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Re read Oct 19 Rob Winters is still one of the most evil psycho villains, ever 5 stars Romantic SuspenseThis was my first read by author Karen Rose, but it definitely won t be the last Don t Tell is one of the best romantic suspense books that I ve read Domestic violence is an all too real and common theme in suspense thrillers, but this is one of the most chilling, terrifying, haunting, and emotionally gut wrenching accounts that I ve encountered in books or movies It s flat out fantas Re read Oct 19 Rob Winters is still one of the most evil psycho villains, ever 5 stars Romantic SuspenseThis was my first read by author Karen Rose, but it definitely won t be the last Don t Tell is one of the best romantic suspense books that I ve read Domestic violence is an all too real and common theme in suspense thrillers, but this is one of the most chilling, terrifying, haunting, and emotionally gut wrenching accounts that I ve encountered in books or movies It s flat out fantastic, riveting, and I simply couldn t put it down, even though there were several times that I got so upset or had such blurry eyes that it was hard to continue.In order to save herself and her son from her abusive, dangerous cop husband, Mary Grace Winters takes drastic measures and stages their deaths and starts life over in a different town with new identities Now nine years later, as Caroline Stewart, she and her son Tom have forged ahead and buried the nightmares of the past And when she begins a tentative, tender, yet passionate relationship with her new boss Max Hunter, who has deep emotional and physical scars of his own, Caroline discovers that opening herself up and taking a chance on love and happiness might be worth the risk after all But Mary Caroline s husband Rob is determined to find her and his son at all costs, and he begins a desperate, violent search and rampage to get them back and to make her pay Rob Winters is one of the most vicious, malevolent villains of any book I ve read He might not be a creature of evil out of a Stephen King novel, a lesser, a rogue vampire, or a demon from a PNR book, but he is nevertheless a sadistic monster that made my skin crawl and gave me chills Never before have I wanted so badly for a character to meet with a punishing, torturing, and pitiless end like I did in this What makes this all thereal and terrifying is that although it s a fictional story, horrifying abuse and violence like what Mary Caroline and Tom suffered happens every minute, of every day Actually, a well known FBI statistic is that in the U.S., every nine seconds a woman is physically abused by her husband intimate partner, resulting in 3 4 million women being battered each year I couldn t help but think of the movies Sleeping with the Enemy and Enough, that had similar plots, while reading this, but Don t Tell is a far superior story and muchfrightening with edge of your seat, rollercoaster gripping suspense The writing is top notch, the characters are real and well developed, the romance is sweet, emotionally touching, and hot, yet well balanced within the framework of the story, the suspense is first rate, and the pace is lightning fast I highly recommend this for all romantic suspense thriller fans Big 5 stars I m sure I ll be crucified for saying this, because it seems that everyone loved this book but I just wasn t feeling it.Yes, Rose conveys the fear, anguish, and terror a woman must endure in an abusive relationship She also clearly shows the strength and determination that is needed to get out of such a horrible situation On those counts, bravo My issue with this book was the relationship between Caroline and Max It comes across as just a lot of i love you s and fights with no time in b I m sure I ll be crucified for saying this, because it seems that everyone loved this book but I just wasn t feeling it.Yes, Rose conveys the fear, anguish, and terror a woman must endure in an abusive relationship She also clearly shows the strength and determination that is needed to get out of such a horrible situation On those counts, bravo My issue with this book was the relationship between Caroline and Max It comes across as just a lot of i love you s and fights with no time in between for the i love you to have any substance Don t get me wrong, I ve read plenty of romances where the h h meet and are madly in love with in 24 hours you may have to suspend reality a bit, but usually there is a overpowering force driving the couple together Not so in this story Caroline, the abuse victim seems to be tending to Max s sore ego for an third of the book The other third is spent fighting with him, and then the rest is her being too afraid to tell him about her past not for fear of being discovered, but b c he won t want her any this after they tell each other i love you every other scene Overall, good book just not for me 3.5I enjoyed this one even though the subject matter was tough to deal with at times Why not a four star then First off, I have been on a bit of a Romantic Suspense binge in the last couple of weeks and have devoured a lot of Sandra Brown s books and I think the bar was set too high with her I kept on comparing her books to this one Framed prints covered the walls, an eclectic medley of Monet, Warhol and O Keefe In these books also, I sort of like the Hero to be a bit of a badass M 3.5I enjoyed this one even though the subject matter was tough to deal with at times Why not a four star then First off, I have been on a bit of a Romantic