Category: Audio

Review: Don’t Tell by Karen Rose

Posted October 10, 2017 by Lily B in Audio, Reviews / 14 Comments

Hi everyone! Sophia Rose is back with another review, this time of an audio of Don’t Tell by Karen Rose. Oh a romantic suspense, doesn’t it sound really good? set against a backdrop of Chicago and Ashville, NC the premise of two cases has me interested. Read Sophia’s review and see what she thinks.

Review: Don’t Tell by Karen RoseDon't Tell by Karen Rose, Michael Ferraiuolo
Series: Chicago #1
Published by Tantor Audio on August 22nd 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 15 hr 44 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Heat:three-flames

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

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. Contains mature themes.

I’ve been a lover of Karen Rose’s books since I stumbled upon Closer Than You Think, the beginning of her Cincinnati series and several books into her overall Romantic Suspense series. Finally, I got the chance to go back to the very beginning to where it all began in Chicago.

It’s fascinating when one starts at nearly the end and goes back to the beginning to see the comparison of just how much a writer as progressed in style and element, but also see the amazing heart of the writing that pulled me in and was there all along through a whole series it seems.

As I said, Don’t Tell is the beginning. It’s part of the Chicago series, but the book is technically split between events going on in Ashville, NC and Chicago and like all the others is a large book with many story lines and several narrators. The police in North Carolina are on the trail of a re-opened cold case as is the villain even while another storyline is developing in Chicago surrounding the secretive woman at the heart of it all.

Mary Grace Winters now posing for 9 years as Caroline Stewart was an incredible heroine. She exemplified a true survivor. She’s strong, but also fearful and fragile, stubborn and generous and it was neat to see what a truly good man with his own ghosts could do. Max comes across in the beginning as a knight, but then his past is revealed and he is a tarnished battered knight who makes mistakes with Caroline, but still finds the strength to be the man she needs. Down in Ashville, Agent Stewart and Detective Ross are equally great characters to follow along with as they doggedly investigate the case of Mary Grace Winters. It was heartwrenching to see what they dug up of Caro’s past as battered Mary Grace. And oh yes, I was treated to many scenes with the sadistic fiend who was her abuser and the abuser and killer of many more while also believing himself to be a good cop, Rob Winters. Shivers came when I was stuck in his head with him.

The story took its time drawing all the plot strings along until they tied together in one intense climax. But the author deftly followed up with the aftermath of situations. This was not a murder mystery where the reader must figure out the killer’s identity. It was a gritty, exciting thriller romance where it was a race of who would get to Caroline first and then what would happen if her evil ex did.

The narrator has one I’ve noted as being a favorite of other audio listeners so I was glad to give Michael Ferraiuolo my first try. He did a great job with the huge cast of characters, plot threads, range of emotions and tension, pacing, and overall tone of the book. I can see myself becoming a fan of his work, too.

All in all, I was riveted at times and engaged deeply through the softer scenes. It’s a great blend of romance, character growth, and suspense. I definitely recommend it to romantic suspense and thriller romance lovers.

About Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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Audio Review: Death Around the Bend by TE Kinsey, Narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden

Posted July 5, 2017 by Lily B in Audio, Reviews / 24 Comments

Morning guys! Hope you grabbed your coffee because I got Sophia Rose on the blog today with another excellent review. Enjoy as she expresses her thoughts and feelings about Death Around the Bend, a cozy mystery. I personally thought it sounded so fun that I want to start this series myself <3

Audio Review: Death Around the Bend by TE Kinsey, Narrated by Elizabeth KnoweldenDeath Around the Bend by T E Kinsey
Series: Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #3
Published by Brilliance Audio on June 8th 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 8 hours 36 min
Buy on Amazon
Rating: 4.5 Stars

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.

When Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, are invited to Lord Riddlethorpe’s country estate for a week of motor racing and parties, they both agree it sounds like a perfectly charming holiday. But when one of the drivers dies in a crash during the very first race, they discover that what seemed like an uncharacteristic error in judgement may have a more sinister explanation . . .
Closer investigation reveals that the driver’s car was sabotaged – and the driver murdered. The local constabulary are quick to dismiss the case, but Flo and Lady Hardcastle are determined to find out just who has committed this dastardly act, and why.
As the pair begin to make enquiries of Lord Riddlethorpe’s servants and guests, it seems that, below stairs and above, there is more to this case than meets the eye. And, even in the quiet of the countryside, death is always just around the bend.

Sparkling wit, upstairs/downstairs, motor racing, country house party, and a fantastic, unique female detecting pair to make Death Around the Bend a great listen.

This is my first encounter with the series though Death Around the Bend is book three. It can easily be read/listened to standalone or out of order. I had such a good time with it that I definitely plan to go back for the first pair.

Lady Hardcastle and her ladies’ maid, Flo are a sparkling pair and I loved following along as they found their way to the solution in the country house party murder mystery. Even though this is the third book, there is a great backstory for this pair who have been together through thick and thin. Both have surprising talents that make them good detectives.

The book follows the usual style of introducing everybody, a murder, and then the slow working through to the solution. It was not a dramatic piece, but it did have the exciting climax point with a good denouement. There is also an adorable mini-mystery plot involving a ticklish problem for one of their neighbors that bookends the other mystery. Oh, and a bit of romance in the air for another side story for a few minor characters.

It was set in Edwardian Era England. I thought the story caught the tone of those times and balanced well, staying present enough to be noticed, but also not overtaking the other elements of the plot.

The cast of characters surrounding Lady Hardcastle and Flo were a great lot. There were the below stairs serving staff and the upstairs house party of the Earl and his guests.

Now the mystery itself was clever. I worked out the who and how and somewhat why out once I had enough clues, but there were a few parts that I had to wait to get until the solution was revealed.

I really only had one niggle and it was a teeny tiny one. ‘What ho!’ was often used by Lady Hardcastle so that I cringed each time Lady Hardcastle spotted Flo. I suspect it’s her signature greeting.

The narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden, was new to me. She had a great plummy English accent for the upper class characters and her voices for all the levels in the servant’s hall was superbly done. She had a huge cast to read and they were all distinct and I could easily distinguish them. She added an extra layer of goodness to an already good book. I’m pretty sure that the series would lose a little shine if I didn’t experience the rest of it with her narration.

So, all in all, this was an abso-fab story and I will definitely be getting the rest of the series. Historical mystery/cozy mystery fans should definitely give this book/series a go.

About Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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