...

Donovan International is a power to be reckoned with in the dazzling and cutthroat worldwide gem trade -- and is therefore a target for the murderous greed of unscrupulous competitors. Though a shrewd businesswoman, Honor Donovan has been effectively shut out of the dangerous family enterprise by the Donovan males -- until her fa
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Avon (first published October 1st 1997)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,774 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Angela James
2014 update: It's funny how much my perception of old favorites changes as my reading history changes. With this re-read, I realized how incredibly insta-love this book was. There was absolutely no depth of relationship between the hero and heroine, and they fell in love in a matter of days (possibly hours). But I didn't care, I still found the book yummy. These older Elizabeth Lowell books really appealed to me, with their dark and dangerous heroes who want to protect their heroines. Tell Me No ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Do you want to know absolutely EVERYTHING about operating a 27-foot boat on the Puget Sound? If so, then this book is for you. You will be instructed on every excruciating detail as though your friend's asshole stepfather is reading to you from a manual and thinking you are an idiot for not already knowing what is being taught.

But, wait... just wanting to know about the tedious boat details won't be enough for you to get into this book.

Do you ALSO want to know absolutely EVERYTHING about amber?
Sahara Kelly
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with the Donovan series many years ago and have just replaced my original almost falling-apart paperbacks with hardcover versions from some Amazon resources. It's a worthwhile endeavor, IMHO, because this series is outstanding!! There are four books (Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove and Midnight on Ruby Bayou) and each is a sparkling gem! (No pun intended) Elizabeth Lowell has created a family anyone would adore to belong to, and heroes that are studly, gorgeous, talented, hum ...more
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l
This book is your typical Romance/Suspence/Thriller. Its major selling point is that this series revolves around a gem hunting family and thus gems play a big part (as if you didn't know that from the title). I thought the inclusion of the fabled Amber Room was great. Not many people know about it. Other than that (and the repartee between the two main characters), the book is kind of bland. The main female character, Honor, is learning how to drive her brother's boat so she can find him. While ...more
Michelle Connolly
Goes on and on about how to sail a freakin' boat! If I wanted to know that I'd buy a bloody manual!
It's slow and boring, all talk and no action.
The thrid chapter is a whole dialogue between the hero and this woman called Ellen about a whole bunch of things i couldn't care less about!
After reading 50 pages I still didn't give a shit about abything in the story. I skimmed through it and couldn't spot one dialogue that held my interest so I tossed it right there and decided not to waste
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: boringromance
I really wanted to like this book, what with the great ratings - but I have to admit. It's so terribly DRY! A hundred pages in and I was groaning with the need for SOMETHING to start happening. The interactions between the main couple were pretty great, witty and fun to read, but there was just far too much extraneous information about sailing, fishing, etc.

It was just so unnecessary.

Not to mention the whole book feeling kind of like a made-for-tv movie you watch because it's raining outside.

Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
I love this family! I'm not big on Ms. Lowell's new suspense/romance novels, but her early works are unbelievably wonderful. The Donovans are such a great family that I hate there are only four. Amber Beach is probably my favorite as the others tend to get bogged down in the jewelry trade details. Jake and Honor are great together, and their struggles can sometimes bring a smile to your face. I love seeing the interaction between the family especially with the sisters! Definitely a keeper!
Suzanne Graham
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Slow start and pacing dragged during info dump dialogue scenes, but since it was Book One in a series, I read it through to the end. I'll give Book Two a shot, but if it's slow too, I won't be finishing it.
Rachelle Johns
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A mystery, a love story, easy to get into, hard to put down
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Premise of "Amber Beach": (Excellent!) One man is found murdered and a fortune in amber is missing in a deal gone wrong in the Baltic. There are two suspects -- Kyle Donovan, who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, and Jake Mallory, who brokered the deal. Kyle's sister, Honor, unknowingly hires the handsome Jake (who's known to the Donovan family as "Jay") to find Kyle and prove his innocence. Of course, Jake is only helping Honor in order to clear his own name.

Execution of said
Kyle Donovan was missing and his brother, Archer, called Honor Donovan to see if she can find him. Honor went to Seattle and hired J. Jacob Mallory (Jake) to teach her how to drive his boat. Like her twin sister, Faith, she was afraid of boats because of having to ride through a storm with her brothers when she was younger. She had to overcome her fear in order to find Kyle.
Honor didn't know that Jake's company, Emerging Resources, had been left to take the fall for the theft of some raw Amber.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a ride. Makes you want your own Donovan brother.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it. Tried too hard in the witty/smartass comments, lost the story.
I had some time to kill over the weekend and fancied reading an old favourite series. It's odd to describe this as such but the series as a whole is just well written and interesting.

