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 Donovanespecially 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.
About the Author
Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sharpe and Donovan series featuring Boston-based FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan and the Swift River Valley series set in small-town New England. With many bestsellers to her credit, Carla and her husband divide their time between their hilltop home in Vermont, their kids' places in Boston and various inns, hotels and hideaways on their travels, frequently to Ireland. Learn more at CarlaNeggers.com.
Read an Excerpt
Emma Sharpe paused atop a craggy knoll and looked out at the ripples of barren hills, not a house, a road, a car or another person in sight. She didn't know what had become of her hiking partner. Maybe he had stepped up to his midcalves in mud and muck, too, but she doubted it. It wasn't that Colin Donovan wasn't capable of taking a misstep. It was that she'd have heard him cursing if he had.
A fat, woolly sheep stared up at her from the boggy grass as if to say, "You might be an FBI agent back in Boston, but out here in the Irish hills, you're just another hiker with wet feet."
"This is true," Emma said, setting her backpack on the expanse of rough gray rock. "However, I'm prepared. I have dry socks."
She unzipped her pack and dug out a pair of fresh wool socks. The sheep bleated and meandered off, disappearing behind another knoll, one of a series on the windswept ridge on the Beara Peninsula, one of the fingers of land that jutted into the North Atlantic off the southwest coast of Ireland. It had been centuries since these hills were forested. She could see peeks of Kenmare Bay in the distance, its calm waters blue-gray in the midafternoon November light. Across the bay, shrouded in mist but still distinct, were the jagged ridges of the Macgil-licuddy Reeks.
Emma kicked off her shoes, sat on the bare rock ledge and pulled off her wet socks. She glanced down at the narrow valley directly below her, a small lake shimmering in the fading sunlight. She and Colin were five hours into their six-hour hike. With the short November days, they would get back to their car just before dark.
As she put on her dry socks, he came around the knoll where her sheep had disappeared. A light breeze caught the ends of his dark hair, and he had his backpack hooked on one arm as he jumped over the wet spot that had fooled her.
He climbed up onto her knoll and dropped his pack next to hers. "I like having you walk point," he said with a grin.
"No fair. You saw my footprint in the mud."
"I'll never tell."
Emma leaned back against her outstretched arms. She had on a wool hat, her fair hair knotted at the nape of her neck. She had pulled her gloves on and off over the course of the day. She didn't know if Colin had even packed a hat and gloves. He was, she thought, the sexiest man she had ever met. Small scars on his right cheek and by his left eye from fights he said he had won. She had no doubt. He was strongly built, rugged and utterly relentless.
A good man to have on your side in a fight.
She was fit and lean and could handle herself in a fight, and although she wasn't tiny, he could easily carry her up a flight of stairs. In fact, he had, more than once.
They had set out early. For the past two weeks, they had explored the southwest Irish coast on foot and by car, by mutual agreement avoiding talk of arms traffickers, thieves, poison, attempted murder and alligators. Colin would wink at her and say he especially didn't want to talk about alligators, not that he had seen one on his narrow escape from killers in South Florida. Thinking about them had been enough.
By unspoken agreement, he and Emma also avoided talk of their futures with the FBIor even each other. His months of intense undercover work, in an environment where everyone was a potential enemy, had taken a toll, and he needed this time to be in the present, to be himself.
Emma's needs were simpler. She just wanted to be with him.
It was her life that was complicated.
She sat up straight, noticing that Colin's boots and cargo pants were splattered with mud but not wet like hers. She grinned at him. "You do know I've spent more time hiking the Irish hills than you have, don't you?"
"Beneath that placid exterior beats the heart of a competitive federal agent." He made no move to sit next to her. "Your mishap gives me an excuse to run a hot bath for you when we get back to the cottage."
"Life could be worse. You're not bored, are you?"
"I can go more than two weeks without anyone trying to kill me."
As he stood next to her on her boulder, his smile almost reached his stone-gray eyes. Almost.
He offered her a sip from his water bottle, but she shook her head. He took a long drink as he gazed out at the hills. Except for the occasional baa of the grazing, half-wild sheep, the silence was complete.
"What are you thinking about, Colin?"
"A cold pint and a warm pub. Sounds perfect."
