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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,603 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
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
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Avon (first published November 1st 1994)
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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 Elizabe
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 s
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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 no ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, romance
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 G ...more
Mar 08, 2010 rated it liked it
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 conque ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hated
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/though
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars

An 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
Not an enjoyable read. Chaotic plot.. actually rather exhausting.
Best parts were factual descriptions and technology bits....
Usually I like this writing technique that switches each chapter to different characters and action but it didn’t work for me in this book. Tom Clancy does it well.
Ada Iaboni
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Two stars is a bit short, but three would be too much....
Anyway, this book was somewhat interesting, but not too much.
It didn't really hold my interest and the love connection was simplistic at best.
It appeared to me that the whole story was way too contrived and forced in one direction.
Zina Timoney
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Decent plot, so-so writing with a bad romance in the mix. 3 stars for the plot
Elaine Tucker
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good Easter egg hunt book
Dawn Riley
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
It was ok but I wouldn’t reread it.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Author: Elizabeth Lowell writing as Ann Maxwell
First published: 1995 as The Ruby
Length: 6942 kindle locations, 431 pages
Setting: 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 s
Kathy Martin
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 afte
Nov 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, romance
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 i ...more
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Diane Rapport
Mar 12, 2015 rated it liked it
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 no ...more
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, readin2008
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.
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 26, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Alexis-Morgan Roark
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 ✿ -
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2007-2008
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
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice swashbuckling adventure romance complete with FBI agents, private security, dashing heroes, Russian art dealers and a missing Faberge egg. Good escapist fiction.
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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
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