Note: This is a late review from my 2010 book log, posting as I’m trying to get caught up. The 2011 book log will commence once the 2010 reviews are up to date!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The second of Elizabeth Lowell’s Donovans series, Jade Island, continues the adventures of the jewel-loving Donovan family. This time around the camera’s on brother Kyle, the brother who’d gone missing in Amber Beach and who now gets his own time in the spotlight. He’s being eyed by the powerful Tang family as their way in to doing business with the Donovans–and the Tangs intend to have their unacknowledged relation Lianne Blakely try to seduce Kyle to get their in to the Donovans assured. Meanwhile, Kyle’s older brother Archer is sure Lianne must be involved with stolen jade, so he wants Kyle to put the moves on Lianne.
That our female lead Lianne is half-Chinese and driven by the desire to be accepted by the Tang family is simultaneously one of the best and one of the most disappointing things about the story: best since Lianne’s a nice change of pace from the standard whitebread heroine, disappointing because Lowell played up the “look how awesome the (American) Donovan family is compared to the (Chinese) Tang family and Lianne would be much better off marrying into the Donovans, wouldn’t she?” angle way too hard. There is some decent mileage with Lianne’s conflicted relationship with her parents as well as her grandfather, and that gives her some obvious reasons to want to be accepted by the Tangs. But it would have been nice to see some other positive aspects of the family, just to let us see that they weren’t all assholes.
But hey. As it stands, for what it is, Jade Island‘s a decent enough read, even if it’s on the fluffy side of romantic suspense. Three stars.