He leaned down and touched the curve of his hand to her cheek. "It's been good being here with you." He winked at her as he stood straight. "Mud and sheep dung and all."
Emma sighed as she slipped back into her trail shoes and tied the laces. "No escaping sheep dung out here, is there? I wasn't distracted when I stepped in the wet spot. I just misjudged. There's a difference."
"But you do have a lot on your mind," Colin said.
She always did. Their jobs with the FBI attested to their different natures. He was an undercover agent. She specialized in art crimes. She was analytical, methodical, detailoriented. He was direct, intuitive, quick and decisiveand independent to a fault. Six weeks ago, he had been assigned to her small team in Boston, if only because the senior agent in charge was determined to rein him in.
Good luck with that, Emma thought. She stood, lifted her backpack and slung it over her shoulders. "The rest of the way is all downhill."
"Have you ever done this hike before?"
She shook her head. "First time."
"It's a good spot," he said, tucking his water bottle in his pack. "I'm glad we did this before I go home."
"Yeah. Me, too."
It was Monday. She had a flight back to Boston on Friday. She'd be at her desk a week from today. Colin had more time before he had to decide what was next for him. Not a lot more time, but he could stay in Ireland for a while longer, without her.
She angled a look at him. "Anything on your mind, Colin?"
"I had an email from Andy in my in-box this morning. He sent it last night. I didn't read it until just now, while I ate an energy bar and admired the view. Reading email is against our hiking rules, I know."
"A sign it's time to get back to work, maybe." Emma gave him a moment but he didn't take the bait and respond, and she let it go. "How are things in Rock Point?"
"Andy says Julianne Maroney is leaving for Ireland tonight."
"Tonight? Isn't that sudden?"
"She's just accepted a marine biology internship in Cork that starts in January. She decided to come for a couple weeks now and get herself sorted out. It's sudden, but that's Julianne."
"So, she's staying in Cork?"
"A village east of Cork. Declan's Cross."
Emma went still as a dozen images came at her at once. A pretty seaside Irish village of brightly colored shops and residences. A romantic mansion with sweeping views of cliffs and sea. Haunting Celtic crosses on a grassy hilltop.
A tight-lipped old Irish sheep farmer.
Her grandfather, Wendell Sharpe, a renowned art detective, pacing in his Dublin office as he admitted he and Sharpe Fine Art Recovery were after a thief they couldn't catch.
A thief, Emma thought, who had first struck in tiny Declan's Cross on a lonely, rainy, dark November night ten years ago.
She'd only become involved in the case four years ago, in the months between her life as Sister Brigid at the coastal Maine convent of the Sisters of the Joyful Heart and her life as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She'd worked side by side with her grandfather in Dublin, learning everything he knew.
Wendell Sharpe never told anyone everything. She was aware of Colin's eyes narrowed on her. He wouldn't know about the thief. There was no reason for him to know. She pushed back her thoughts. "Why Declan's Cross, Colin?"
"Just tell me what you know. Please."
"All right." He was plainly suspicious now. "A woman who's launching a marine science research facility in Declan's Cross stopped in Rock Point last week. She and Julianne hit it off. Now Julianne's meeting her there."
"To help with this research facility?"
"Andy doesn't have any details. He hasn't talked to Julianne himself.
"Then who told him?"
"Her brother. Ryan. He's in the Coast Guard, but he's in Rock Point visiting for a few days. He found out from their grandmother. Julianne lives with her."
Rock Point was a small, tight-knit southern Maine fishing village. Everyone knew everyone else's business, but Julianne's short-lived romance with Andy Donovan, third-born of the four Donovan brothers, apparently had come as a surprise, especially since she'd vowed never to get involved with a Donovan. Emma didn't know either Andy or Julianne well. She'd only met Colin in September and was still figuring out who was who in his hometown.
"What's this woman's name?" she asked. "Do we know her?"
"Her name's Lindsey Hargreaves. I don't know her."
Hargreaves. Emma searched her memory but shook her head. "I don't, either. Did she come to Rock Point looking for Julianne?"
"I don't have any details. I just know Julianne's on her way to Ireland."
"And you don't like it."
