Author: Carla Neggers

THIEF’S MARK by Carla Neggers

THIEF’S MARK by Carla NeggersThief's Mark by Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe and Donovan #7
Published by Harlequin Genres: Suspense
Source: Publisher


FBI agents, Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, are on the final day of their honeymoon and are halfway looking forward to several meetings they have set up with colleagues in London the next day before flying home and starting work and their new lives together.  But, as normal with their anticipated schedules, their plans are changed with the notification that Oliver York, a wealthy man they know is an international art thief as well as a semi-friend, has been involved with a death.  On top of that, just earlier that same day, they discover that Emma’s grandfather has experienced a break-in at his house.  There is no way they could be connected…or could they?


Emma and Colin immediately travel to Oliver York’s farm, where the death occurred, and try to help out however they can, but not to step on any toes.  When they get to the scene, Oliver’s on the run, an ex-MI5 agent is one of the witnesses, and no one can identify the dead man.  It’s a twisty journey that will take the various characters from London to York to Ireland to Scotland and even to the U.S. before the final answers will be discovered on why this man was killed and who was behind it.  The why of the killing makes Oliver relive the terrible night more than thirty years ago, when he witnessed his parents’ murder, and he was kidnapped.  Only the help of Emma, Colin, his trusted manager and the new love of his life, his childhood friend Henrietta, will help Oliver discover the truth about what happened that deadly night that has haunted him for so long.


A woman trying to make a go at her second profession and a reclusive, and former unacknowledged art thief, come together over a death in Thief’s Mark.  Oliver has spent his life trying to put what happened the night he became an orphan behind him.  His path has been a unique one, to be sure, and one that placed him in contact with Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, as well as Emma’s grandfather, Wendell Sharpe. Henrietta’s path was not as twisty, but unusual on its own with equal parts of law enforcement and gardening.  I have to admit that I have often wondered if Oliver would ever have a happy ending as I have come to know him in the previous books.  I loved watching as Oliver not only discovered the truth about the night he was kidnapped, but to also open himself up to the love that was right there waiting for him.  I also loved watching as Henrietta put her talents towards proving that Oliver had nothing to do with the latest killing and to help him fill in the final holes of that pivotal night.  While Emma and Colin were definitely there and involved in solving the murder, this book was totally about Oliver and Henrietta’s love story and a great way to get Emma and Colin back at things after their honeymoon.  Thief’s Mark has all of the things I have come to expect from a Sharpe & Donovan book: thrilling suspense, humor, and just the right amount of romance to keep things from getting too gritty.  While I loved that Oliver has his happy ending, there are still a couple of characters that I am waiting to get theirs.

KEEPER’S REACH by Carla Neggers

KEEPER’S REACH by Carla NeggersKeeper's Reach by Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan #5
Published by MIRA Genres: Suspense
Source: Publisher


Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan have some downtime after solving their last case—a case that Emma’s family has been trying to solve for several years.  Right now Emma is looking forward to having time to planher and Colin’s wedding and to spend more time with Colin’s family.  Colin has meetings at the FBI office to get through before he can join Emma, which proves to be hazardous to Emma’s well-being.  But for these two FBI agents, it seems that even solved cases are never over, and that is exactly what is happening now and it is on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.


Colin’s oldest brother, Mike, has been invited to a meeting with several of his past military contacts, some of which he worked with a lot and some that he only worked with when the mission needed it, and a woman that he loved and lost because of their work. It seems one of his buddies is putting together a new security company, and he is looking at possibly hiring-on some of the old crew. Somehow, this meeting becomes embroiled with Colin and Emma’s last case and then Emma is placed into danger before Colin and Emma even get a handle on what is happening.  Now, the FBI office that Colin and Emma are part of is involved, which ramps-up the danger and suspense.  Before it’s all over, more than one couple will be risking their futures to find and stop a person who believes they are better than everyone else.


