Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

Posted March 7, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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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.

Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose
Say You're Sorry

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Romantic Suspense #22, Sacramento #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on February 12, 2019
Pages: 624
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

I have long since considered this series one of my most anticipated each time a new installment is released. I reached for this one knowing that I was going to creep along dark, gritty shadows in a city’s underbelly as the law enforcement types work hard to bring down some of the world’s worst evil. This latest was riveting from the opening pages and was over before I was ready to let go. It has stayed with me for the days since I closed the book. Oh yes, it was that good.


Say You’re Sorry is the #22 book in the author’s overall long running romantic suspense series, but it is the first in a new grouping set in the new locale of Sacramento. As with most books in the series, the reader shouldn’t have much trouble picking it up as a starting point or standalone. I will say that though each grouping begins in a new location that there are loose ties and references back to earlier books. I found that having read Monster in the Closet from the Baltimore series that I knew more about Daisy Dawson’s background story before it was revealed and was probably anticipating it more when I realized who she was. That said, this book catches the reader up so its not a necessity.

These are full stories with lots of twists, reveals, big ‘aha’s and a large cast of characters. Say You’re sorry clocked in at 600+ pages so I will be little more than skimming the surface of what my thoughts on this book really are and how I summarize it. Like others in the series, it does go into some dark and vile places so those with triggers toward cults, rape, and abuse should consider yourself warned.

So, the story opens on a Sacramento, CA, downtown street when recovering alcoholic Daisy Dawson finds herself grabbed and must fight free of a would-be abductor. Her abductor chillingly whispers that they all say they are sorry to him and she is left in possession of a mysterious locket. This sets police detective Rafe Sokolov, and his FBI agent best friend, Gideon Reynolds on the trail of a broken, twisted serial killer who has a fixation for the one who got away. Gideon’s past and this present case might seem unrelated…

Daisy is shook by the attack, but she is working to live her own life and stay free of her demons and addictions. The attraction between her and Gideon is there from the beginning and slowly something grows between them. It will take all she has to hold strong against this new threat.

Meanwhile, a man driven by his own demons prowls closer and closer to his prey.

I’ve said this before about the author’s books, but it bears repeating. They are dramatic without being full of nonsensical drama. The background and setting are developed with complexity as are the characters who people the story. They have weaknesses and strengths and the reader is allowed inside the heads of those investigating and those who are the perpetrators. This augments rather than diminishes the intensity because there are twists within twists. The criminal investigation team are clever and conduct their work with knowledge, skill, and precision. Their emotions fuel the drive to do the job and do it right instead of turning into loose cannons or impulsive, stupid types. The suspense is allowed to pace out and ratchet to just the right moment for a huge breathtaking climax that leaves me shaking every time (minds out of the gutter).

To add to what I just said about her meticulous work on setting and background, I can now say this with certainty. I saw it in her older books and it felt right, but, this one finally came to my old stomping grounds. The author described my home town well and I was excited to have experienced one of her books set there. Rafe’s Russian family could have been my old neighbors.

The romance for Daisy and Gideon was definitely a huge part of what I loved so much about this story. They both had real ugliness in their pasts. I was thrilled when they came together. They are good for each other and supportive through what comes in this brutal, gruesome story. It wasn’t instant and they both had to get past some things, but I was cheering them on hard.

In the end, I was left with a story that left me with book hangover and now I must wait for the next. For those who enjoy gritty, twisting, and grueling thriller romances, you must try this book/series.

My thanks to Berkley Romance for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #14
Literary Pickers #34 Multiple POV
Books N Tunes #8 Michael Jackson’s Someone’s Watching Me


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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.

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2 years ago

I had plan to start this series soon, now you have me eager to jump into this world. Great review.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Nadene

Oh yeah, you are in for a good twisting story, Nadene. Look forward to your thoughts on it. πŸ™‚

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Dang, I didn’t realize this was a first within the series. I’ve been looking for

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It gets confusing because there is the overall series called ‘Romantic Suspense’ and then the various ‘city sub series’ titles with their own numbering. Usually, if you start with book one for whatever city it is, you’re fine. πŸ™‚

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

I hadn’t heard of this one but it sounds good.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Oh yeah, these are addicting thrillers, Mary! πŸ™‚

2 years ago

Awesome review. This sounds like a wonderful new series to start!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Nasreen

They sure are addicting, Nasreen! πŸ™‚

Carole rae
2 years ago

LOL the worst feeling is having to wait for the next book!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Oh, you know it, Carole. πŸ™‚

Anne - Books of My Heart

This is an amazing book and I think every one in the series is a winner. Great review. I really liked having the one previous where Daisy was introduced briefly. The ongoing connections and relationships make me glad I read them in order, although yes you could start at the first in a city. I actually started with the first in Cincinnati (16) and then went back and read them all from book 1 forward, before Cincinnati #2 was released. She’s one of the VERY best romantic suspense authors out there.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Oh hey, that’s a fun coincidence. I started with the first Cincinnati series book, too. I’ve gone back for the others, but only got to one and two before the next book came out so I still have a bunch to read. πŸ™‚

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

As you know, I enjoyed this one too! I’m happy there was no unnecessary angst in the romance, and the heroine was above TSTL moments! Thank goodness. I’m looking forward to Rafe’s story, if there is one, but don’t you think there could be romance with Zandra and Agent Hunter?

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes, the TSTL was minimum. These are ‘smart’ thrillers where you don’t have to agonize over stuff like that. And, yep. She usually hangs out in a ‘city’ series for at least three or four books so plenty of time for more romances. πŸ™‚

Lover Of Romance
2 years ago

just the word : Book Hangover….is ALL I need to hear to know how good this book is. I love those books that stay with you for such a long time and I definitely want to grab this author up and soon.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes! I’ve gotten that way after several of her books hit me hard. She really makes you see the sordid stuff people can do to each other while also showing people at their finest, too. Hope you like her books when you get the chance, Renee!

Melanie Simmons
2 years ago

This does sounds good. Wow 22 books. That’s a lot. Glad that the series is still going strong for you.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes, she’s been going strong for a while. I have read the first two and then all the Cincinnati and some of the Baltimores. I need to go back and get the rest. You can start with the beginning of any of the ‘city’ sub-series sets.