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.


Aly said...

Great write up Ronlyn :)

Karen Rose is and always will be an autobuy for me. She has never disappointed me and this book is no exception!

As always - and as Ronlyn noted - the story had me guessing what was going to happen next at every corner and saying "NO WAY" many times!

Add to that some fabulous characters and once again, Karen Rose has created a book that kept me reading until the wee hours and wanting more!!

I can't wait to see what comes next for the Baltimore crew.

And I will say if you have not read Karen Rose you MUST do so!

Mary G said...

I can tell that I won't be able to read Karen's books at night lol.
I read Hot Pursuit this summer and loved Karen's contribution to the anthology. I will definitely be reading more.

Ronlyn said...

Good Morning all! Karen is an instant auto-buy for me as well. I have been known to say that I want to be her when I grown up. LOL.
Not only are the books suspenseful and thrilled (in a completely chilling way) but the characters have heart that make them oh so real.

Karen will be stopping by today, so get your questions ready!

Karen Rose said...

Good morning!! I arrived home from a fun NYC weekend with my oldest daughter a little after midnight last night - so I'm still a little bleary. If I make typos, I blame that :-)

Thank you all for choosing my book for your book club! I "met" Ronlyn a long time ago on the Goddess Blog, so when she asked me to join you guys, I was happy.

Karen Rose said...

Thanks, Aly :-)

And Mary G, I'm impressed. HOT PURSUIT is out of print and I haven't heard from any readers on that title in a long time! Thank you to you, too.

krisgils33 said...

Great write-up, Ronlyn! I love Karen Rose's books, but sadly, this one is still sitting in my ginormous TBR! Looks like a yummy crab cake recipe, too...but, as you know it's unlikely I'll ever actually make it. :-)
(so not a cook)

Ronlyn said...

YAY Karen! It has been a long time since we've "known" each other, hasn't it?
I wrote to Karen (one of the first authors I ever reached out to) because I was inspired by "Don't Tell" to donate a bunch of baby items I was getting rid of to the local shelter for abused women. They were thrilled to have anything I could send their direction and it's become my tradition to make a separate donate pile for them when I'm purging out all the stuff.

I know I have some questions for Karen...but my coffee needs to wake me up a bit more...I'll be back with those. :-)

And thanks Kris! You will not be disappointed when you topple your mountain of a TBR and read YBTM. I tried to write the write up without giving away too many of the secrets. :-) And you need to find a cook to make those crab cakes for you. They're awesome!

Ronlyn said...

Mary, HOT PURSUIT is the only thing of Karen's I haven't read. I haven't managed to get my hands on a copy. *boo*

Ronlyn said...

Questions for Karen:
-Will Clay be getting his own story? (Is he your new David-the man everyone wants to have a story?)

-Your villians are some of the most chilling/calculating psychopaths around. Where does the inspiration for them & their methods come from? Cuz, really...I'm trying to decide if I should be afraid of some of the things you've come up with. ;-)

-If you could give one piece of advice to yourself when you were first making the switch to a writing career, what would it be?

krisgils33 said...

You forget I am very near to the center of the crab cake universe! Haha. But, I totally agree I should have someone who cooks for me....sounds like you might be volunteering!

I am equally curious about your vile villians and where the inspiration comes from.

Ronlyn said...

LOL Kris, I did forget! (I blame not enough coffee...) And anytime you are around here I'll be happy to whip up some crab cakes for you to try. :-) That was why I chose that recipe for today since the book is set in Baltimore.

Hope said...

Good morning all...This book was my very first Karen Rose book and as soon as I finished I pleaded with all of my book buddies to help me find more. I have been devouring them ever since.

I was happy to hear this was the start of a series and I didn't come in at the middle of a series already set up. One of the lines that made me giggle was "Who needs fancy police databases when we have Facebook and a phone?" sooo true lol

Do you have an idea of how many books with be in this series? And my intrigue lies with Thorne, will he get his own book?

Alison said...

Good Morning Everybody! Hi Karen!

I LOVED You Belong to Me! It was my first Karen Rose book. It was like a gateway drug, because after I read it I HAD to read her backlist. I thought I'd gotten them all, but it sounds like I missed one. Note to self...pick up Hot Pursuit:-)

Karen - what books do you read when you're not writing amazing books for us?

Crystal said...

Awesome write up Ronlyn!

I've read some of Karens books, but haven't had a chance to read this one yet. I've heard nothing but GREAT things about it. I just stopped by B&N website and it is now downloaded on my Nook.

Taryn said...

Hey everyone!

I made it, Hope! LOL This seems like a really cool blog! Is there always a recipe posted with a book?

Hope said...

Taryn good to see you (virtually lol)...yes there is always a recipe sometimes 2.

Amy said...

just found Karen Rose books...
I just bought Dont Tell week or so ago and cant wait to read it!

Love a good Thriller/Suspense that keeps you on edge of your seat till the very end!

Looking forward to reading all your books!

btw...great interview Ronlyn!

*had this post on another link..oops*

Ronlyn said...

Welcome Taryn & Amy!
You really can't go wrong with Karen Rose for a good thriller. In my fan-girl note to her I told her that even when I figure out the WHO I'm still trying to piece together the motive and means.

So, question for the reader girls: does it bother you to read thrillers like this at night? I think I must be part teenaged boy, because I LOVE reading these at night and scaring myself to pieces! LOL

ShellyE said...

Sorry I'm late!! I haven't read any of Karen's books - but they come highly recommended and I have 2 on my TBR shelves. Need to move them up in the line!! Happy to read everyone's comments on a new-to-me author today!!

