Monday, October 7, 2013

Declan's Cross by Carla Neggers

Title:  Declan's Cross
Author:  Carla Neggers
Series:  Sharpe & Donovan #3
Published:  August 27th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA 
(first published January 1st 2013)
Page Count:  314
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Shelf:  Review Copy
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

An escape to an idyllic Irish seaside village is about to turn deadly in this riveting new novel by master of romantic suspense Carla Neggers.

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 thief never caught.

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

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.

My Review:

This is one of those novels that make you want to go to Ireland. Neggers’ describes the countryside so vividly and eloquently that you’re just dying to be there. You can see and feel everything that happens. Everything flows so well that you are never caught off guard, even if the storyline does take a few twists and turns. I was quite intrigued by the way that the author played with the story’s pacing to match with the current events. The pace varied throughout, along with minute changes in the writing style to highlight various emotions and activities. I also appreciate the fact that this novel, although part of a series, can be read as a standalone without missing a great deal of detail. There are certain aspects that the author assumes the reader knows from past stories in the series, but it is quite easy to follow along in this one without having read them.

The characters in this novel are quite intriguing. You get to know each as an individual, a family member, and as part of a couple, however rocky the road they may be on. It’s quite an intriguing look at the inside of a close family when things are less than perfect on the outside. I also enjoyed how Neggers developed the characters. Everything was laid out so naturally. As a reader you never feel like she is throwing information at you just so that you have it. Each character is developed in the manner that you would get to know someone in person. The supporting cast is developed in the same manner. You get to know them in the aspects that are relevant to their role in the story.

This is an absolutely fantastic romantic suspense. It sets the bar for the genre. Each aspect is kept in proportion to the whole while creating a completely unforgettable whole. As a reader, you find yourself trying to put the puzzle pieces together, right alongside the characters. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

Add to my Goodreads shelves.
Buy online via Amazon,, B&N, Chapters, or Kobo.

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