Suspense binge in the last couple of weeks and have devoured a lot of Sandra Brown s books and I think the bar was set too high with her I kept on comparing her books to this one Framed prints covered the walls, an eclectic medley of Monet, Warhol and O Keefe In these books also, I sort of like the Hero to be a bit of a badass Max wasn t He was lovely Not sure what that says about me but that s the way I like to read about my fictional men She watched, awestruck, as the most beautiful chest she d ever seen emerged from beneath that plain white shirt Broad, thick corded muscle, covered with dense, thick curly dark hair I will definitely readfrom this author in the future There are plenty of books there to choose from No, he hates Catholics Her lip curled And blacks and Jews and women and homesexuals Rob Winters was pure evil.Liked the secondary characters too.Her son was great and Max s brother And her friend and the Detective, Stephen think he might have a book of his own in this series Don t Tell by Karen Rose, which is set in the city of Chicago, is book one in her Romantic Suspense series This is my first foray into Rose s world and it will not be my last I cannot believe I waited so long to read her work.While reading it reminded me of the movie Sleeping with the Enemy to some degree, however this story went deeper than plot of that movie.We meet Mary Grace Winters, who now goes by the name Caroline Stewart She assumed this identity nine years ago when she faked her deat Don t Tell by Karen Rose, which is set in the city of Chicago, is book one in her Romantic Suspense series This is my first foray into Rose s world and it will not be my last I cannot believe I waited so long to read her work.While reading it reminded me of the movie Sleeping with the Enemy to some degree, however this story went deeper than plot of that movie.We meet Mary Grace Winters, who now goes by the name Caroline Stewart She assumed this identity nine years ago when she faked her death along with that of her son to escape her abusive husband She has made a new life for herself and her son I had no difficulty connecting with her The best words I could describe her are strong, stubborn, kind, scared, courageous and fragile Strong because of her courage to escape a monster and fragile because the memories had the power to break her Max Hunter, Caroline s new boss and love interest intrigued me from the moment he was introduced The story dug into his past and the revelations were heart wrenching, but it was no match for what Caroline went through He made his share of mistakes with Caroline, but he demonstrated that he was the man she needed to show her that love has the power to heal Two broken souls who proved to be the perfect match.The secondary characters were on par with the primary ones From the agent in charge of investigating Mary Grace s disappearance to her sadistic abusive husband who is hunting her That man is one sick bastard The things he did was enough to make anyone cringe What made evendangerous was the fact he swore to serve and protect.Readers knows the identity of the villain from the outset so there was no mystery His agenda was clear However, the paths the author traversed were edgy, gritty and thrilling She had me reading listening intently as I was eager to learn how things would fare out for Caroline I feared for Caroline and all who encountered the sadist.NarrationAs this is my first time listening to Michael Ferraiuolo, I did not know what to expect I am pleased to say he did a great job He had a huge cast of characters, varying emotions working with and he handled it quite well I had no difficulty figuring the voices as he spoke distinctly I would listen toof his work.Conclusion RecommendationOverall, I had a great time with this story and cannot wait to jump back into the world that the author has so magnificentlycreated Fans of romantic suspense would love this book She succeeded in escaping her abusive husband, creating a new identity and new life for herself and her son But just as she s finally feeling safe after seven years, learning to trust again, learning to love, her past is about to come crashing down around herThis is the first book by Karen Rose that went through my hands, but it certainly won t be the last I heard only good things about her books and now I have proof they were all true.This was an amazing story, a full fledged thriller with She succeeded in escaping her abusive husband, creating a new identity and new life for herself and her son But just as she s finally feeling safe after seven years, learning to trust again, learning to love, her past is about to come crashing down around herThis is the first book by Karen Rose that went through my hands, but it certainly won t be the last I heard only good things about her books and now I have proof they were all true.This was an amazing story, a full fledged thriller with enough elements of romance to satisfy even the pickiest of romantic suspense readers.I found this book hard to put down unfortunately I do need to sleep from time to time, so I had to take a short break This is one of those books that grip the reader from the first page, pull her or him into the story, and don t spit her or him out until they re done.The topic was chilling andthan realistic The struggle of an abused woman, the courage it takes to pull herself out of the abyss of torment and rise literally out of her own ashes was beautifully done The author, though sparing the reader a few gory details, didn t sugarcoat the subject, presenting it