Review: Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Review: Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz
Promise Not to Tell

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on January 2, 2018
Pages: 325
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

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A painter of fiery, nightmarish visions throws herself into the sea—but she leaves her secrets behind . . .

Seattle gallery owner Virginia Troy has spent years battling the demons that stem from her childhood time in a cult and the night a fire burned through the compound, killing her mother. And now one of her artists has taken her own life, but not before sending Virginia a last picture: a painting that makes Virginia doubt everything about the so-called suicide—and her own past.

Like Virginia, private investigator Cabot Sutter was one of the children in the cult who survived that fire... and only he can help her now. As they struggle to unravel the clues in the painting, it becomes clear that someone thinks Virginia knows more than she does and that she must be stopped. Thrown into an inferno of desire and deception, Virginia and Cabot draw ever closer to the mystery of their shared memories—and the shocking fate of the one man who still wields the power to destroy everything they hold dear.

The Delight

A woman’s leap to her death off the cliff of Lost Island in the San Juans of Washington State brings the past back into glaring detail for art gallery owner, Virginia Troy, and private investigator, Cabot Sutter.  Deadly focus turns onto Virginia and a fiendish cult leader from her past may be at the heart of it.  I was sucked into this story and couldn’t put it down through all the tension, danger, and twisting end.


Promise Not to Tell is the second book in the Cutler, Sutter, and Salinas series, but I was able to easily read it out of order as a standalone.  The connection is an older man and his three foster sons running a private investigation firm together and staying on the trail through the years for elusive cult leader who destroyed so many lives.

This was only my second venture into the author’s writing and I was struck once again how she creates an atmosphere and not just a setting.  She allows the reader into the mind of protagonist and antagonist both without diminishing the impact of the story.

Virginia and Cabot both suffer PTSD from their brutal childhood of living as captive hostages in a cult compound and narrowly escaping being burned alive in a locked barn.  Cabot and his brothers work their PI business, but on the side pursue the possibility that the cult leader actually survived and is still doing his thing elsewhere.  I liked seeing these two people who know they are not in healthy places in their lives or anywhere near able to have normal relationships find each other while they are investigating the death of one of Virginia’s artists.

The romance is slow-burning just like the case because all the psychological damage that the pair has suffered.  It’s balanced and paced well with the suspense portion of the story.

There are two mysteries through the book- a past and a present one.  I untangled much of it, but still managed to get startled by some twists which was great.

All in all, I enjoyed the characters, the series premise, the twisting thriller-like suspense and I definitely want more.  Romantic suspense and thriller fans should definitely give this one a go.

My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Romance Roundabout #343 RS
New Release #306




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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.


  1. I need to get this Sophia Rose its been too long since I read a JAK novel and I love her. Great review, I’ve seen this around.

    1. Oh yes, you really need to snag this one. I was riveted from the start and loved it all the way through. And I need to get to her backlist. This was only my second one by her. Fortunately, my library carries several under all her names.

  2. I think this is one that I would really like so thank you for putting it on my radar. The relations between Virginia and Cabot sounds like a good one and it has suspense too. Yes, please!

    1. Oh neat that you already love her books. Oh yes, this one’s can be jumped into though its part of a series and hopefully will make for a good reunion read for you with JAK!

    1. I’m definitely going back for it when I get the chance. The foster brothers and their dad all seem fantastic. And oh yes, I do want to get to her other pen name books, too. I’ve seen your great reviews of them. 🙂

  3. That sounds interesting how they run a private investigation firm together. That sounds awesome how she creates atmosphere and setting. The slow burn romance sounds like a good fit for this type of story and with how damaged the characters are. I have read a few books with a past and present mystery, it can be great when done well. Great review!

    1. Yeah, it was all around a wonderful book. I loved all the elements so much. I definitely need to go back for the first brother’s story and then keep going with the third one. Oh, and probably hit up her really big backlist. LOL

    1. I was told by one person that this one is better than the first one so maybe that will be the case for you. I need to go back and read it still b/c somehow I missed it last year.

  4. Ooh…this sounds really good, Super Sophia! Despite not having read Krentz for a while, definitely want to pick this up. Most people don’t really understand PTSD and how it can make everyday life very difficult. I like that the romance in the story takes some time to build, making it all so real life. Great review and Happy Saturday! Hugs…RO

    1. Oh yes, this one is worth jumping into with both feet. You’re right, PTSD is not handled as well as it deserves. Thanks, Radiant Ro! 🙂 Stay warm this weekend!