"Julianne's as smart as they come, but she's impulsive and she's had a rough time lately. She's never been that far from home. I doubt she's been farther than Nova Scotia. Now all of a sudden she's meeting some strange woman in a little Irish village."
"Are you concerned she's running away because of her breakup with Andy?"
"I know she is," Colin said half under his breath. "This trip could be exactly what she needs, but I'd feel better if she wasn't alone."
"We could drive over to Declan's Cross tomorrow," Emma said.
He tilted his head back, eyed her again. "We could, but what's going on? I noticed your look when I mentioned Declan's Cross. Emma, is there a Sharpe connection to this village?" She sighed. "We can talk on the hike back to the car."
* * *
They didn't talk on the hike back to their car or the drive back to their borrowed cottage in the Kerry hills across Kenmare Bay. Colin drove. He'd adjusted quickly to driving on the left, but the high, thick hedges and narrow roadseach with its own quirkskept him on alert.
He'd known he and Emma wouldn't talk the moment he'd mentioned Declan's Cross and she'd given him that tight look. He liked to joke that he could do deep-cover work because he himself wasn't deep, but Emma was. She had layers of secrets. Sharpe secrets, Sister Brigid secrets, FBI secrets.
He didn't have secrets. He just had stuff he couldn't talk about.
And he had his demons. He'd come to Ireland because of them. His months of undercover work had taken a toll not just on him but on his family and friendsand on Emma, even in the short time they'd known each other. They'd met in September on his brief respite at home in Rock Point.
Then he went away again, and when he came back, he'd brought some of his bad guys with him.
The short version, he thought as he pulled into the gravel driveway of the little stone cottage he and Emma had shared for the past two weeks. He'd stayed here on his own for several days before she couldn't stand it any longeras she'd put itand got on a plane in Boston, flew to Shannon, rented a car and found him.
Colin hadn't asked her to turn around and go back to Boston without him.
Maybe he should have.
It was dark now, the wind shifting, turning blustery. He glanced at Emma, but she had already clicked off her seat belt and was slipping out of the car.
He was in no rush. Let her take all the time she needed before she told him about the Sharpes and Declan's Cross. Wendell Sharpe had lived and worked in Dublin for the past fifteen years. Whatever was on her mind likely involved him. Colin had drunk whiskey with old Wendell. Interesting fellow. Maybe not quite the analytical thinker his granddaughter was but definitely a man with secrets.
Colin got out of the car, not minding the spray of cold rain. He grabbed their packs from the back and headed up a pebbled path to the cottage. The front door was painted a glossy blue, a contrast to the gray stone exterior. Finian Bracken, the owner, an Irish priest serving a parish in Rock Point, had told Colin to stay as long as he wanted. They'd become friends over the past few months, maybe as much because of their differences as in spite of them.
Fin couldn't bring himself to stay in the cottage. It was a reminder of his life before the priesthood, when he'd been a successful businessman, a husband and a father. He and his wife had renovated the tiny ruin of a place, adding a bathroom, kitchen, skylights, richly colored fabrics. It had been their refuge, he'd told Colin, a favorite spot to spend time with their two daughters.
Never in Fin's worst nightmares had he imagined he would lose all three of them. Sally, little Kathleen and Mary. They'd drowned seven years ago in a freak sailing accident.
Fin had removed any personal mementoes, but Colin thought he could feel the presence of his friend's lost wife and daughters and the happy times they'd had there.
He set the packs on the tile floor and pulled the door shut behind him. He liked being here. He liked having Emma here. The rest would sort itself out.
He watched her as she got on her knees and carefully, methodically, placed sods of turf in the stone fireplace. Colin liked the smell of burning peat, and a fire would warm up the single room and loft in minutes.
She rolled back onto her heels and stared at the fire as it took hold. Then she glanced up at him, the flames reflecting in her green eyes. "I hate to leave this place," she said.
"Ah, yes." He moved closer to her. "The cold, cruel world awaits."
She stood, and he slipped an arm around her waist, kissed the top of her head. Even her hair smelled like mud, but he didn't mind. She leaned into him. "I thought we'd have a few more nights together here. It's the most romantic cottage ever, isn't it? But we need to go to Declan's Cross, Colin. At least I do."
"There is a Sharpe connection to this village, then."