straightforward, unblinking and unflinching in all its starkness and bleakness.Though the reader is induced to feel a modicum of pity for the heroine that pity doesn t have the time or momentum to take a life of its own and take over the story, because the author gives the heroine enough spine, spunk, stubbornness, and determination for the reader to quickly forget the pity, and admire the heroine instead.The characters and their actions are realistic and believable, portrayed with a staggering accuracy Though this is a work of fiction, Ms Rose portrayed her characters as real people, with real feelings, with real flaws, making real and sometimes stupid mistakes, giving the reader ample opportunity to empathize with them, all the while creating interesting and chilling food for thought Because what happened in this story happens out there every single day And people, as the people who knew Mary Grace Winters, tend to turn a blind eye to it, grasping at any plausible explanation that might ease their minds.This truly was an intense, chilling, thrilling roller coaster ride of a romantic suspense novel with wonderfully developed and wonderfully flawed characters, a twisted beyond measure villain, edge of the razor suspense, nail biting tension, nice sprinkle of romance, wonderfully paced and amazingly well written 10 stars out of 5 Reviewed for THC ReviewsFor quite some time, my fellow romance readers have been telling me how good Karen Rose s novels are, and now that I ve finally read my first one, I have to whole heartedly agree Don t Tell had everything I could have possibly asked for andThere was a wonderful hero and heroine who are sure to take their place among some of my favorites, and an amazing cast of secondary characters to back them up that I couldn t help falling in love with too The main couple share Reviewed for THC ReviewsFor quite some time, my fellow romance readers have been telling me how good Karen Rose s novels are, and now that I ve finally read my first one, I have to whole heartedly agree Don t Tell had everything I could have possibly asked for andThere was a wonderful hero and heroine who are sure to take their place among some of my favorites, and an amazing cast of secondary characters to back them up that I couldn t help falling in love with too The main couple share a tender, swoon worthy romance against nearly impossible odds that had me rooting for them every step of the way They were pitted against an evil, sadistic villain who was about the nastiest piece of work I ve ever read The story arc was a taut, suspense thriller that had me feeling just about every emotion possible There was even a dash of humor to keep things from getting too intense Don t Tell is quite simply one of the most well crafted and engaging books I ve ever read I wanted to scream in frustration every time I had to put it down and couldn t wait to pick it back up again.Caroline Stewart aka Mary Grace Winters is one of the strongest heroines I have ever read, but also one of the most tortured She was about as beaten down as a woman could possibly get, both physically and emotionally, after enduring years of abuse at the hands of her barbaric cop husband The courage and determination she showed in getting herself well enough to leave him, and then faking her and her son s deaths to start a new life in secret, was absolutely inspiring Once she was away from the people who tore her down namely her husband , that innate strength grew and blossomed into something utterly beautiful She was a fabulous mother too, with an extraordinary love for her son, Tom What I loved and admired most about Caroline though, is that after all the years of torment she suffered, she still hadn t lost her sense of humor and perhapsimportantly, she hadn t given up on the notion of someday finding someone who would love her in the way she so richly deserved Of course, her patience and persistence was rewarded with all that andwhen she met Max.Max is a brainy history professor, but that wasn t his first choice for a career He was a talented basketball player whose dreams were cut short by a tragic accident that left him severely injured I admired his determination to walk again, although admittedly it took a lot of prodding from his brother, David, to make that happen Initially, Max seems like the absolute perfect guy, but it soon becomes apparent that he still harbors a lot of guilt and self pity over the loss of his career and the fact that he s now scarred and walks with a cane I was almost taken aback by his angry outburst about all of this, but it turned out to be a good thing in that it gave Caroline a chance to show her mettle by standing up to him and calling him out on it I also realized it was a way to build his trust with both Caroline and Tom by showing them that a man could get upset without resorting to violence Other than that one character flaw, Max is a fabulous hero He is a gentle, caring man who isn t afraid to express his feelings He s confident without being cocky, and the man absolutely oozes sex appeal with a very controlled lust that I found irresistible He also comes with a wonderfully loving family who embrace his relationship with Caroline without reservation.Max and Caroline together make a marvelous couple Everything isn t always wine and roses between them, because they both bring a lot of baggage into the relationship Caroline is understandably rather afraid to tell Max the truth about her past and because of his own past hurts, Max sometimes misconstrues her intentions They