Shawna's Reviews > Don't Tell

Don't Tell by Karen      Rose
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Aug 18, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: author-karen-rose, romantic-suspense, 2009-reads, best-top-favorites, favorites, hero-abused-scarred-tortured-angst, heroine-abused-traumatic-past-rape, heroine-i-adore, i-read-own-faves-keepers, made-me-cry, hero-mix-of-alpha-beta, heroine-kickass-spirited-strong, 5-stars-plus, heartbreaking-gutwrenching-romance, angsty-dark-heavy-lotsa-drama, hh-disfigured-injured-scarred-ill, hh-limp-paraplegic-wheelchair, hh-physical-mental-disability-ill, serial-killer-on-the-loose, stalker-alert, hh-on-the-run-in-hiding, villain-creepy-azz-killer, violence-reader-discretion-advised, masquerade-hide-your-face-identity, revenge-deception-secrets-lies, villain-uber-bad-nasty, kids-cute-faves-prominent-in-story, a-all-time-favorite-heroine, a-all-time-best-top-fave-dik-reads, horror-mystery-suspense-thrillers, a-all-time-best-top-50-fave-dik
Recommended to Shawna by: Several GR friends/reviews
Recommended for: Fans of romantic suspense/thrillers
Read in August, 2009

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 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 the more real 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 much more frightening 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!
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina Shawna wrote: "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 much more frightening with edge-of-your-seat, rollercoaster gripping suspense."

Those movies also came to mind while I was reading your review, Shawna. I'm glad to hear the book is better than the movies, because I didn't particularly like them. I'm sorry to say, but Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lopez can ruin a movie for me.

Great review, BTW! I just added this book to my Wish List a few days ago, after seeing how much Auntee and Isis love Karen Rose's books.



message 2: by Tammy (last edited Aug 18, 2009 10:21AM) (new) - added it

Tammy Great review Shawna! Are you going to continue with the series? I've read Die for Me and Scream for Me - both incredible (scary) books! One of these days I'll get around to finishing Kill for Me.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I really need to give KR a try. Nice review, Shawna!

LOL, that was my same reaction Dina. When I saw Sleeping with the Enemy and Enough I thought.. "Oh, Crap I hated both those movies" :) But I'm glad to hear that it was a way superior story and plot!


Shawna Thanks ladies!

Dina/Audball,
Yes, it's a much, much better story/plot than both those movies.

Tammy,
I'll definitely continue on with the series. I'm just surprised that it's taken me so long to start them after hearing sooo many great things about KR's books. I started the second book "Have You Seen Her" on my lunch break today. Man...KR writes some seriously creepy, chilling villains!



message 5: by Corrine (new)

Corrine I just bought Scream for me a few months ago, though I haven't read it yet. My aunt went on vacation and read it and came back and immediately ordered KR's whole backlist, so I will most likely read them all at some point.

Great review, Shawna!


message 6: by Tammy (new) - added it

Tammy Shawna wrote: "Thanks ladies!

Dina/Audball,
Yes, it's a much, much better story/plot than both those movies.

Tammy,
I'll definitely continue on with the series. I'm just surprised that it's taken me so l..."


Ditto! Altho I have to take a long break between KR books and read something light and fluffy. I normally read at bedtime and KR's books give me nightmares. Seriously!




southpaw285 Shawna, this is an absolutely outstanding review!


message 8: by Shawna (last edited Aug 18, 2009 12:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shawna Thanks ya'll!

Corrine, I can definitely understand her ordering KR's whole backlist because I plan to get/read them all now too based on how fantastic this was (and it was her first effort).

But I agree with Tammy; I might have to break them up with some lighter, fluffier, happier fare because they're definitely nightmare, chill inducing reads!



Auntee Great review, Shawna! I think we're going to have to start a Karen Rose train!

And if you think Rob Winters is creeepy/sadistic, just you wait...:)


Shawna Auntee wrote: "Great review, Shawna! I think we're going to have to start a Karen Rose train!

And if you think Rob Winters is creeepy/sadistic, just you wait...:)"


Uh-oh...more sadistic, creepier villains than Rob ahead...that's very scary! I'm looking forward to future chills!





message 11: by Rane (new)

Rane Wow, very awesome review Shawna!

I couldn’t help but think of the movies Sleeping with the Enemy and Enough

I thought the ending with Sleeping with the Enemy was good and made me cheer


Julianna Auntee wrote: "Great review, Shawna! I think we're going to have to start a Karen Rose train!

And if you think Rob Winters is creeepy/sadistic, just you wait...:)"


I need to jump on this train soon.;-) Whenever I read the reviews, these books always sound awesome. So many books, so little time. Great review, Shawna!




Blackbook She writes about the most sadistic villains. The ghost of Rob Winters reappears later. Beware.


Shawna Blackbook wrote: "She writes about the most sadistic villains. The ghost of Rob Winters reappears later. Beware."

Yikes! *shudders with chills*




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