Author: Karen Rose

Review: Count to Ten by Karen Rose

Posted September 3, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Count to Ten by Karen RoseReviewer: Rowena
Count to Ten by Karen Rose
Series: Romantic Suspense #6
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 564
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In all his years in the Chicago Fire Department, Lieutenant Reed Solliday has never experienced anything like this recent outbreak of house fires - devastating, vicious and in one case, homicidal. He has another problem - his new partner, Detective Mia Mitchell. She's brash, bossy, and taking the case in a direction he never imagined. Mia's instincts tell her the arsonist is making this personal. And as the infernos become more deadly, one look at the victims' tortured faces convinces her and Reed that they must work closer to catch the killer. With each new blaze, the villain ups the ante, setting firetraps for the people Reed and Mia love. The truth is almost too hot to handle: This monster's desire for death and destruction is unquenchable ... and for Mia he's started the countdown to an early grave.

Count to Ten is the sixth book in Karen Rose’s Romantic Suspense series and the first book that I’ve ever read by Rose. I don’t know what I was expecting when I jumped into this book but whatever, I liked this one. This was a book club read and if you guys know anything about my book club, they like happy, happy, joy, joy stories and this weren’t one of them. I didn’t mind the gore and the darkness that surrounded the villain (that we actually see on the page) because I was super wrapped up in the investigation, the romance between the main couple and I was really rooting for the good guys to figure everything out.

This book read like an episode of Law & Order: SVU. The crime is committed, the fire department and the cops are called, the detectives scramble from lead to lead to find the bad guy and all of that is happening at the same time that some characters are dealing with personal issues and falling in love. I thought Karen Rose handled each aspect of the story really well. It was too heavy on one specific thing. The characters were fleshed out, the story was engaging and though it was a bit slow in the beginning when it picked up, it really picked up.

Reed Solliday was an interesting hero, one that I really enjoyed getting to know. He is still grieving his late wife, even though it’s been a few years and his daughter is really going through it. She’s fourteen and is feeling some type of way about constantly living in the shadow of her dead mother. It’s a big thing that is tackled in this book and I thought Rose did a great job of letting the reader feel what the characters were feeling. I loved that Reed wasn’t perfect, that you really go through every day with him and see him grow into his feelings for Mia while figuring out how to reach his daughter and trying to stop a serial killer from taking another life. I loved seeing him struggle with trying to understand his growing daughter, struggle with moving on from his wife, a woman he thought was the love of his life.

Mia Mitchell really grew on me. I didn’t read any of the other books in this series, so I didn’t go into this story knowing the background on what happened with Mia and her partner, Abe but that didn’t really matter because Rose did a good job of making the reader understand what was going on anyway. It took a little bit for me to warm up to Mia’s character but I ended up really loving her. I thought she had a great head on her shoulders, she was strong and brave and she didn’t need anyone to save her, no matter how many times Reed tried. She was also extremely caring of those in her small circle of trust and I really loved seeing her fix the broken parts of her life. She dealt with a lot of things on her own and it took her a while to really come around to the idea of leaning on anyone so when she finally does, I was here for it.

Overall, this story was action-packed and the romance was sweet so I had a good time reading it. I am definitely interested in reading more books in this series and more books from this author. This was a great introduction to Karen Rose’s work and I’m glad that I read it. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Romantic Suspense

four-stars


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Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

Posted March 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Say You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1) by Karen Rose
Narrator: Joel Froomkin
Series: Sacramento #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 21, 2019
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 544
Length: 24 hours and 6 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried hard to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of his cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a petite blonde woman crashes into his life, he begins to realize that a little bit of chaos might not be so bad.

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain too—but she's done being a victim. Daisy's determined to explore every new experience she can—including getting to know the dark and serious FBI investigator she meets when she fights off a masked attacker one night.

It soon becomes clear that Daisy's attack was just the beginning. Now the bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California, and, as Gideon tries to find the killer, it's clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realised...