occasionally say or do things that hurt each other which would normally not be my cup of tea, but here it works quite well They always find their way back to communicating and apologizing in fairly short order, and I thought the tensions in their relationship were very realistically rendered Mostly, I was very impressed with how often they take the time to observe each other s body language and are pretty intuitive of the other s feelings The sexual tension is positively exquisite and so muchthan I was expecting Karen Rose is very talented at using simple things like smoldering looks and tender touches to convey so much meaning This book is a great example of how an author can use only mildly to moderately descriptive love scenes, but make it feel much hotter by expressing such an intense emotional connection Don t Tell also has an incredible cast of supporting characters who are loaded with depth and whom I fell in love with almost instantly Many of them pop up again in later books and or become the hero or heroine of their own book Steven Thatcher is the special agent assigned to investigate the disappearance of Mary Grace Winters when her car is finally found in a lake It only took a moment for me to start wondering if this guy was going to be a future hero, and I was thrilled to find out that he is in the very next book, Have You Seen HerI loved his determination to bring Rob Winters to justice and that he never wavered in his belief that the man was as guilty as sin even though others did Caroline s son, Tom, is such a good kid He s very protective of his mother, and understandably has a hard time trusting men, especially around her I admired his strength and maturity in the face of everything that happened both in the past and the present Once he ages and matures, I think he would make great hero material Caroline s best friend, Dana, is another strong woman who has been through a lot in her life I really enjoyed the banter between this pair and how Dana is always the voice of reason She also becomes the heroine of Nothing to Fear Max s brother, David, is an out going charmer who would be nearly impossible not to like His loyalty to Max is absolutely endearing, and what he did to get a predatory co worker to leave Max alone was utterly hilarious as it was, but evenso because I wasn t expecting such a funny scene in an otherwise pretty serious book David gets to be in a couplebooks before finally becoming the hero of Silent Scream Caroline s friend and Dana s roommate, Evie initially didn t win points with me because of some bad choices she made, but I couldn t help sympathizing with her anyway It seems she had as bad of a life as Caroline and Dana but is still rather young and na ve and hasn t quite learned the lessons that the other two women have yet She also paid for her mistakes in the worst way imaginable I ll be looking forward to seeing her redemption in I Can See You These and a whole host of other secondary characters, all of whom were very well written, made this a tight and well rounded story.I also have to give the author kudos for writing the best read nastiest and vilest villain I ve ever read I m not sure how Karen Rose got inside the head of this animalistic psycho, but she somehow managed to portray him in a very real and frightening way He s a classic abuser and sociopath who truly thinks he s right and has no conscience whatsoever He s made everyone around him believe that he s the perfect husband and father even though nothing could possibly be further from the truth, and he gets crazier and crazier as the story goes on I went back and forth between feeling the sheer terror that he instilled in his victims and wanting to jump into the story and kill him myself In my opinion, it s the mark of a truly good writer when she can make me feel the bad emotions equally as intensely as the good Don t Tell made me feel such a plethora of emotions I m not sure I m really doing it justice in my descriptions My stomach turned and I felt anger and horror for all the victims sufferings I cried for what they went though but was also joyous at the love Caroline found with Max I read the climax with my heart in my throat and through a blur of tears, but rejoiced in Caroline s victory over her abuser, not only physically, but emotionally as well I don t think the author could have chosen a better way to empower Caroline, Tom and Max than the way the suspense portion of the book wrapped up, and I thought she managed to perfectly tread the fine line between defending oneself and avoiding becoming what they despised I ve heard that some of Karen Rose s books can become rather descriptive of the violence, but in this one, I felt that she took the psychological thriller approach While there were some violent scenes, in my opinion, it wasthe anticipation and or knowledge of what was happening off the canvas that made the story so intense It was so good, I had a hard time believing this was the author s debut novel My edition of Don t Tell was nearly 500 pages, but it never felt that long In fact, I was quite sad when it ended, and think I may have a hard time moving on to another book I m so glad that I ll get to visit with these characters again, including Max and Caroline, as I work my way through the rest of Karen Rose s books After a positively stellar first read like this, I amthan eager to pick up another of her books as soon as possible.Note Karen Rose has a highly interconnected character web throughout all of her books, and they are considered something of an unofficial series