Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Club: You Belong To Me by Karen Rose

by Ronlyn Howe

YOU BELONG TO ME is the first in a new series by Karen Rose, and I know I speak for a ton of her fans when I say I can’t wait to read the next installment from the Baltimore based saga.

In YOU BELONG TO ME we meet forensic pathologist, Lucy Trask, who is fiercely private in protecting her private life.  Unfortunately for Lucy she stumbles onto a mutilated body (who she first thinks is her elderly neighbor) in her neighborhood park which starts a chain of events that threatens to reveal every secret she’s ever kept, and a few she didn’t even realize she had been keeping for years.

JD Fitzpatrick is the homicide detective who first responds to the mysterious body in the park and he quickly realizes that Lucy is more than she appears to be.

She stood with her arms crossed over her chest, her expression unreadable.  But there was a fragility to her, a palpable tension, as if she was barely hanging on.

It becomes obvious from the moment they identify the first body, not as Lucy’s elderly neighbor but as a man who Lucy had dated briefly, that this was not a random attack.  There was an I burned into the man’s back and his heart was later discovered in Lucy’s car.  JD is forced to push aside his own burgeoning feelings for Lucy, which could threaten his career, to protect her at any cost while trying to figure out who is targeting her.  Pushing aside their attraction is easier said than done though.

Fitzpatrick was back, standing mere inches behind her and a hard shiver prickled her skin.  The man was so warm and she had been so cold, all day.  She had to hold her shoulders stiff to keep from leaving into him and all that delicious heat.  Wouldn’t be safe.  Wouldn’t be right.  Don’t do it, Lucy.

Even though YOU BELONG TO ME is a new series, we do see a familiar face in Clay Maynard, who we first met in NOTHING TO FEAR as Ethan Buchanan’s PI partner. Clay has a new partner who has gone missing and a client who has missed his check ins.  Fearing the worst, Clay starts searching and winds up right in the middle of Fitzpatrick’s investigation.

As more and more mutilated and tortured bodies of people from Lucy’s past find their way into the morgue she realizes that the only way to survive is to trust JD and the police to protect her while she becomes bait for a madman.  And that also means letting JD into her heart.

She turned her gaze out the window, pondering her next statement carefully.  Below them was nothing but miles of water.  They’d reached the midpoint on the Bay Bridge, which seemed too symbolic to ignore. “You could just stay,” she said and felt him tense beside her.

As a bodyguard or…” He exhaled.  “Do you want me to stay because you want me?”

There was a carefulness to his phrasing.  “Yes, JD.  That’s why I asked.  Well?”

“I’d like to stay,” he said simply.

YOU BELONG TO ME is classic Karen Rose, with a completely vile villain and a compelling “who done it” that keeps you guessing to the end.  The characters are so detailed that I loved some as passionately as I despised others with no middle ground.  If you haven’t read Karen Rose before this is a great book to start with, and then you’ll have the bonus of being able to run out and grab Karen’s back list.  I really cannot say enough about this book (and it’s been difficult to write this write up without giving away all the secrets of the story with my gushing) and this author.  There are only two authors that could write the phone book and I’d buy it: Karen Rose is one of them.

Karen is off being a mover and shaker today, but will be doing her best to stop in and answer questions while travelling, so please join me with welcoming her and asking any questions you may think of.  She’s also offering a copy of NOTHING TO FEAR to one lucky commenter.

Crab Cakes:
·         1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells
·         1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
·         3 green onions (green and white parts), finely chopped
·         1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
·         1/4 cup mayonnaise
·         1 egg
·         1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
·         1 teaspoon dry mustard
·         1/2 lemon, juiced
·         1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         Dash cayenne pepper
·         Flour, for dusting
·         1/2 cup peanut oil
·         Favorite dipping sauce, for serving

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with flour.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with preferred sauce.