Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Watch Your Back

Watch Your Back by Karen Rose

Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet
Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Pages: 592
ISBN-10: 0451414101
ISBN-13: 978-0451414106

(Received for an honest review from Signet)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Karen Rose on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Watch Your Back, courtesy of the author's website.


A cold case reopened. A murderer re-emerging more deadly than ever before…
Baltimore Homicide Detective Stevie Mazzetti has suffered losses no woman should have to endure. And, despite it all, she’s still a fighter. When she learns that her ex-partner might have miscarried justice, she’s determined to put the past to rights, even when she becomes a target.
It’s former Marine Clay Maynard’s job to see the risk in every situation, but he doesn’t have to look hard to find the danger surrounding Stevie. Since the minute he first saw her, Clay has wanted to protect the wounded officer, and he started loving her not long after that. So when Stevie attracts the attention of a vicious psychopath, Clay will do whatever it takes to keep her alive. That is, if he can stay ahead of a killer with everything to lose—and something terrifying to hide...


Watch Your Back is the latest book from romantic suspense writer, Karen Rose. With many reoccurring characters, all of Rose's books are inter-related and this one allows readers to catch up with several old favorites. Suspense is definitely this author's forte. At close to 600 pages this book reads like a wild fire, fast paced and dangerous from beginning to end. Readers who love police procedural's will love the 'dirty cop' aspect of this book and those who love strong female characters will quickly fall for Stevie. A great new book from a well respected name in the genre.

What I liked:

I am never daunted by a book with a lot of pages. I can dive right in and know that if it took that many pages to write, it's probably going to have at least some content that I will enjoy. With a Karen Rose book, it's given that it will be a nail-biter, with a break neck pace. This author knows how to write suspense. The tension ratchets up with each chapter, taking the reader on a harrowing journey. It's hard to put down even at a long length and readers are treated to just about all the action they can stand. You have to quit reading once in awhile just to let her heart rate return to normal. Now that's good suspense!

The author has written several novels that are have reoccurring characters. You can call it a series, but it doesn't really have a name. Some books are more related than others, perhaps by the setting or a group of characters that work together. Regardless of all that. I love the way Rose ties all of her books together. You never know when you might see someone you've met in another book. On the author's website there is an area that shows how each book is related, a very clever idea. I won't say this one can't be read as a stand alone because it can, but knowing how it fits in with the rest of Rose's books may help readers understand her characters better.

Stevie Mazetti is a character readers who have read Rose before probably have heard of, especially in the last few novels from the author. She is a cop who has been through a lot. She lost her husband and son to a murderer, her former partner turns out to be a dirty cop and it's understandable that she has a chip on her shoulder. It's been eight years since her husband's death and she has seen a lot of action since then, as far as her job is concerned, but not her personal life. She is closed off, unrelenting emotionally. She does not want or need another man in her life. That's ultimately why she continues to push away the one man who loves her in spite of her brassy nature.

Clay Maynard is an ex-marine and he carries that commanding air of authority and overall male awareness that lots of readers really enjoy. He has loved Stevie for a long time. He has made other appearances in Rose books and readers will be happy that he finally gets his own main storyline. He obviously loves Stevie and wants to protect her and her remaining daughter. But living up to the memory of a ghost is a tough business. When Stevie draws the attention of a psychopath his protective instincts take over.

I really enjoyed the rush of excitement this book provided. I was on the edge of my seat a lot with this one. I found myself thinking about what was going to happen next even when I wasn't reading. That's unusual for me. I can usually drop a book and pick up back up easily, but it doesn't generally follow me. That was unexpected and interesting. A mark of a great writer and a very well written book. Of course it might have something to do with the romantic elements as well. Stevie and Clay were obviously meant for each other.

What I didn't like:

Stevie was a little bit fatalistic in some ways. She clearly didn't care to some extent if she was the target of a killer or not. She didn't take the precautions I would have expected of someone who had lost family members in the past. She didn't take her safety or that of her daughter seriously and that was a bit out of character from what I would expect from someone facing this kind of danger. She also shoved Clay away with every opportunity. As a romantic myself, that was slightly frustrating, but neither point took away the overall enjoyment I got out of this one. 

Bottom Line:

If you are a lover of romantic suspense, you have to try Karen Rose. She writes her books with simple clarity and a lot of levity. The good guys may always come out on top, but how they get there is often a tortuous experience. Rose knows how to write a book that will make the hair on the back of her neck stand up and her villains are diabolical. You really gotta try this one!

Watch Your Back is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Award-winning, #1 international bestselling author Karen Rose earned her degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland. For a number of years, she worked in the engineering field, earning two patents, but she began writing novels when scenes started to fill her mind and her characters would not be silenced. Since her debut suspense novel, Don’t Tell, was released in July 2003, she has written more than a dozen novels and been translated into twenty-three languages. Her books have placed on the New York Times, the Sunday Times (UK), and Germany’s der Spiegel bestseller lists. A former chemical engineer and high school teacher, Karen lives in Florida with her family, her cat, and her dogs, Loki and Thor.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Watch Your Back by Karen Rose.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, February 26th.

1. Please leave a comment other romantic suspense authors you would recommend.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Jane said...

I've been waiting for Stevie and Clay's book.

traveler said...

Another author I enjoy reading is Carla Neggers. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

skkorman said...

I like a lot of romantic suspense writers, including Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Carla Neggers, and Suzanne Brockman!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Karen B said...

There are so many I like - not mentioned already - including Allison Brennan, Heather Graham and Tess Gerritson.

Nancy Luebke said...

Mary Burton might be one and Nora Roberts. I'm sure there are a lot more but cant think of them right now.

Anita Yancey said...

Some of the romancic suspense authors I read are Elizabeth Lowell, Karen Robards, and Linda Howard. But Karen Rose is one of my all time favorites. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Di said...

I'd suggest Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard

bn100 said...

Elizabeth Lowell

Linda Rima said...

Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard for sure!

June M. said...

Katie Reus, Cynthia Eden, Lisa Jackson, Laura Kaye, & Stephanie Tyler are a few that haven't been named yet that I love :)

lag123 said...

Robyn Carr

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Texas Book Lover said...

I just finished reading a Cynthia Eden romantic suspense book and loved it so I would recommend her anytime!