I used to read everything by Elizabeth Lowell. Didn't matter if it was medieval, contemporary, Western historical, I had to have it. Her recent books are more suspense than romance, and sadly this book had no romance AT ALL! And if I wanted to read suspense, there are so many other authors who do it much better. She totally phoned it in, the plotting was superficial. There were several different bad guys with Russian names, but I never did get straight who was who. There was no emotional connection or erotic tension between the 2 main characters. The one "sex scene" in the book was less than a page, and I would describe it as a "hookup", there was no buildup or romantic feeling to it at all. You had the feeling it was about as meaningful as scratching an itch. At that point I didn't bother continuing. So you know it's bad, because I very rarely fail to finish a book. I skipped to the last page to see that the H&H do end up together, but it's done in such a perfunctory manner.... (sigh)
Lowell knows how to write better than this, I wonder what happened to her?
I usually love books by Elizabeth Lowell, but this one just didn't do it for me. I don't know if it was the subject matter or what, I just didn't care all that much about what was happening. The relationship between the hero and heroine was pretty much unexplored and kind of a disappointment (the intent may have been to focus more on the suspense, but since I couldn't get into that, I just couldn't get into the book).