I started and listened to most of this book on audio. The narrator was simply awful. That was a huge disappointment because the narrator of Monster in the Closet was amazing. Even with that, I hung in like a champ because I really wanted to listen to it at work. I ended up reading the last 40ish%.

The Sacramento series is a spin-off of the Baltimore series. I had no idea until I started listening to the heroine’s backstory. Then I had to back it up and listen to it again because it sounded so familiar. Daisy Dawson is Taylor Dawson’s stepsister from Monster in the Closet. Taylor’s mom lied to her husband, Daisy’s father, about Taylor’s bio dad being after them. So they went into hiding for years. That really messed Daisy up. She started drinking when she was fourteen and went into rehab when she was seventeen. She’s an amazingly strong woman.

Daisy knows someone is following her. She’s sure it is one of her dad’s people. Although the truth came out about her stepmother’s lying, her dad can’t let her live her life. She goes down an alley after him (insert eyeroll) and is instead attached by a man with nylon mask on. After a valiant fight and with the help of her dog, Daisy manages to get away from her attacker. She also rips what she finds out is a locket from around his neck.

When her good friend and Sacramento PD detective, Rafe Sokolov, arrives at the scene and sees the locket, he immediately calls his friend Gideon Reynolds. He recognizes that the design on the locket is the same as a tattoo that Gideon has. Gideon gets to the scene as fast as he can and is floored by two things. The first thing is that he has finally found a lead back to the cult that he escaped from as a young teenager. The second is that he cares more about what Daisy Dawson went through then something he’s been searching for for years.

When it becomes apparent that Daisy is going to remain a target, Gideon volunteers to be the one to protect Daisy. Together they start digging into his past. When the past collides with the present, it puts both Gideon and Daisy in danger. Now they have a cult to find and a serial killer to outsmart.

I really loved this book. A lot. There are a few things location wise that threw me off because I used to live in Sacramento. So I knew that Gideon’s house was not by where he worked. I got over that because I love Karen Rose. The cult angle was very interesting. The dynamic between Gideon and his sister Mercy was interesting as well. It was obvious that Mercy and Rafe are going to have a book and I’m curious to see how exactly that is going to work. I’m just really looking forward to the next book.

Bravo on this one, KR.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Sacramento

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

Posted March 3, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Karen Rose is one of those authors. You know the one. The one that gets better with every release. I have noticed that there is more suspense and less romance with each book. Now her books are less like romantic suspense and more like suspense with a romantic element. Usually that would bother me, but it actually really works. The suspense is so good that you won’t notice the romance missing. Like I said, there is a romantic element. Just not a big one like there was in her earlier books. I listened to this book on audio. While the narrator wasn’t my favorite of KR’s narrators, I stuck with it because I really wanted to listen to it. It also took place in my hometown, so that was pretty neat. If you haven’t read KR’s books, this one would be a great place to start!

Sunday Spotlight: Say You’re Sorry by Karen RoseSay You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1) by Karen Rose
Series: Sacramento #1
Also in this series: Say You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 21, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 544
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried hard to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of his cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a petite blonde woman crashes into his life, he begins to realize that a little bit of chaos might not be so bad.

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain too—but she's done being a victim. Daisy's determined to explore every new experience she can—including getting to know the dark and serious FBI investigator she meets when she fights off a masked attacker one night.

It soon becomes clear that Daisy's attack was just the beginning. Now the bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California, and, as Gideon tries to find the killer, it's clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realised...

 

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Good. She was waking up. Took her long enough.

He took a drag on his cigarette and blew the smoke into her face. A coughing fit ensued and by the time she’d calmed down, her dark eyes were open and staring up at him.

She was scared. This pleased him. He smiled down at her. They were always scared and this always pleased him.

He sat back in his chair, watching as she struggled against her bonds. They always did that, too. But they never got free. He tied a very strong knot. It was one of his best talents.