These books aren't some I'd read regularly, not like Pay it Forward and the other favourites I have deliberately made an effort not to pick up and read, but there's something about them that makes me return to them. This is the third time I have read Amber Beach I believe and although I knew the gist of the story-l
Kristina Moses
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Honor Donovan and her twin sister Faith design jewelry for the gems their 4 older brothers and father acquire in their business - Donovan International. When favorite brother Kyle disappears with a shipment of amber, all heck breaks loose and Honor's in the middle of it. Aided by Jake Mallory, one of Kyle's friends, they go looking for Kyle, but there are others also looking.

Honor and Jake find Kyle and the story resolves, but the various politics of different groups makes it real confusing. It
Kate H
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Lowell books are obviously fairly formulaic but I still find them to be an enjoyable quick read. I think her books are at their best when they are part of a series so she has a chance to develop the characters and story a bit more. I especially like her series that deal with rare artifacts. This series is one of hers that I think works the best.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just when I start to lose faith in romance novels, I read one that’s actually good. I loved the romance in this and was on the edge of my seat waiting to see if they’d find Kyle and find out what actually happened in Kaliningrad. Elizabeth Lowell is definitely one of my favorite romance writers and I will for sure be continuing on with this series.
Hal Lynch
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lowell is the best

Never boring.. Never simple. Always twists and plots within plots. Love to read the story when its first out and read again and again. Ms Lowell is one of my keeper authors - keep her books always.
Jackie Moen
May 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish this book,so very slow and boring! Focused to much on boats and Amber. I got 41% in and just couldn't go any further.
Mad Leon
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Boring, average mystery and no chemistry between the main characters. Just a blah read. If you want to know how to operate a boat or fish this is for you. Otherwise, forgedaboutit.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too romance driven.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, listened
Becky Logan
Sep 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Very slow book and male protagonist is incredibly whiny and arrogant. I gave it up
Susan Carey
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting way to learn about amber!
Mar 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, romance
Amber Beach is going back a while in my re-read queue, back to earlier days of Elizabeth Lowell's romantic suspense novels. It's the first of her Donovans series, which to this day remain among my favorites of hers. Not because they're particularly better written or less formulaic than her later work, but more because I'm partial to the family of characters she depicts. Plus, while the cast travels all over the globe, they're headquartered in Seattle. And I'm a sucker for books that reference Pi ...more
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful read. Unfortunately, I set it down and then couldn't locate the book.

This book is bacically about a family called " The Donovans". The family deals in mtlti countries for raw gems and amber. The story started out a little slow, but after getting halfway through I just couldn't put it down. There is a Amber Room, in Russia that is supposedly very pure and exact. When a panel of the room comes up missing and so does one of the Donovan brothers, the youngest Kyle; Honor Donovan
Author: Elizabeth Lowell
First published: 1998
Length: 365 pages, 6239 kindle locations
Setting: Contemporary, Puget Sound.
Sex: Infrequent, hand wavy.
Hero: International gem dealer with particular interest in amber..
Heroine: Gem artist.

Lots and lots of information dump on boats, fishing, amber, gem trade, Russian politics, history, the Amber Room …. Somewhere in here is a reasonable but light romantic-suspense. Interesting enough for the, sometimes dry, exposition but lacking in romance and suspens
TBR Challenge 2011- General: this book has been on my TBR list since July 2010.

2.5* Rounding up to be nice.

Stubborn characters and a weak plot characterize this romantic suspense. The most interesting parts of the book had to do with (somewhat outdated) information on the Russian economy as it switched to free market, or amber. I was surprised to find I enjoyed the author's tangents on amber, and I even enjoyed some of the boating information. the plot was silly and any semi-smart reader is goin
So I wasn't planning on re-reading this (or the rest of the series) anytime soon, however I recently read another series where the sex scenes were so poorly done and inserted into the overall plot, I wanted to read something that I recalled had those scenes done well.

Unlike that other series where the sex seemed to overthrow the plot a bit, here there is enough of a plot that the sex seems natural. That said this is almost chick-lit (I don't class it as such, as to me, chick-lit is generally mor
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Individually and with co-author/husband Evan, Ann Maxwell has written over 60 novels and one work of non-fiction. There are 30 million copies of these books in print, as well as reprints in 30 foreign languages. Her novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, from romance to mystery. After working in contemporary and historical romance, she became an innovator in the genre of romantic ...more

Other books in the series

Donovan (4 books)
  • Jade Island (Donovan, #2)
  • Pearl Cove (Donovan, #3)
  • Midnight in Ruby Bayou (Donovan, #4)
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