Just when Emma and Colin think they might have a small bit of down time, they are thrown into a matter that is full of danger, suspense, and it brings in aspects from their last case in Keeper’s Reach.  While I have been learning about Emma and Colin as their romance has progressed, I have also been seeing parts and pieces of their family and friends.  This time it was Colin’s oldest brother, Mike, who was the lead, and I learned more about him and his past as I watched him grab the second chance at love that was presented to him.  I really loved how while Emma and Colin were not exactly part of this matter.  They were thrown in by a serious left curve and had to double time it to figure out what was going on, who were the people involved, and how they could help Mike shut it down fast.  I am quickly learning that you really don’t want to play hardball with either the Donovan’s or the Sharpe’s because you will lose every time.  I really enjoyed trying to follow all the clues and even what turned out to be red herrings and trying to figure out who was the bad guy before it was revealed to me.  I will admit that in this case, I was not even close when I found out who was behind it all.  Once again, Ms. Neggers has provided a suspense that keeps you guessing until the very last second.  Keeper’s Reach keeps you intrigued from the first page until the last with great suspense and the right touches of danger and passion.  I can’t wait until the next chapter in the Sharpe & Donovan world.

HARBOR ISLAND by Carla Neggers

HARBOR ISLAND by Carla NeggersHarbor Island by Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan #4
Published by MIRA Genres: Suspense
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Jo

Emma Sharpe and her fiancé, Colin Donovan, are FBI agents and both are enjoying their down time after several back to back cases which have all had a link to Emma’s grandfather’s biggest case, one that still remains unsolved. Emma’s grandfather was an world renowned art detective and Emma is an art specialist for her elite team with the FBI.  Colin is also part of the same team, but his background is very different, he’s a deep cover investigator.  One morning while Colin is out, Emma gets a phone call asking her to meet the mysterious caller on a small island in the Boston Harbor.


What Emma finds is a dead woman with a relic in her hand that Emma knows is from the same art heist from her grandfathers’ unsolved case.  Calling Colin to join her, Emma begins yet another case involving her family and the stolen ancient Celtic art that has been missing for so long.  Colin and Emma work side by side to follow the clues that surround the dead woman’s very dysfunctional family and that Celtic art. Each clue brings the danger closer to Emma and Colin and it seems for every answer they find, yet more questions come up. The clues also involve their entire FBI team, some more intimately than others.  As if that isn’t enough, Emma and Colin are facing questions and concerns regarding their engagement and undercurrents that are happening within the FBI that could very well tear them apart.


The killer is closer than either Emma or Colin imagined as they not only discover just who did the murder but why.  Another angle is that their friend and Irish priest, Father Finian seems to be tangled up in this case yet again, but this time a past relationship will bring his faith into question.  The final answers will bring deadly danger and will destroy one family and bring another closer together, while yet others will confirm that their current paths are exactly what are right for them.  Most importantly, the answers to several art robberies will become known – if not “solved.”


Fate and love brought two souls together who shouldn’t work, yet while surrounded by death and danger their love only grows stronger and stronger.  Emma and Colin discover this is true in Harbor Island.  I have grown absolutely in love with Emma and Colin as their romance has developed.  This last case of theirs not only solved several long lasting mysteries but also solved a very recent murder that all but happened in front of Emma.  I also love watching how Emma and Colin team up to solve their cases, it is so interesting how they approach investigations from such different directions.  Chaos is still in the air with their professional lives and I know that it will affect their personal lives – yet I find myself hoping that their next adventure shows up soon so I can visit with them again.  Harbor Island kept this reader riveted with suspense, deadly danger and fierce passion that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.  Grab a comfy chair when you open Harbor Island because you won’t want to move anytime soon.

SAINT’S GATE by Carla Neggers

SAINT’S GATE by Carla NeggersSaint's Gate by Carla Neggers
Series: Sharpe & Donovan #1
Genres: Suspense
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Jo