He waited until she’d given up, until her gaze fixed on his face and recognition set in. “You,” she whispered. “From the diner.”

“Me,” he replied agreeably. From the tired old diner on the outskirts of Portland. Getting her home had been a pain in the ass. She took up much more space than he’d expected. She was curvier than most of the guests he brought home. It would be a nice change.

She yanked on her bonds again, a token effort only. Her lips trembled. “Where are my clothes?”

“Burned.”

“Why?”

He stood up, pulled lazily at his tie, aware that she was following his every move. “Because you won’t be needing them anymore.”

She shook her head, appropriately agitated. “Why are you doing this?”

He unbuttoned his shirt as her eyes flicked all around the room, looking for help. Looking for escape. There would be none. He grabbed her hand from where he’d tied it to the headboard and ran his thumb over her left ring finger, following the indentation that was all that remained of her wedding vows.

“Does he know you’re gone?” he asked softly.

Her gaze flew to her ring finger and she tried to pull her hand away, but, of course, she couldn’t. Slowly she nodded.

“Did he let you go?”

Another nod, but her eyes flickered away. He squeezed her hand hard enough to make her gasp. “Do not lie to me, Miriam.”

He was surprised when her eyes flared with a sudden fury. “That is not my name,” she ground out. “My name is Eileen.”

“The locket says Miriam.” He held up the heart-shaped silver charm, letting it dangle between them, watching it gleam as it caught the low light from the bedside lamp. He set it to swing, like a hypnotist’s watch. “Did you steal it?”

She swallowed hard, momentarily mesmerized by the swinging locket. Then her jaw hardened. “No.”

“Then, if it’s yours, you are Miriam.”

She closed her eyes. “No, I am not.”

It was really immaterial at this point, but her little show of temper had intrigued him. “Then who is Miriam?”

A tear ran down her cheek. “Who I used to be.”

“Ah. So your husband is looking for Miriam. Not Eileen.”

She clamped her lips shut, giving him his answer.

Good. He hadn’t been terribly worried that anyone would be tracking her down. The woman had a solitary, hunted air to her, like she always looked over her shoulder. Like she was hiding. That worked for him.

He ran his thumb over the locket, feeling the etched lines of the engraved Miriam on the back, then the symbol on the front. “An olive tree, two kneeling children, all protected by these beautiful outstretched angel wings.” She’d winced at the word “protected.” If it had been a talisman, it was a piss-poor one. It certainly hadn’t protected her. “What does it mean?”

Again her jaw tightened and she looked away. He gripped her chin and yanked her back. “Don’t ignore me,” he warned.

She clenched her eyes shut, so he covered her mouth and pinched her nose closed. “Look at me,” he growled, all fascination with her gone. He was angry again, which was how it was supposed to be. Her eyes flew open, terrified as she began to struggle to get free. He removed his hand and allowed her to breathe, smiling at her frantic gasps for air.

He gripped her chin again, much harder this time. “Say you’re sorry, Miriam.” He gave her a hard shake. “Say you’re sorry.

Stubbornly she clamped her lips together.

His lips curved. Excellent. He’d make her say it before he was through and he’d enjoy every moment of the effort. Because they always said it, sooner or later.

Usually as they begged him to let them die.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Karen Rose, 2019.

Sacramento

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: March 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Karen Rose

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.”

Her debut suspense novel, DON'T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Since then, she has published more than fifteen novels and two novellas. Her twenty-second novel, SAY YOU'RE SORRY, will be released in 2019.

Karen's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, London's Sunday Times, and Germany's der Spiegel (#1), and the Irish Times, as well as lists in South Africa(#1) and Australia!
​​
Her novels, I'M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America's RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, two dogs, and a cat.


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Blog Tour Review: Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

Posted October 1, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Blog Tour Review: Monster in the Closet by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Monster in the Closet (Baltimore, #5) by Karen Rose
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Series: Baltimore #5
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 498
Length: 15 hours, 25 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Monster in the Closet reunites readers with characters from Karen Rose's bestselling Baltimore series.

