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review 2018-10-08 07:22
Death Is Not Enough by Karen Rose
Death Is Not Enough - Karen Rose

Thomas Thorne is finally ready to confess his feelings for his business partner and best friend of twelve years, Gwyn Weaver (he has no choice, really), but ends up drugged and naked in his bed with a murdered woman by his side.

None of his friends believe he did it, but someone obviously has a grudge against him. A grudge so big, they're willing to dig around his past, dredging up painful memories, and putting everybody he loves, putting Gwyn in danger.


This book obviously marks the end of the Baltimore-based books (we're moving to California next with Taylor's adoptive sister, Daisy) and it was lovely seeing all the old friends and faces again. The only two missing were Grayson and Daphne, but they were there in spirit as the others fought against time and death itself in order to figure out who and why was making Thorne suffer and how to stop them.

I've been curious about Thorne since he first appeared on scene and I'm glad he didn't suffer a character transplant in his book as some of the previous seemingly larger-than-life heroes. He was compassionate and loyal, willing and able to do anything to protect those he loved and cared about, and I was glad the tough exterior he was known for was just a cover for the marshmallow-y inside.
It's a real pity about the heroine, though. I didn't like Gwyn. There've been plenty of KR heroines who's gone through what she's been through, but somehow she felt she was different, somehow special and unique, making her way too whiny for my taste. She was also incredibly selfish. Someone wanted to hurt Thorne, but she always seemed to make everything about herself and her feelings.
As the story progressed, and she finally pulled her head out of her ass about Thorne and their relationship, I actually started to like her, only to grit my teeth at her inability just to tell everything up front. I didn't get the secret keeping and I hated she told Thorne the truth about her past only when she feared it would come out anyway.

The suspense also left much to be desired, which is surprising for a KR book. It felt like it was all over the place, the twists and turns making it rather convoluted and disjointed. The main villain was rather disappointing, since he couldn't keep his hands firmly on the reins, but trusted all those other people to do his dirty work. People make mistakes. The more people, the more mistakes. It made him appear weak and quite a caricature, unintentionally similar to the Bond villains of old with much talk and not enough action.
It made the positive ending a given, instead of making the reader tremble alongside the characters.

This book definitely wasn't what I've come to expect from Karen Rose, but hopefully it's just a fluke.

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review 2018-05-10 00:00
Edge of Darkness: The Cincinnati Series, Book 4
Edge of Darkness: The Cincinnati Series,... Edge of Darkness: The Cincinnati Series, Book 4 - Karen Rose,Hillary Huber,Inc. Blackstone Audio


Edge of Darkness is everything I love about great romantic suspense! Here are the reasons I think you will love it too:
  1. Great characters: Meredith is a child psychologist but also suffers from depression. She has self harmed and attempted suicide in the past. She still struggles at times and it made her a very believable character. Adam is a recovering alcoholic who struggles daily. Again, this made him relatable and flawed.
  2. Fun supporting characters: their circle of friends is filled with fun people. Kate, the FBI agent who knits, Clarke, Meredith's video game creating grandfather, Diesel, the hacker. They add a lot of depth to the story. I can't wait to read more about them.
  3. Location: As a citizen of Cincinnati, I loved hearing about places in my town! It was great when she would mention Fountain Square, Columbia Parkway, etc.
  4. Suspense/Mystery: The plot revolves around a truly horrific act-human trafficking. The story is well written though and Rose doesn't exploit the topic for shock value or anything. You really feel like you are solving the crime with them. The entire book takes place over a weekend and you get glimpses into Meredith, Adam, a young hooker named Linnea, and the bad guy.
  5. Heartbreaking: Linnea's story had me in tears. This was a problem because I was listening while I drove. Driving and crying are not a good mix. But, man, its impossible to not care about this girl!

So, those are my 5 reasons you should read Edge of Darkness! I haven't read the previous 3 books in the Cincinnati series, but I plan to. The audio is perfect by the way. My biggest struggle was not having whisper sync because I had the paperback and not the ebook!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: yes
  • Trope: second chance romance, police/FBI
  • Triggers: forced prostitution, child molestation, and human trafficking are all part of the story. None of the acts are detailed. Most of the story occurs after these situations took place and focus more on the after effects
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: none
  • HEA: yes with epilogue a few weeks into the future




Be a Good Girl by Tess Diamond, Smoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe, A Cold Dark Place by Toni Anderson...then you will probably like Edge of Darkness!

 


Edge Of Darkness


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review 2018-02-12 09:37
Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose
Edge of Darkness (The Cincinnati Series) - Karen Rose

Adam Kimble has been slowly crawling out of the dark hole that's been his life for the past year or so, ever since he witnessed a little girl slaughtered live, on his computer screen. He also desperately needs Meredith Fallon (in more ways than one), but has been keeping his distance in order to actually deserve her. Then someone makes her a target, and Adam will do anything to keep her safe, to keep her alive...Even if his year "of atonement" isn't over yet.


Another intense, thrilling, gut-wrenching book in Karen Rose's opus. This is what she does best, really. This perfect mix of thrills and chills, twisted suspense, and emotionally (and sometimes physically) scarred characters that somehow manage to find one another when the time is right, and then have to keep each other safe in order to have a shot at the life they deserve.