Emma Sharpe’s family has always been well known in the field of art criminals and crimes, but she went a slightly different way with her life.  Emma is an FBI agent in an elite group where her knowledge of art crimes is a major asset.  However, today another part of Emma’s past is about to meet up with her present.  Emma is answering a call for help from one of the sisters from Sisters of the Joyful Heart, a nunnery that specializes in art restoration and teaching, when death came calling.
Colin Donovan is home on a much needed vacation.  Colin is a deep undercover FBI agent who just finished a mission that took a lot out of him.  The last thing Colin needed was to be called from his vacation by two different friends about the same matter.  One an Irish priest who just heard about a nun who was killed and the other is Emma’s boss who is worried about what she might have fallen into.  Colin agrees to take a look at the situation and travels to Emma’s hometown and the nunnery.
When a sexy so called lobsterman suddenly appears around Emma, she knows he is much more than that.  Learning that Colin is also an FBI agent doesn’t surprise Emma or the knowledge that he knows her boss.  Colin might not know much about art or art crimes but he knows a lot about crimes in general and he knows that there is something strange about this murder.  As Colin and Emma come to terms on working this case, as not quite partners, they are also beginning to feel an attraction that neither is sure if they want it at this point in their lives.  Following the clues leads Emma and Colin into the past that involves both the nunnery and Emma’s family.  Answers are being discovered and danger seems to be following the sisters and Emma’s family.  If that isn’t enough, Emma and Colin are also dealing with an intense passion.  When the killer is found lives are on the line and it will take all the moves and knowledge that Emma and Colin have to make sure that when morning breaks everyone will be there to see it. 
It takes missing art, nuns, a priest and a killer to bring two FBI agents together in Saint’s Gate. While their meeting was a bit unusual, I loved watching Emma and Colin circle each other and work on finding a killer.  I could see why both Emma and Colin thought that now just wasn’t a good time to begin a relationship, but when fate brings your match sometimes you just have to work with what you have.  The suspense was very intriguing and well done from beginning to the end.  I didn’t figure out the killer until just before their identity was revealed.  I enjoyed watching Colin come to terms with Emma’s past while falling in love with her just as I loved watching Emma fall for Colin even knowing his job could take him away at any time.  While the suspense is the focal point, I could follow loves path as it brought Emma and Colin together.  Saint’s Gate is a spine tingling suspense with just the right touch of romance to bring a sigh by the last page.  I personally will be watching and waiting for the next book that will take Emma and Colin further on their romantic path.

DECLAN’S CROSS by Carla Neggars

DECLAN’S CROSS by Carla NeggarsDeclan's Cross by Carla Neggers
Published by Harlequin Genres: Fiction, Suspense
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Jo

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.

Emma Sharp and Colin Donovan are still in Ireland after their last case when they find out that a woman from Colin’s hometown, and who just broke up with one of his brothers, is suddenly coming to a small Ireland town to work/consult in a marine research facility being developed.  Since it’s a sudden move, Colin and Emma decide to travel to Declan’s Cross and make sure everything is okay.  They know that seeing them probably is the last thing Julianne wants since her broken heart is from a Donovan after all.


Julianne Maroney is a marine biologist who jumped at the chance to head to Ireland and check out the marine research center that her new friend and diver is starting up.  However, things immediately start going wrong from the moment Julianne arrives at the airport – her friend isn’t there to pick her up as arranged.  Nor is she at the cottage Julianne rented and agreed to share for the two weeks.  To top it off Colin Donovan and his girlfriend Emma Sharp show up.  When Julianne finds her friend dead on the cliff rocks a few days later, Julianne is happy that Emma and Colin are still around.


As Emma and Colin search for answers on why the woman was killed, there are more questions than answers and it seems that even some of the questions are missing at times.  As some of the answers are located, things in the dead woman’s past bring up an art heist that Emma’s grandfather has been trying to solve for many years.  It’s a tricky tightrope of an investigation with all the secrets that the little town of Declan’s Cross seems to be hiding.  While looking for what happened to the dead woman and keeping Julianne from any lurking danger, Emma and Colin are also trying to figure out their next steps as a couple.  The answers become very clear but have they been discovered in time to keep Julianne, Emma and Colin safe or will the real killer get away with murder?


What has a marine research center, an unsolved art heist and murder have in common?  It’s going to take Emma and Colin’s skills to find the answers and keep a friend safe in Declan’s Cross.  The road to romance has certainly been bumpy for Emma and Colin so far.  Of course as FBI agents, danger is part of their job but I wasn’t surprised when their vacation was interrupted when a friend found a body.  I was amazed by all the twists and turns that seemed to be around the death.  I had to smile as I watched Colin try to stay out of the relationship between Julianne and his brother.  There were times I was worried about Emma and Colin’s relationship, they seemed so different, and yet that seemed to have been the key to bringing them closer together.  Sharpe and Donovan got their man again and more importantly they also got each other.  Even better, at the end there was more than one happy ending.  Declan’s Cross is a great mixture of suspenseful twists and turns intermixed with passion and star crossed lovers all of which came together as a book you really don’t want to put down ‘til the end.


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