Although it appears that each book stands well on it s own story wise, I think the reading experience would probably be enhanced by reading the books in the chronological order in which they were written, which is what I intend to do A complete list including the recommended reading order and character connections can be found on Karen Rose s website |FREE EBOOK ⚆ Don't Tell ♭ It was a desperate plan But Mary Grace Winters knew the only way to save herself and her child from her abusive cop husband was to stage their own death Now all that remains of their former life is at the bottom of a lake Armed with a new identity in a new town, she and her son have found refuge hundreds of miles away As Caroline Stewart, she has almost forgotten the nightmare she left behind nine years ago She is even taking a chance on love with Max Hunter, a man with wounds of his own But her past is about to collide with the present when her husband uncovers her trail and threatens her hard won peace Step by step, he s closing in on her and everything and everyone she loves I picked this up for 1, thinking it was an average crime book Started reading and got to the part where Max is introduced, at which point things began to get a little too Mills Boon for my tastes After looking Karen Rose up, I realise now of course that she writes romantic suspense.Romance novels tend to annoy me This one was no exception.Max The hero Thinks that no woman can ever fall for him because he walks with a cane Has he not seen House Canes are cool Everyone loves canes Stup I picked this up for 1, thinking it was an average crime book Started reading and got to the part where Max is introduced, at which point things began to get a little too Mills Boon for my tastes After looking Karen Rose up, I realise now of course that she writes romantic suspense.Romance novels tend to annoy me This one was no exception.Max The hero Thinks that no woman can ever fall for him because he walks with a cane Has he not seen House Canes are cool Everyone loves canes Stupid man And he so fails at dark, brooding mysteriousness.And the abusive husband of the heroine annoyed me Not only does he slap his wife about a bit, he rapidly scales up to kicking people to death He felt like an over the top cartoon villain Sure, as the bad guy of the piece, he has to be evil and nasty, and I can see how the plot calls for him to be a murderer, but I just wish it could have been written in abelievable fashion Write a bad guy that I want to hate, but not one who irks me so much I m tempted several times to put the book down.Ended up powering through this book because I wanted it over and done with That ll teach me to impulse buy There are several parallel narratives in this book This is my first Karen Rose book and by the first page I knew this was going to be riveting Karen Rose is an excellent storyteller and she keeps everything trim and moving at a lightning fast pace This was truly an edge of your seat thriller and I enjoyed it immensely As I was reading this I kept thinking that this would make a hugely successful movie then I remembered Sleeping With The Enemy I kept getting flashbacks of the movie and this book mixed up in my head but I tried not to let tha This is my first Karen Rose book and by the first page I knew this was going to be riveting Karen Rose is an excellent storyteller and she keeps everything trim and moving at a lightning fast pace This was truly an edge of your seat thriller and I enjoyed it immensely As I was reading this I kept thinking that this would make a hugely successful movie then I remembered Sleeping With The Enemy I kept getting flashbacks of the movie and this book mixed up in my head but I tried not to let that bother me and besides, this book was vastly superior The romance isn t the main focus of this book but I thought it was nicely balanced with the suspense I was mostly interested in the suspense anyway so I didn t mind We know who the bad guy is from the very beginning so this isn t a who dunit butof a when are they going to catch him type of book Our hero and heroine are blissfully going about their lives, tentatively beginning a new relationship while never knowing that the psycho husband is closing in on them You pray that he will be caught soon because the body count in this book is really high Anytime Winters was front and center I felt like he was this unstoppable Angel of Death He just kept circling tighter and tighter around Caroline and I was breathlessly awaiting the moment when he would strike Part of my unease about this book was knowing that Max was physically unable to protect her Of course this is fiction and the good guys must triumph but it definitely made itinteresting in an edge of your seat sort of way Max wasn t some ex soldier or FBI agent who knew how to save the day He was a handicapped history professor and while he was certainly willing to put himself in harms way for Caroline and her son, when push came to shove, he had a bad leg This leaves most of the hope for Caroline s survival on her own shoulders and I loved that I loved reading about her facing her husband again, thwarting him even and challenging his dominion over her I loved it.Without a doubt my favorite character was Caroline s son, Tom Stewart Caroline and Max were good characters but they were a little too defensive for my tastes He was a little too quick to feel sorry for himself and she was just a little too blah While I greatly admire them, Tom is the one who stole my heart I would love to read his story someday 4.5 stars