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Don't Tell (Romantic Suspense #1)
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Don't Tell (Chicago #1)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,636 Ratings  ·  445 Reviews
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 n
Paperback, 512 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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Ellen Not really, but they sometimes reference previous cases they worked and while that doesn't really impact the reading of the story, it might give you…moreNot really, but they sometimes reference previous cases they worked and while that doesn't really impact the reading of the story, it might give you spoilers for previous books... Or sometimes there are characters that come into one book that have been in previous books as well...

I've read them out of order and I wish I hadn't...(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 24, 2008 Christa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Don't Tell was a very touching, emotional book. It was one of the better romantic suspense books that I have read lately. It was the first Karen Rose book I have experienced, but I can tell that this will be another series that will be a must read for me.

Mary Grace Winters was pregnant and married at age fifteen to a violent, abusive man. She sustained numerous injuries at his hand, and after nearly losing her life when he pushes her down the stairs for the second time, she realizes that she wil
Oct 22, 2014 Mo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I 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
5+ stars – Romantic Suspense

This 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 t
Jul 22, 2010 Julianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Romantic Suspense
Recommended to Julianna by: Christa
Reviewed for THC Reviews
For 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 and more. There 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
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 her...

This 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
Jan 21, 2009 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
For me in a way the 3 star rating is s gift. It's a gift in that this is not a book of the type I read, heavily romantic and so on it's not a book I would have chosen. On the other hand, it's not badly written and it deals with a difficult topic that might bear being looked at more openly.

This is one of my late wife's books. When she passed I moved to a much smaller place and my library has had to be severely pruned. I couldn't bring all my book shelves and the shelves I do have are double loade
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
This is my first read by author Karen Rose but it certainly won't be my last. Don't Tell takes on the often taboo subject of domestic violence, as a woman and her young son escape the clutches of a monster disguised in a police uniform and spend the next seven years building a new life, while constantly looking over their shoulders. Their story is chilling and the abuse graphic, but so worth the read as it is brilliantly written, portraying the desire and determination to survive through the eye ...more
May 10, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really quite enjoyed this one in spite of myself. A successful excursion into a different genre.

Mostly read in an attempt to prove my mantra I'll read ANYTHING good. Although I don't think I'll be reading full on chit-lit just yet xD
Aug 07, 2011 Batsap rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, bad-romance
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. S
Aug 23, 2011 Steffi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did a quickie review of this book on my blog because someone asked my opinion on it:

Don't Tell is the first book in the Romantic Suspense Series by Karen Rose. Although you can read every book as a standalone, they are related because of reappearing characters in the form of friends, relatives, partners, etc. Personally, I think you can experience and enjoy the books more fully when they are read in order.

In Don't Tell we meet Mary Grace Winters or Caroline Stewart, as she calls herself now, w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 16, 2010 Emmi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Loved this book .
Not only was it thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat, I found this book very emotional too.
This is my first Karen Rose book but it definitely won't be my last . Looking forward to reading more by this wonder Author :)
Nov 11, 2009 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gina by: Crystal Craig.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mimi Smith
Aug 15, 2014 Mimi Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
4 stars

Dark. A very dark Romantic Suspense book. And still very hopeful, too.

Caroline (formerly known as Mary Grace Winters) had escaped her nightmare of an abusive marriage once. Now she's working on getting a degree and supporting herself and her son. It's been seven long years of freedom, and has never been tempted into intimacy by any man. But then she meets the new history professor Max Hunter.

Dramatic break... *cue in spooky music*

And we with Detective Rob Winters, the sociopathic, evil so
Jun 05, 2011 Jonetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonetta by: Lauren
Mary Grace Winters finally found a way to escape her abusive husband and reinvented herself as Caroline Stewart and moved to Chicago with her seven-year old son, now named Tom. For the next seven years, she managed to pull herself up by her bootstraps, with the help of a shelter and a kind employer, and create a happy and productive life. Caroline got her GED and went to work for the head of the history department at a small college. Following the death of the chair, a new history professor, Max ...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Don’t Tell is the first of a fantastic romantic suspense series by Karen Rose. I absolutely love when a book can literally keep me on the edge of my seat through the entire reading, and Karen Rose has yet to let me down. Not only that, but she is one of the best of the best when it comes to characterization. If you tried to tell me that Caroline and her son Tom were only book characters, I would probably argue on reflex before remembering that they are actually fictional. I honestly do think of ...more
Don't Tell
4 Stars

The victim of horrendous abuse at the hands of her police officer husband, Gracie Winters saved her own life and that of her young son by staging their deaths. Nine years later, Gracie has reinvented herself as Caroline Stewart and is on the verge of falling in love and trusting a man again. But Caroline’s past is about to catch up with her and the threat could cost not only her newfound relationship but her very life.

The suspense is excellent and makes this a wo
Feb 28, 2014 Reen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Karen Rose book and it was a great read. Mary Grace/Caroline develops into a strong character but you have to wonder how she could have lived with her psycho ex as long as she did. He was truly a hateful, evil character and I couldn't wait to see if he got what he deserved. A few loose ends were left untied but overall I really enjoyed it.
Jane Stewart
Oct 28, 2015 Jane Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars. Good story but a lot of suffering and survival.

