Book Review: Karen Rose’s Don’t Tell

Posted November 30, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Karen Rose’s Don’t Tell

Don't Tell

on July 1, 2003 and has 512 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

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 double helping of self-pity. From both Caroline and Max. They both take offense so easily…much like people do in real life. It’s just that it’s so much easier to see it when you’re reading about it.

On the abusive husband side…not so much. Just terrifying that someone like him has never been caught. That his fellow cops have ignored their own intuition simply because he’s a cop. So he must be one of the good guys. Oh, brother. Winters is hurting all these people. He doesn’t see that he’s doing anything wrong. And he so casually decides to spend the rest of the day playing tourist…

Cracks me up that Thatcher gives in so easily on that blind date. Oh, yeah, baby, 200 horsepower, GPS, and a depth finder on that date’s bass boat. Mmmm-hmmmm. Then there’s Max who is considering being spontaneous…ooh, boy. David was too funny in his rescue of Max from Monika! Dana makes an excellent call on the criminally incorrect side with Caroline.

This makes no sense. Caroline is thinking about how she’ll need a few days to heal up to “confess to her lies” and have anyone believe her. That Rob has forgotten this little oopsie. And she’s not reminding him??? She wants more time with the guy?? I must not be reading this right…

I don’t understand why it was so hard for Caroline to tell him she’s still married. She told him about the abuse. I would have thought that would be harder.

The Story

It’s the resurrection of Mary Grace’s Ford that puts Officer Winters on her trail. And it’s the resurrection of Caroline’s libido that gets her into trouble with her new boss, Dr. Hunter. Nor it is just a one-way attraction for he wants her almost more than she wants him.

It’s their pasts that get in the way. She has little self-esteem and has told very, very few people the truth about her past. He still hasn’t stopped being angry about his fall from heaven.

The Characters

Mary Grace Winters cannot take anymore and she hides until she can escape her abusive husband with their son, becoming Caroline and Tom Stewart. She plans on going to the University of Illinois Law School when she graduates while Tom despises all men for what they do to women.

Dana Dupinsky runs a women’s shelter, Hanover House, in Chicago which is where she met the now-Caroline and Tom Stewart and they became best friends. Evie Wilson is a teen runaway who rooms with Dana while taking classes at the college and helping Caroline in the history department’s office.

Eli Bradford is, was, Caroline’s teacher, friend, and then boss and head of the history department at Carrington College. The other history professors include Monika Shaw, a real bitch; Wade Grayson, who likes to pull pranks; and, George Foster.

Dr. Maximilian Alexander Hunter is the new head of the history department at Carrington. And Caroline’s new boss. It’s a convenient job offer since he’s inherited Grandma Hunter’s house. His very supportive family is thrilled that he’s back in Chicago: David and Peter (married to Sonya) are his brothers and Catherine and Elizabeth are his sisters. Phoebe is their mother.

Asheville PD
Then-Officer and now-Detective Rob Winters is admired by his fellow cops and hated by his family. Sue Ann Broughton is Winters’ current punching bag…I mean, girlfriend. Randy Livermore is a computer hacker without a conscience. The detectives include Ben Jolley, Winters’ very loyal partner and friend; Jonathan Lambert; and, Jim Crowley. Lieutenant Antoinette Ross is black and female. A double negative in Winters’ book. She’s also extremely principled and determined to investigate this case by the book.

Special Agent Steven Thatcher is with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Mary Grace Winters’ car has flipped all sorts of red flags and the SBI has been called in as part of the investigation. Aunt Helen is his mother’s sister. She’s been living with him and his sons — Brad, Matt, and Nicky — since his wife died. She’s also hot on finding him a new wife. Special Agent-in-Charge Lennie Farrell‘s father, Gabe Farrell, has always had his doubts about Winters. His wife, Sharlene, makes a mean sweet potato pie.

Russ Vandalia is the head mechanic with the Sevier County PD who remembers what caught Rob Winters’ attention. Lieutenant Spinelli is with the Chicago PD.

The suspicious Nurse Claire Gaffney Burns and the too-trusting Susan Crenshaw were both on the hospital staff in Asheville nine years ago. John Smith was the attorney who was filing a restraining order for Mary Grace. Before he so abruptly left town. Frank coaches Tom’s JV team and he’s thrilled with the volunteer Caroline found him. A former Laker and legend on the basketball court.

The Cover and Title

The cover is more romantic than abusive as he holds her chin, her face tilted up, her eyes closed, and her lips parted as though awaiting a kiss.

The title a shared fear between Caroline and her son Tom. If they Don’t Tell anyone, they should be safe.