I received this book for free from Courtesy review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Night Diver by Elizabeth LowellNight Diver by Elizabeth Lowell
Published by William Morrow Impulse on April 8, 2014
Genres: Contemporary RS
Pages: 351
Format: Hardcover
Source: Courtesy review copy
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New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell plunges into the adventurous and deadly world of underwater treasure hunters in a heart-stopping tale that superbly combines atmosphere, action, romance, and suspense.

After a family tragedy, Kate Donnelly left the Caribbean behind forever. But a series of bad management decisions has left her family's diving and marine recovery business drowning in red ink. Now her brother pleads with her to come back to the island nation of St Vincent. Without Kate's financial expertise, the iconic treasure-hunting enterprise started by her grandfather will go under. Unable to say no to the little family she has left, Kate heads back to the beautiful and terrifying ocean that still haunts her nightmares.

Holden Cameron was addicted to the adrenaline rush of active duty -- including narrowly surviving an underwater explosives accident. The last thing the former British military diver wants is to babysit a family of thieves on a tropical island -- even if they are the world-famous Diving Donnellys. But in his new civilian job, Holden must investigate the suspicious activity surrounding a Donnelly dive to recover treasure from the ancient wreck of a pirate ship.

When equipment, treasure, and even divers begin to disappear, Kate and Holden form an uneasy alliance to uncover the truth. But the deeper they plummet into the mystery, the closer they come to each other. Soon they are sharing their deepest fears and darkest secrets -- and a combustible chemistry too hot to ignore.

This book is a slow burn Romantic Suspense. I’m not sure I expected that when I saw the cover (yeah yeah judging books by their covers, I know). It is also on sale for $1.99 for the ebook now, so grab this one!

This book opens with the readers knowing that something bad happened when the heroine Kate Donnelly was a teenager. She grew up on a ship, her parents and grandfather were treasure hunters/salvage divers. After this terrible event (I’ll spoil it since I think it comes to light in the first few chapters: her parents died hunting for treasure and teenage Kate was the one who pulled them up and had to watch her father lose her mother’s body, and then die in front of her. She then had to drive the boat with her father’s body on it to shore in a bad storm), Kate left the island and their dive business behind. Her younger brother stayed and helped their grandfather with the family business. When her brother calls her, asking her, begging her to come back and help bail out the family business, Kate instantly says no. But when she realizes that if she doesn’t go, their business will go under, she goes with the understanding she will not have to get on a boat, nor will she dive.

And once she gets there, she realizes she’ll be on the boat daily. The only thing keeping her from leaving, is that she’s come to the realization that running didn’t help, so maybe it’s time to face the sea once more.

Holden Cameron is a former Navy Diver for the British Navy. He used to take care of old mines left under water. He’s also been injured and his leg is permanently affected. He can still dive, but it’s painful, and he will never be able to go back into the Navy. So he still works for the Crown, and he’s being sent out to the dive site to keep an eye on the investment. Kate’s family is being funded by the Brits, and they want the treasures that should be there with that ship. The problem is that either the Donnellys are incompetent, or stealing. There has been very little treasure brought up, and the Crown wants more or it will shutter the dive, causing the company to go under.

Holden and Kate are both instantly in lust, but both recognize that it’s not a good idea to act upon it. Can Kate stay with the man who shut down her family’s business? The tension between the two is amazing, and the banter is fantastic. I loved how Holden handled Kate’s panic attacks, and how he noticed her inner strength before she did. But all isn’t what it seems on the ship. Something is fishy, and something isn’t adding up. When a crew member goes missing, Kate and Holden know they need to figure out what’s going on and fast. These two were partners, not just the heroine running off into danger without the hero, or the hero trying to leave her for her own good. These two main characters were absolutely partners and complemented each other very well.

I was unimpressed with the beginning of the book. I felt it dragged a bit, however, once the action picked up, so did the story. I don’t think I’ve read a Lowell book in a long time, and this one reminds me that she writes excellent sexual tension. I don’t love the head hopping, it’s annoying and confusing, dragging down the plot. But I love how she uses language. I loved some of the sentences she used as well. The villain was not who I thought it was, and for a character-driven Romantic Suspense, that surprised me.

I originally gave this book 3 stars, but as I’ve written this review, I think it’s closer to 3.5.

***Review copy courtesy of William Morrow/Harper Collins Publisher