A mother is dead, and now her killer hunts the child that witnessed the brutal crime...

Private Investigator Clay Maynard locates missing children for clients, but has nearly given up hope of finding his own daughter, cruelly stolen from him by his ex-wife twenty-three years ago.

Equine therapist Taylor Dawson has chosen to intern at Daphne Montgomery-Carter's stables so that she can observe the program's security director - her father, Clay Maynard. Trying to reconcile the wonderful man she's getting to know with the monster her mother always described, Taylor never expects to become the target of a real monster, the man who murdered the mother of the little girls she works with at the stable. Neither does she expect to fall for Ford Elkhart, Daphne's handsome son, who is dealing with his own demons. As family and friends gather for a wedding, Taylor starts to imagine a permanent life in Baltimore.

But not if the real monster gets to her first...

In anticipation of the release of her new book, Death is Not Enough, I am here to remind you why we love Karen Rose! She is my all-time favorite romantic suspense author. There is no one better than she. I loved her from the moment I read Don’t Tell and she has gotten even better since then. In Monster in the Closet, Karen Rose is at the top of her game.

I listened to this book on audio. The narrator was amazing. The inflection in her voice was simply incredible. If I didn’t know that it was only one narrator, I would have thought it was multiple narrators. This one made it so easy to just listen. I’ve listened to a few that have really made my eyes roll. I’m looking forward to listening to this narrator again.

Let me preface this review by saying that we know who the killer is from the beginning. I prefer mysteries where the mystery isn’t a mystery because I am so incredibly awful at guessing who the bad guy is. I literally have to be hit upside the head with it.

The book begins with Jasmine Jarvis finding her mother’s dead body in their apartment. She soon realize that she has walked in on the killer and immediately hides. It was heartbreaking. She is hiding mere feet from her mother’s unrecognizable, beaten dead body while her killer rummages around in the hall closet. Jazzy sees his face and isn’t surprised in the least. She knows that she can never tell who killer her mother or he will come back for her and her sister. So she doesn’t say a word. To anyone.

Taylor Dawson is an equine therapist at a local stable. She is instantly drawn to Jazzy, a girl she can see so much of herself in. It’s clear that she’s terrified and Taylor knows how fear like that feels. She’s determined to help Jazzy in any way she can. When Jazzy speaks to Taylor, everyone is hopeful as they are the first words she has spoken since she was found by her mother’s body. The police have kept quiet about the fact that Jazzy was found at the scene, knowing they have a leak somewhere in their department.

Taylor has her own reason for being in Baltimore. She is there to see if her biological father, Clay Maynard, is the evil man her mother made her believe he was for her entire life. For as long as she can remember, Taylor has lived in fear that someday Clay would come and take her away, even possibly kill her if he ever found her. She’s lived off the grid, changed her name, had bodyguards, and literally had no life to speak of based on what she now knows are lies. It wasn’t until she was on her deathbed that her mother told her the truth. Even then, Taylor wasn’t sure she believed her mother. It wasn’t until she discovered a box with cards and letters from Clay to Taylor going back years that she decided it was time to seek Clay out.

Ford Elkhart is the son of the owner of the stable. He has his own demons, just as Taylor does. Taylor thinks she’s all stealthy, but Ford sees who she truly is the day that he meets her. Her eyes are unique, exactly as Clay’s are. Although he feels drawn to Taylor, Clay has been his friend for years and he would never keep the daughter he has been searching for for twenty three years from him. When Clay sees Taylor for the first time? OMFG. Talk about feels. It was just devastating. They just lost so much time. Clay lost raising his daughter all because his ex-wife was trying to save face with her parents. Taylor lost her dad because her mom was a selfish bitch. It was just so sad.