She eased an arm around his middle, the lingering tentativeness of even two weeks ago gone now. "I've reserved a room at the O'Byrne House Hotel," she said. "It's on the water, right in the village of Declan's Cross."
"That was fast."
"The joys of smartphones."
And she'd had her plan fixed in her mind when they'd arrived back from their hike. "Have you ever been to Declan's Cross?" he asked.
"Once, when I worked with my grandfather in Dublin. I was only there for the day. The O'Byrne House wasn't a hotel then. It was a rambling, boarded-up private home. It opened as a hotel last fall. Apparently its spa is quite nice."
"A spa," Colin said, as if he were translating a foreign language.
"I bet it offers a couple's massage."
"Dream on, Emma."
She grinned. "I think you'd enjoy a hot stone massage."
"I'd rather have you heat up my stones, Special Agent Sharpe."
"You're hopeless." She tightened her hold on him, her grin gone now. "Massages are good for demon fighting."
He wasn't going to be distracted by talk of his demons. He drew her against him. "What's good for extracting Sharpe secrets?"
"There are secrets and there are confidences, and there are things I just can't tell you." She broke away from him and grabbed a black-iron poker, stirred the fire. "I wish I had a fireplace in my apartment in Boston."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you’re looking for an escape from the recent crazy weather, author Carla Neggers’ DECLAN’S CROSS will transport you to beautiful Ireland. Narrator Carol Monda does a terrific job bringing the characters to life. She gives each character their own unique voice with her mannerisms. FBI Agents Colin Donovan and Emma Sharpe are enjoying some down time in Ireland. Meanwhile, marine biologist Julianne Maroney has come to Declan’s Cross to heal her broken heart after a split with Colin’s brother, Andy. She didn’t know Colin and Emma were in the Irish seaside village. She was to stay with a friend, Lindsey, but it seemed upon arriving that Lindsey was missing. Things change drastically for the trio when Lindsey is found dead. At first it looks like an accident, but then it appears Lindsey was pushed from a cliff to her death. A new layer is added when Lindsey’s father arrives in the village. He could possibly have a connection to a decade old art theft that Emma’s grandfather, a renowned art detective, investigated. The stolen art nor the thief have never been found. What follows is an intriguing story with a number of subplots all combining for a suspenseful tale. The story moves at a steady pace with twists and turns. The characters are realistic and well-developed. They have flaws and concerns readers can relate to. The interaction among family members adds depth to the characters. The author’s rich descriptions and eye for detail makes the reader/listener feel transported to Ireland. Her vivid accounts of the area bring it to life. DECLAN’S CROSS is the third installment in the Sharpe and Donovan series, but can be read/listened to on its own. There are references to past issues, but new readers/listeners won’t be left in the dark. This is a tantalizing tale of murder, art thefts, and mayhem with moments of subtle romance woven throughout. Set in a fascinating Celtic seaside village, this suspenseful tale will hold you spellbound until the end.
The overall story is captivating, even with sifting through all the characters and minute details. I do not like even the simple slang/curse words and the book would have been better without the sexual details. Takes a little work to get into and, at times, to keep up with. Overall storyline was good.
Reviewed by Andrea Book provided by BookTrib for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book I am a total sucker for a romantic, suspenseful story and it being set in Ireland…well, it seemed too good to be true. I am so glad that I wasn’t let down. Julianne, who is running away to Ireland from a small Maine town, hoping to heal a broken heart. She is surprised when she runs into Colin, who is the brother of her ex-boyfriend, and Emma, who are on their own holiday. Nothing is going like it was supposed to and soon, they all find themselves involved in finding a murderer. Carla Neggers is a great story teller. From the very first sentence, I was completely involved. The characters are completely likable and the backdrop is, well, Ireland! She writes with enough detail of the scenery that you can feel the ocean breeze, smell the fresh air and wish you were standing on the cliffs with Julianne, Colin and Emma. Carla writes with enough humor to keep the subject touchable. This book is part of a series. The characters seem to run from book to book and while there were things that seemed like I was missing parts of the story, I didn’t feel completely lost. Carla Neggers does a great job of giving us enough information to get us through but not enough that we won’t want to go back and find out the details. She hooked me – I have every intention of reading the rest of the books in this story.
