“This perhaps isn’t the best place to start if you are interested in reading Karen Rose.”
~ Under the Covers

Nine years after staging her and her son’s death Mary Jane Winters, now Caroline Stewart doesn’t always feel safe. She knows if her abusive cop husband ever finds them, he will come for them. But, she has settled into her life, her son is growing and she now has friends and a job she loves. And a new boss. Max Hunter. Just as Caroline thinks her life could possibly involve love, her past starts to catch up with her…and she may not be lucky enough to survive it the second time round.

Romantic suspense is one of the few romance sub genres that I’ve never really read much of, I have 32 read romantic suspense books on my Goodreads shelf and I’ve been a member of Goodreads for 10 years now with 2070 read books. It’s a really small proportion of my reading. But, I want to branch out and explore more of the romance genre and Karen Rose is one of the big names in romantic suspense. However, I think I made a mistake choosing Don’t Tell as my first book.

Why was it a mistake you ask? Don’t Tell is the first of her romantic suspense books originally published in 2003 – now 17 years ago – and it feels dated. This is when being a stickler for starting at the beginning doesn’t always work when an author has a big backlist. But, I have read a few books that feel dated and still enjoyed them – for example How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks – I think the combination of how old fashioned this book felt and some of the tropes in the book just didn’t work very well for me.

Insta-love or relationships moving at lightning speed isn’t something I easily enjoy, and that’s what happened with this book, Caroline and Max jumped straight and…but then seemed to spend most their time arguing or miscommunicating. I found it hard to believe that they were actually in love, so the romance between them didn’t work for me.

Where this book did shine was the suspense plot. Rob Winter, Caroline’s ex-husband was truly terrifyingly evil. The fact that he was in a position of power as a detective was even scarier. As the book went on and he got closer and closer to find Caroline I got tenser and tense, the part of the story was build up superbly by Rose. I also enjoyed seeing the introduction of other characters such as the detectives who were trying to track down Rob and save Caroline, I believe some of these get their own book in the future.

This perhaps isn’t the best place to start if you are interested in reading Karen Rose. I buddy read this with a friend of mine who is a big fan of hers and she informed me that this book was massively different from her recent releases. So, I am going to read more of her, but I think I will skip to her more recent releases…or atleast be prepared for what to expect if I pick up an older book.


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  1. Your reviews are always on point and I appreciate it….Karen Rose is a good, reliable writer but, as you say, books can be dated….

  2. Great review. I enjoyed the details about what worked and didn’t work for you. That is really helpful information to have especially when reading an older book.

  3. It’s funny you say that. I read four books of the Cincinnati series first and loved them before I went to her backlist. And, yes, you’re right, there is obvious growth in her writing.