This story concludes (I think) the Cincinnati arc of this interconnected series with the big loose end left from the previous three books, namely the kingpin, the elusive supposed cop that terrorized a young girl instead of helping her.
Turns out, this person really exists, is even more evil than everybody thought, has fingers in more pies than previously believed...And the reveal of this person's identity is both a shock and a relief to at least one person involved in the investigation.
I must say I figured out who it was a little over halfway in, but I didn't mind. I was looking forward to seeing how they'd catch the bastard, and what would happen at the climax. Yes, Ms. Rose does her suspense well.

Her other forte are her characters. People you both want to hug and smack around at the same time. Flawed, layered, with real-life issues...I knew there was something off with Adam from the start, but I never suspected it ran so deep. Yet his issues were rather well-balanced with the issues of his heroine, Meredith. What a coincidence these two characters, that were so adept at wearing masks to hide what was truly going on, both having deep psychological issues, found each other and turned out to be perfect for one another.
Yes, the fit was a bit too cookie cutter perfect, but the romance still worked out nicely, because of the similarities and their "shared issues". And yes, in the end, I was glad they found one another.

Turns out the only uncoupled characters are Sloan and Dolores, Dani and Diesel (as star-crossed romances go, this one takes the trophy), and agents Troy and Quincy. I really hope Ms. Rose revisits the Cincinnati characters in the future (as she did with most of her Chicago crew in this book, which was a bit much, if you ask me), so we get to see these "loose" characters get their shot at happiness. :)

Yep, I liked this one, despite the overabundance of characters. They were mostly old friends, and well, the story itself was strong enough to sustain it.

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review 2018-02-10 13:06
Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose
Monster in the Closet (The Baltimore Series) - Karen Rose

A monster killed the mother of two little girls, Jazzie and Janie with Jazzie being witness to who the killer was. Unfortunately, the kid hasn't spoken since that terrible day...Until she meets equine therapist, Taylor Dawson who's come all the way from California to enter the internship at Healing Hearts with Horses at Daphne Montgomery-Carter's stables.

Taylor also has an ulterior motive for being where she is...She wants to know her real father, the man she'd been taught to fear and hate by her mother, Clay Maynard, since her mother had confessed that the fear and hate had been based on a lie on her death bed.

But father and daughter might not get a long reunion, since the killer is now gunning for Taylor in fear of what little Jazzie might have seen...And said.


First of all, the blurb is off. A lot.

Second of all, I wasn't that convinced by this book. Yes, the suspense was good, but unfortunately we knew who the killer was from the start, removing the aspect of anticipation and guessing. And the motive was rather flimsy.

And we got to revisit old friends, from J.D. to Clay, and even Deacon made an appearance (along with the character traits that made him Deacon and were so conspicuously missing in his own book). It was nice seeing them all again, revisit their dynamics, learn some news, and have a really good time in their company. Yet the new addition to the "family" didn't convince me.
Taylor Dawson, Clay's long-lost daughter, left me rather ambiguous. I didn't really like her, and I didn't really not like her. She was an entity, an additional character to the story, a catalyst for the suspense, and features heavily in more weepy scenes (which tugged at the heartstrings and caused some leakage mostly because of the others involved in the scenes), but that was pretty much it.

The fact she was proficient in hand-to-hand and was a good shot felt more like a deus ex machina moment than the result of the big lie her Californian family has been living. And her so-called budding romance between her and Ford (Daphne's son) was more than flimsy. It felt more like getting-back-on-the-horse for Ford and exploring-new-territory for Taylor.
At least they decided to take it slow and see how it goes (after only knowing each other a couple of days) instead of going down the completely unbelievable route of being in love for life.

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review 2017-12-13 00:00
Have You Seen Her?
Have You Seen Her? - Karen Rose Have You Seen Her? - Karen Rose


Karen Rose writes well crafted, layered stories that keep you guessing. Have You Seen Her is no exception! While I guessed the identity of the killer fairly early, I still found the story engaging. There are many red herrings that Rose throws out that made even me question my initial thoughts. Throughout it all you also have the building romance between Jenna and Steven.

Steven is a total moron when it comes to Jenna. There were so many times I wanted to throat punch him for his stupid actions. But, I forgave him, just like Jenna did because he is a good man. I loved seeing Steven's kids too! Nicky, Matt, Brad were endearing. You couldn't NOT love them. They are so desperate for love and attention. You get glimpses into their lives chronologically as the story progresses which adds to the dimensionality of all the characters.

The killer's acts are gruesome and disturbing, but Rose does not grotesquely describe them for shock value. The story progresses in an explicit chronological order, with time/date stamps indicating each switch of point of view to various characters. This allows the reader to experience various events from all the various characters in relation to what is going with all the events. This creates a compelling story because you are always moving from person to person, event to event as everything builds.

The narrator, Michael Ferraiuolo, does a pretty good job. I found many of his 'female voices' to be very irritating. The longer I listened, the less grating it became but I never really found it 'enjoyable'. However, the rest of his narration was excellent.

Overall if you enjoy murder mysteries, mature romance characters, and lots of interesting supporting characters, you will enjoy every moment of Have you seen Her by Karen Rose!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: serial killer, widow/widower, single parent
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




Hanover House by Brenda Novak, Taken by Cynthia Eden...then you will probably like Have You Seen Her!

 


Have You Seen Her


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