Book Feature: DECLAN’S CROSS by Carla Neggers

Welcome, and Happy Tuesday! Today I’m featuring Carla Neggers’ latest release in the Sharpe & Donovan series, DECLAN’S CROSS. Marine biologist Julianne Maroney retreats to Declan’s Cross on the Irish coast to help heal her broken heart, but she doesn’t expect to encounter FBI agents Sharpe and Donovan, especially since a Donovan caused her broken heart. Here’s the blurb:

declanscross
DECLAN’S CROSS
Series: Sharpe & Donovan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Released: August 27, 2013

For marine biologist Julianne Maroney, two weeks in tiny Declan’s Cross on the south Irish coast is a chance to heal her broken heart. She doesn’t expect to attract the attention of FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan— especially since a Donovan is the reason for her broken heart. Emma and Colin are in Ireland for their own personal retreat. Colin knows he’s a reminder of everything Julianne wants to escape but something about her trip raises his suspicion. Emma, an art crimes expert, is also on edge. Of all the Irish villages Julianne could choose… Why Declan’s Cross?

Ten years ago, a thief slipped into a mansion in Declan’s Cross. Emma’s grandfather, a renowned art detective, investigated, but the art stolen that night has never been recovered and the elusive their never caught.

From the moment Julianne sets foot on Irish soil, everything goes wrong. The well-connected American driver who invited her to Ireland has disappeared. And now Emma and Colin are in Declan’s Cross.

As a dark conspiracy unfolds amid the breathtaking scenery of Declan’s Cross, the race is on to stop a ruthless killer…and the stakes have never been more personal for Emma and Colin.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

About the Author:

Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, with translations in 24 languages. Born and raised on the western edge of the beautiful Quabbin Reservoir in rural Massachusetts, Carla grew up with tales of her father’s life as a Dutch sailor and her mother’s childhood in northwest Florida.

At a young age, Carla began penning her own stories on a branch high up in her favorite sugar maple. Now she enjoys spending time at the family homestead (now a tree farm) with her six brothers and sisters and their families. When she’s not writing, Carla loves to travel, hike, kayak, garden, and, of course, dive into a good book. She lives with her family in Vermont, near Quechee Gorge.

www.CarlaNeggers.com

Book Review: SAINT’S GATE by Carla Neggers

saintsgate

 

Series: Sharpe & Donovan, #1
Publisher: Mira
Released: August 23, 2011
Source: Borrowed from the library

When Emma Sharpe is summoned to a convent on the Maine coast, it’s partly for her art crimes work with the FBI, partly because of her past with the religious order. At issue is a mysterious painting depicting scenes of Irish lore and Viking legends, and her family’s connection to the work. But when the nun who contacted her is murdered, it seems legend is becoming deadly reality.

Colin Donovan is one of the FBI’s most valuable assets—a deep-cover agent who prefers to go it alone. He’s back home in Maine after wrapping up his latest mission, but his friend Father Bracken presents him with an intrigue of murder, international art heists and a convent’s long-held secrets that is too tempting to resist. As the danger spirals ever closer, Colin is certain of only one thing— – the very intriguing Emma Sharp is at the center of it all.

A ruthless killer has Emma and Colin in the crosshairs, plunging them into a race against time and drawing them deeper into a twisted legacy of betrayal and deceit.

———

I’ve wanted to read a book by Carla Neggers for a long time, and the setting of SAINT’S GATE drew me in. Most of the story takes place in and around Heron’s Cove located in southern Maine, and specifically the crime occurs in a secluded-ish convent overlooking the sea. The author’s descriptions of this area were rich and detailed, which an armchair traveler like me appreciates.

I enjoyed the information the author presented on modern-day convent life, Catholic saints and their presence in art throughout history, and the Vikings’ influence in early Ireland. It was a very interesting lesson, and it’s clear this book was well-researched.

On the downside, as a romantic suspense novel, I didn’t think the story was that suspenseful or romantic. The mystery itself was good. I enjoyed putting all the pieces together to figure out the killer, but the plot wasn’t all that gripping. While I liked Emma’s character, I didn’t care for the hero at all. For most of the book, Colin was a wooden character who lacked emotion, and was kind of rude to Emma after he found out her connection with the convent. Grow up, Colin! I just didn’t understand his reaction. I’m hoping that he grows as a character and their relationship develops more in the next book.

Rating: 3 Stars