In the meantime, the killer has learned that Jazzy is talking to Taylor and has decided it is time to eliminate her. What he doesn’t know is how astonishingly hard it will be to get to her. Taylor is now surrounded by people that will protect her. Taylor herself is no shrinking violet. She was raised by a man that taught her to protect herself if she ever found herself face-to-face with her father, whom she thought was a monster. Taylor is pretty amazing. There is one scene in the book where Ford is intimidated by her, which is actually pretty amusing.

I really enjoy the many POV’s in KR’s books. Because her books are so long, it doesn’t detract from the main characters. I felt that the story was told and it was a good one. I love the sense of community there is in Baltimore. I love all the characters and how characters from other cities pop in and out. I just straight love Karen Rose.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Baltimore

four-stars


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Review: Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose

Posted July 7, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Alone in the Dark by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Alone in the Dark (Cincinnati Series #2) by Karen Rose
Series: Cincinnati Series #2
Also in this series: Closer Than You Think (Cincinnati Series, #1)
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 736
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Closer Than You Think returns with a breathtaking new novel of suspense in the Cincinnati series—one that crosses the line between danger and desire, and justice and revenge.   Homicide Detective Scarlett Bishop has seen enough bad guys slip through the cracks and innocent victims go unavenged to know that good doesn't always prevail. So far she’s been able to lock away her rage and her vigilante fantasies. That lock is about to break.   Former Army Ranger Marcus O'Bannion is a fierce champion of victims’ rights. His secret past gives him good reason. He believes he’s seen the depths of human depravity, but then his investigation into the murder of a young girl who once asked for his help lures him and Scarlett down a dark, dark road—and straight into the crosshairs of a dangerous, powerful underground ring that deals in human trafficking. To stop them, Scarlett and Marcus have to be just as cunning and just as ruthless. But first they have to make it out alive.
From the Paperback edition.

Karen Rose is amazing. Don’t let the 736 pages put you off. I read this book in two days. I would have read it in one, but I had a migraine. Even that barely stopped me from reading it. Rose has a way of sucking you into her world and not spitting you out until the very last page. She is one of those authors for me. She has been from the start. She’s gotten even better over time, which seems impossible.

Marcus O’Bannion was introduced the previous book, Closer Than You Think. I read it over a year ago, so I remember Marcus only briefly. In Alone in the Dark, Marcus is helping a young girl named Tala that asked for his help after weeks of shying away from him. When at last she agreed to meet him, she was only able to tell him a few things before she was gunned down and died in the alley. He immediately called Detective Scarlett Bishop, the only homicide detective he actually trusts. The one he’s had feelings for since nine months before when he was shot and she sat at his bedside.

Scarlett Bishop is far from okay as a cop. She thinks that she’s losing her edge and she will soon be kicked off the force. When she gets a call from Marcus, she immediately responds. Not only is the address he gave her close to her house, but she has had feelings for him since she sat at his bedside nine months before when he lost his brother to a serial killer.

As Scarlett and her partner, Deacon Novak, start looking at the scene and start gathering evidence, they both know (as does Marcus) that this isn’t a random killing. After looking at all the evidence, including the autopsy, they immediately realize they have a case of human trafficking. Marcus starts working the case with Scarlett even those he owns a newspaper, an occupation that Scarlett despises more than any other. Still, Marcus is so invested in the case because Tala asked for his help, she can’t kick him off.

The human trafficking angle is highly disturbing, but brings the book all together. Rose leads you into the minds to the traffickers themselves and how they have no empathy for their victims. To them, they are dollar signs. The torture that went on is highly disturbing. However, the book wouldn’t be the same without it. Plus the head trafficker starts having problem with his security team and he has no earthly idea why.

I loved this book. It makes me sad that we have to wait until next February for the next book in this series. There were very interesting secondary characters and I am very hopeful that the one I’m thinking will be next in the series. If you’ve never read Karen Rose, you’re really missing out!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Cincinnati Series

four-half-stars


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