Long slow build up of a story with bad guy being smart and lucky - getting closer and closer. It was good but I kept thinking about Stephen King’s Rose Madder. SK adds interesting and odd characters with fun-to-read dialogue. K R’s characters are more like regular logical people. SK throws in odd balls and I enjoy that more.
I usually find myself focusing more on the characters than on the plot of most fiction books I read. This book is a definite win, on both counts. The pace is perfect; fast, from the villain’s point of view, but slower from the point of view of the unsuspecting protagonists. The romance between Max and Caroline was as tender as it was volatile; they had their share of ugly fights and sweet moments. It was all so believable and so life-like.

That was one thing about this book that stayed with me. H
Dec 08, 2007 Kathrynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romantic Suspense Readers
This is book #1 of a two parter.

Book #2 is "Nothing to Fear." And Mia Mitchell appears again in "Count to Ten" (as a main character). Also, Lt. Spinelli (sp?) appears in one of this author's books, but I can't remember which. Yet. Really each of the books can be read as stand alones. But, "Don't Tell" and "Nothing to Fear" should be read in order as events that happen in this book are discussed and play a role in the latter.

I didn't care for the two main characters in this book. The suspense is
Cover & Title - four out of five
Favorite Line - "nothing worthwhile is without risks"
Favorite Character - Tom

OH jeeze what a dark book, this was a seriously emotionally intense read. I wasn't prepared for how upsetting this book would be, if you read it make sure you have tissues handy. The story is told from multiple points of view & in different locations. It has so much drama & action. The book grips you from the start and holds on tight. The characters were amazingly detailed, i
Lesley Book Lover
a brilliant book by Karen Rose. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this again.
May 27, 2014 Catarina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catarina by: Inês Beato
Este é o primeiro livro da autora, e o primeiro que leio dela também! Assim sendo, espero (e já mo garantiram, obrigada Inês!) que a sua escrita melhore ainda mais nos livros seguintes, uma vez que tenciono ler todos :)

Foi uma óptima estreia, este Don't Tell. Fiquei completamente agarrada à história, e toda a parte policial está muito bem conseguida!

O tema é fulcral, algo que infelizmente acontece mesmo. O facto de a autora ter dado destaque a todos os encolheres de ombros e caras viradas para o
A Chilling Reminder
She's been hiding for seven years, keeping her son and herself safe from the madman who had brutally abused them and almost killed her. Mary Grace and Robbie Winters are painful memories and Caroline Stewart has done everything in her power to help her and her son Tom do more than survive, but thrive. Seven years after fleeing from a violently abusive spouse and assuming a new identity, Caroline has gotten her GED and is working her way through college, just a semester away fr
Kathy Davie
Nov 30, 2012 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, suspense
First in the Romantic Suspense series (can ya get more uncreative?) split between Asheville, North Carolina and Chicago.

My Take
Scum like Winters are cowards. There should be a death penalty for men (and women) like him. Rose wrote a dramatic and tension-filled story with real-life characters. Homey characters (on the good side!) you wanted in your own family. She can also write 'em bad. Really bad.

It's an interesting mix of funny and passionate, brave and insecure on the romantic side. With a d
Jill Dunlop
Jun 10, 2010 Jill Dunlop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, rt-2009
Mary Grace Winters nine years ago ran away from her abusive husband with her seven year old son Robbie. She knew if she stayed with her husband any longer that he would eventually kill her with his frequent beatings. After healing a broken back, that was the result of a fall down the stairs, Mary Grace changed her and her son's name and moved to Chicago.

There are three separate plot threads in Don't Tell that all eventually come together to a very exciting conclusion. The first is Mary Grace, n
Jennifer Wardrip
Mary Grace Winters held the grand title of "punching bag". An abused wife with a bad-cop husband, Mary Grace had no choice but to take what he gave her. With no job, no skills, and no friends of her own, she had no one to turn to for help, had nothing to allow her to escape the life that she led. In turn, she lived for her son, Robbie, who one day had the horrible misfortune to find his mother lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the cellar stairs, broken and battered.

Mary Grace used her m
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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 e
More about Karen Rose...

Other Books in the Series

Chicago (5 books)
  • I'm Watching You (Romantic Suspense, #3; Chicago, #2)
  • Nothing To Fear (Romantic Suspense, #4; Chicago, #3)
  • You Can't Hide (Romantic Suspense, #5; Chicago, #4)
  • Count to Ten (Romantic Suspense, #6; Chicago, #5)

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“I’ve sweated and grunted and pushed myself until I thought it would be easier to give up and die. '

- Caroline”
“One word,” he breathed into her ear, so low no one would be able to hear. “One word from your idiot mouth and next time I’ll finish the job, I swear t’God.” He nuzzled, his lips seemingly caressing her outer ear. “Understand?” 0 likes
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