Always like Carla Neggers.
If you’re looking for an escape from the recent crazy weather, author Carla Neggers’ DECLAN’S CROSS will transport you to beautiful Ireland. Narrator Carol Monda does a terrific job bringing the characters to life. She gives each character their own unique voice with her mannerisms. FBI Agents Colin Donovan and Emma Sharpe are enjoying some down time in Ireland. Meanwhile, marine biologist Julianne Maroney has come to Declan’s Cross to heal her broken heart after a split with Colin’s brother, Andy. She didn’t know Colin and Emma were in the Irish seaside village. She was to stay with a friend, Lindsey, but it seemed upon arriving that Lindsey was missing. Things change drastically for the trio when Lindsey is found dead. At first it looks like an accident, but then it appears Lindsey was pushed from a cliff to her death. A new layer is added when Lindsey’s father arrives in the village. He could possibly have a connection to a decade old art theft that Emma’s grandfather, a renowned art detective, investigated. The stolen art nor the thief have never been found. What follows is an intriguing story with a number of subplots all combining for a suspenseful tale. The story moves at a steady pace with twists and turns. The characters are realistic and well-developed. They have flaws and concerns readers can relate to. The interaction among family members adds depth to the characters. The author’s rich descriptions and eye for detail makes the reader/listener feel transported to Ireland. Her vivid accounts of the area bring it to life. DECLAN’S CROSS is the third installment in the Sharpe and Donovan series, but can be read/listened to on its own. There are references to past issues, but new readers/listeners won’t be left in the dark. This is a tantalizing tale of murder, art thefts, and mayhem with moments of subtle romance woven throughout. Set in a fascinating Celtic seaside village, this suspenseful tale will hold you spellbound until the end. FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
This is another book in the Sharpe and Donovan series. Carla Neggers is an awesome writer. This story brings the reader lots of twists and turns, mystery and suspense, and lots of thrills. Colin and Emma are in Ireland on a vacation of sorts when a murder draws them in. I love the way Carla describes the Irish country, it makes me feel like I am there. The mystery of in this book kept me up to the wee hours of the morning wanting to finish it. A great book to read. I give it 4 stars.
Love this series. Along with all of her books as I have them all. Highly recommend any and all of her books.
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. Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author/publisher/blog tour company in exchange for an honest review.
enjoyed the development of Emma's and Colin's characters. Ms. Neggars love of Ireland, its history and people is front and center. Great story for those who love Ireland with a bit of mystery
I finished reading this book and I'm still trying to figure out the logic of it. The story seemed very contrived-that the author was trying to make the facts fit with the characters and her story line. I saw no realistic reason to connect Julianne's visit to Declan's Cross with a decade old robbery yet that is immediately where Emma's mind went; after that clues were thrown in to help meet Emma's beliefs. All this was done so that the sly thief from 10 years ago can probably become a story line in this series in subsequent books. I enjoyed the first 2 books in this series but this one, not so much.
Highly recommend to anyone who loves a good murder mystery with a little romance weaved in. Characters are great and love the Sharpe/Donovan connection.
Romantic suspense! I have just finished "Declan's Cross" written by Carla Neggers It's her third book in the Sharpe and Donovan series. This author is new to me and I enjoyed reading her book! She developed a great description of the beauty of Ireland It's a thrilling romantic mystery filled with suspense! I loved her character Juliane Maroney, a marine biologist also Emma & Colin, FBI agents! Ms. Neggers skillfully blended intrigues details to make it an interesting thriller. It's well written, fast paced and filled with action. I recommend her book!
