Book 178: SAINT’S GATE Review

A missing painting, a Viking Saint, lost treasure, a murdered nun and a former novice turned FBI agent investigating the painting and murder with the help of an undercover FBI agent. Strange combination but these are the basics at the center of Saint’s Gate by Carla Neggers.


Emma Sharpe is a former novitiate with the Sisters of the Joyful Heart. She realized that she was not suited to life as a nun prior to taking her final vows and was ultimately recruited into the FBI working as an investigator in art theft and fraud. She is called by Sister Cecilia to return to the convent to provide an opinion on a painting. Unfortunately when she arrives to inspect the painting it disappears and Sister Cecilia is brutally murdered on the convent grounds. When her FBI boss turns up and an undercover FBI agent she begins to suspect that there is more going on than she may realize. Her investigation takes her to Ireland and back and she still is having difficulty grasping the connection, if any, between her life and that of Colin Donovan, undercover FBI agent. 


I wish I could say I enjoyed reading Saint’s Gate but regrettably I can’t. The action and dialogue were literally all over the place. At times it felt as if I was dropped into the middle of the story without knowing much about the plot or characters. As a romantic suspense story the romance was expected yet appeared forced and there was little suspense to be found. Although I generally enjoy reading Ms. Neggers’ books, this one seemed to miss on so many levels (plot, characters, and dialogue). 


Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Weekend Ramblings 2

I’ve been suffering from both reader’s and writer’s block over the past week. I finished my reading (yeah!) but have had difficulty starting anything new or writing the reviews for what I’ve read. This is due in part to the fact that I LOVED The Lantern and feel that my review just won’t do it justice…it’s also (possibly, probably, highly likely — take your pick) due to the series of migraine headaches suffered over the past week. Since I generally have a migraine (or two) each and every day this shouldn’t have been anything out of the norm but add in a sinus headache component along with severe allergies and it made for a doozy of a headache for a few days.  On the plus side, I had a few hours of sinus and allergy respite yesterday and went to see The Help movie with some family members. I’ve got to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was and how closely the movie followed the book. For those of you that have read the book, go see the movie! For those of you that have seen the movie, go read the book!


The West Virginia Book Festival made an exciting announcement earlier this week: Jerry West will be speaking at the festival on Saturday, October 22nd at 6:00 PM on his book West by West. Mr. West will also be signing autographs after his talk. Another author of note at the festival is Bonnie Stewart, No. 9: The 1968 Farmington Mine Disaster. Ms. Stewart’s book is scheduled to be released in November by the West Virginia University Press. This year’s festival looks to be just as exciting and interesting as previous years. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for October 22-23 to attend this year’s West Virginia Book Festival!


I guess I should spend some time writing reviews and get back to some reading. My TBR list is huge so I can’t say I don’t know what to read…  Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. 


If you’re spending a few hours reading this weekend please share your reads with us.






Weekend Ramblings


I currently have two books that I’m reading, or rather supposed to be reading. For some reason I just can’t get in the mood to read. Of course this could be due to current family situations which include a recent death, funeral planning, and multiple birthday celebrations.


The past 12 days have included: my birthday, youngest brother’s birthday (his 41st — celebrated among immediate family), two cousins’ birthdays (recognized but not celebrated), death of an aunt (early Friday morning), and ends with the birthday celebration of an ex sister-in-law today. Thankfully birthdays as adults aren’t as big a deal as when we were children, but my mother insists on a family dinner followed by cards and gift giving. Fortunately I don’t celebrate birthdays, or at least my own for religious reasons, and can usually get out of the mandatory family dinner. However, since my recent birthday was for the big 5-0 I was informed that I HAD to attend. In my family we know that you don’t upset Momma (think of Tyler Perry’s “Madea” without the violent tendencies) so I went. It was kind of funny because there were no cards, gifts or singing but it was a great excuse to get the family together again during the middle of the summer. 


Just when I thought I was free from the birthday celebrations, this upcoming week has another aunt’s birthday [her 72nd] and my great-niece’s birthday [her 10th]. In between and around all of these upcoming “celebrations” our family is also preparing for a funeral. I guess it will serve as a reminder that with life comes death. Something none of us want to think about but none can avoid. 


Now that I’ve depressed you as much as I am (sorry), I’m off to try and do some reading. Okay I’ll be doing some reading, out for some shoe shopping (a woman can never have too many shoes or handbags or too much jewelry!), then back to reading. I hope to have reviews of The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson and Saint’s Gate by Carla Neggers posted within the next few days. Until then happy reading . . .