Mary G said...

I found Hot Pursuit in the used book store. Thought it would be a great way to try you out. I should have just believed the book club girls LOL. Excellent suspense & the romance was hot!

Hope said...

Ronlyn, I really love reading them at night, but I will admit that I can't do it unless the hubster is home. So does that make me only part wimp? lol

Jocelyn said...

Karen Rose is also an auto-buy for me. Love, love, love her books! They are permanently on my TBrR pile! She's that GREAT!!! Can't wait for her next one!!

oklanannie said...

Karen Rose is and has been an auto-buy for me from the beginning. I've read them all, loved them all, and am always excited for the release of her next exciting thriller.

The new series started out brillliantly and I'm hoping Clay gets his book next. Any sneak peeks for us, Karen?

I don't have a problem reading Karen's books at night or any other time. I've always liked thrillers and chillers and there's always another lamp or light to turn on if my spine starts to tingle!

Thanks for sharing your books and time with us today, Karen.

Karen Rose said...

Ronlyn, yes, Clay will definitely get his own story! It already has a title and he already has a heroine :-)

I don't think you need to be afraid of me. Just don't get between me and the coffee.

Inspiration for the villains - that's always a hard question to answer. It comes from knowing who they are and what makes them tick. Are they evil because they enjoy inflicting pain for the fun of it, are they motivated by revenge, or perhaps simply greed?

Every villain will have a different backstory and reason for his/her actions.

As for their methods - I just think, "Were I a villain, what would I do?" This makes my mother very nervous, ha!

Karen Rose said...

Ronlyn's question #3: I think I'd tell myself to lighten up a little. Every time I start a new book, I'm nervous about where to start and if I'll be able to do it again. After 13 books you'd think I'd be over that!

Karen Rose said...

Krisgills: I grew up in crabcake country (MD) and it does look like a yummy recipe. Hope my book makes it to the top of your TBR pile soon :-)

Hope: right now, there are four books planned in this series. Book 1, YOU BELONG TO ME, was JD and Lucy's book. Book 2, NO ONE LEFT TO TELL (June, 2012), is Grayson Smith (the prosecutor, Daphne's boss) and Paige Holden's story. Paige moves from MN to Baltimore to work with Clay Maynard.

As for Thorne, I do have a book planned for him!

Mary G said...

I forgot to say congrats on your RITA win even though you beat out one of my faves Roxanne SC. I was touched by your speech thanking your hubby. Very romantic!

Karen Rose said...

Alison, thank you. Gateway drug, heh!

I read paranormal romance when I'm not writing. Faves are Nalini Singh, JR Ward and recently discovered Larissa Ione.

Crystal, thanks! Hope you enjoy!

Karen Rose said...

Amy, hope you enjoy DON'T TELL!

Will be back in a few minutes - have to run to the eye doctor for a post-cataract surgery check. Back soon!

Ronlyn said...

Karen, do you have a favorite book or character that you've written? I know, it's sort of like asking you to pick your favorite child...I'm so mean to even ask. ;-)

And, why are your books published in Europe before the US?

Judy F said...

I love this book and every book since the beginning. My buddy Melissa got me onto Karen's books with Don't Tell. I was one of those that asked (a lot) for David's story and it was just perfect.

I have met karen several times and she is so sweet.

So eager for the next book.

Karen Rose said...

Mary G - thank you! Winning the RITA was especially sweet this time as my editor was sitting next to me. SILENT SCREAM was the last book we worked on together - our 11th - so it was so perfect to have her with me. I've moved to a new publisher and new wonderful editors, but my SS editor and I were together for 9 years - and that's longer than a lot of marriages these days!

Thanking my hubby is a necessity. He's truly my better half.

Karen Rose said...

Thank you, Jocelyn and Oklanannie! I really appreciate it!!

As I said in another comment, Clay will get his story, but it won't be for a few more books.

Karen Rose said...

Ronlyn - I have to admit to having a favorite or two. I've always loved Mia Mitchell's character. I think were I a cop, I'd want to be like Mia.

She's actually based on a book heroine from my youth. Anybody out there read the Trixie Belden books? In my mind, Mia is Trixie grown up, but with a lot more angsty backstory :-)

Karen Rose said...

Ronlyn's next question:

My books come out first in the UK because the UK publishes the book in hardcover and the US pubs first in paperback. In the rest of Europe, they're at least two books behind, due to need for translation.

Karen Rose said...

Hey, Judy F! So good to see you here, too!

Kara C said...

HUGE Karen Rose fan here! I have her book inspired charm bracelet to prove it. Well, that, and all her books are on my keeper shelf. :-)

I haven't had time to read through all the comments yet, so if this question has been asked, just ignore it. Karen, if you couldn't write romantic suspense, what other genre could you see yourself writing?

Ronlyn said...

I want to thank everyone for coming out to chat with Karen and about YBTM. And a very special thanks to Karen for taking the time out of her day to talk to us.
I'll get with Karen to figure out who the winner of NOTHING TO FEAR is and make the announcement soon.
Happy Friday everyone!

Karen Rose said...

The winner (chosen at random) of one copy of my backlist is HOPE! Hope, please contact me at karen @ karenrosebooks. com (no spaces) with your snail mail address and your choice from my backlist!

thanks for having me!

PS: Kara, I'm not sure what I'd write if I didn't write suspense. Maybe contemporary or perhaps sci-fi.

Ronlyn said...

Congratulations Hope!!

Judy F said...

Congrats Hope

Taryn said...

Congrats, Hope!!!!!

Mary G said...

Congrats & enjoy Hope.