For any fan of the Sharpe and Donovan series, you will fall into the pages of this book as if welcoming home old friends you’ve really missed. If new to the series, the good news is this is most definitely a stand alone story (but it is so good, you will run back and get the other two). This tale leaps from Ireland to the United States and back again, telling of an art theft that took place ten years ago. Colin Donovan, an undercover agent with the FBI is coming down from a rather harrowing mission and has gone to Ireland to relax. His girlfriend, Emma Sharpe, who is also an FBI agent, heads along to the Emerald Isle, as well. Emma has a background in the art world. She lived in Maine as a child near the Donovan’s hometown. An ‘almost’ nun, Emma left her calling to move to Ireland where she worked for her family’s business in Art Recovery before then working for the FBI art crimes division. Julianne Maroney is trying to get over a romance with Andy Donovan and has also gone to Ireland to recover from her lost love. Heading to the village of Declan’s Cross on the Irish coast, she meets the two agents; much to her dismay, seeing that Colin is brother to the man who broke her heart. A decade ago an art thief entered a mansion in the town of Declan‘s Cross and Emma Sharpe’s grandfather had investigated the theft, but the stolen art has still not been found and the thief has never been apprehended. Add in Lindsey Hargreaves to the cast, a marine biologist who was the person who invited Julianne to come to Ireland but forgot to pick her up at the airport, and soon Colin and Emma’s downtime turns into a full-blown investigation. When a character ends up dead, the hunt begins for a killer. This complex, entertaining mystery is beyond interesting (not a shock, considering Neggers is an A+ writer), and all readers will truly enjoy it. The old saying: “You can’t tell the players without a score card,” rings true in this narration, and the thrills never stop. Quill says: This book is an excellent combination of romance, suspense and family, making it an unforgettable read for many genres.
3 STARS Sharpe & Donovan book 3 This is I believe the third book in the sharpe and Donovan series. I have enjoyed reading all 3 of them. Wish my memory was like it used to be. The story bounces from Ireland to U.S and back & forth. It covers art theft now and ten years ago, missing person/murder? Lots of secrets. Their are four Donovan brother's from small town in Maine. Colin works for the FBI deep undercover but he tells everyone he works in office. Colin right now went to Ireland to unwind after his last mission. His girl friend Emma Sharpe followed him over. Emma has interesting background. She grew up in Maine about 10 minutes from the Donovan' hometown but they did not meet till the first book Saints Gate. She was almost a nun. She left that and came over to Ireland and worked with her family's business in art recovery. Emma than joined the FBI and works in art crime. Julianne Maroney is from the same hometown as the Donovans. She is trying to get over falling for Andy Donovan. So when she met Lindsey and had the chance to come over to Declan's Cross. She jumped at it. It was a fast decision. Andy emails Colin that Julianne is headed for Declan's Cross and wants to make sure all is okay with her. Julianne was supposed to be met at airport by Lindsey and wasn't. So she decides to rent a car and make her way to Declan's Cross. She is not too happy to be met there by Colin and Emma. But later she is glad that they are their. I admit to being lost a few times in this story. With a art theft ten years in the past, With Emma's family working the case still. To Lindsey being missed. I was never right in my guesses where the story was going. Lots of drama, secrets people are keeping. A few love scenes. I liked it. But I enjoyed the first two of the series better. I was given this ebook to read and asked to give honest review of it by Netgalley. 08/27/2013 PUB Harlequin Imprint Harlequin MIRA 320 pages ISBN:9780778314639
Book number three in the Sharpe/ Donovan series continues the complicated relationship between FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan. Ever since they met, they have danced around their feelings and what the future holds for them both. Colin is recuperating from an undercover assignment gone horribly wrong by going to Ireland and Emma has flown out to be with him. Added to the mix is another friend, Julianne Maroney, coming to Declan’s Cross to meet with a young woman about working at a marine station and to get away from her failed relationship with Andy Donovan. Everyone ends up in the small village and when there is a murder, all kinds of secrets are laid bare. Emma’s family has a history with the village as important art was stolen 10 years ago and the Sharpe family firm investigated the theft. Local Garda member Sean Murphy helps out as much as he can but he was romantically revolved with the owner of the building where the theft occurred and that theft may or may not be tied to the murder. There is a lot going on in this book. There are so many characters and so many subplots that it is hard to see who is doing what but it all comes together in a plausible way. Hovering in the background is Mike Yankowski, the man who recruited Emma into the FBI and who runs the unit that Colin is in. Father Fin also has a role in this book as Declan’s Cross is near the area where he lived in Ireland before he came to the US. The relationship between Emma and Colin is secondary to the murder mystery in the book but still an important part. Ms. Neggers promises us more books in the series and I am looking forward to reading them and seeing how the partnership between Emma and Colin continues to develop.