Cover Image: Into the Dark

Into the Dark

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Member Reviews

Rose is a fantastic romantic suspense writer, and even though her novels are usually quite long, I can't put them down until I finish them!
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I haven’t read the others in this series so occasionally I found myself somewhat confused. I still enjoyed it though, in fact I found it addicting. It was both shocking and engrossing. The murder mystery in this novel made it more interesting and the writing style was fantastic. I’ll have to check out the rest in this series.
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Two boys flee a horrific situation while a dark killer who has been targeting the filth of the community must set his sights on eliminating a loose end.  Taunt with with suspense and sizzling with romance, Into the Dark welcomed me back to Karen Rose’s world writhing with the evil humans can do and the finest human heroes working to bring them down.  Into the Dark promised much with Dani and Diesel’s long-awaited story and it delivered in spades.

Into the Dark is the fifth of the Cincinnati series and #23 of the author’s overall romantic suspense series.  While this offers a standalone suspense plot, the book doesn’t standalone well with the ongoing character and romance plot as its other main focus.

Michael Rowland has been terrorized and abused in his own home for some time, but one night, his sleazy step-dad goes after his five year old brother and Michael moves heaven and earth to get Joshua to safety.  Their flight deters one situation, but forces Michael to witness a murder.  At the coaxing of young Josh, Michael places his trust in Josh’s soccer coach, Diesel Kennedy, and Michael’s high school friend Greg’s sister, Dr. Dani Novak.  He is hearing impaired, but he is determined to keep his brother safe and keep them together no matter what.  Coach and Dr. Dani are the first people in his life to give whole-heartedly and care for him as much as Joshua.  But a killer is out there who knows Michael saw him that night and he’s still killing even as he hunts down all his loose ends.

Diesel, ex Army Ranger, wounded vet, and seriously gifted computer whiz has been yearning with unrequited love for Dani Novak since the day he saw her.  He’s even saved her life and the lives of her friends. He’s adopted into the same large group of friends and family she shares, but after spouting the excuse that she’s HIV positive and they can’t work, she has kept her distance.  Diesel is patient and he sees the same yearning in her eyes that fills his own.  He will wait to prove her excuse is just that.  Meanwhile, he will stand strong beside her to protect two boys who deserve a real chance at life and family.

Dani has pushed Diesel away and told him it won’t work once, but her cold, detachment is wearing brittle thin especially when she sees the wonderful man he is up close and his loving patients when she has given him no hope.  Diesel is also ready with his mad computer and other skills to bring down the killer and anything else that would harm her or the boys.  His deep, generous protective heart is winning her over even when she fights to keep him at bay because she knows deep down she is undeserving of such a wonderful man.

Cade set out to do right by the abused and exploited kids and women in his own way which involves a lot of pain for his victims that he gets off on, but now one teenager might be the reason he gets caught unless he gets to Michael Rowland first.

And, then there is Grant an accountant for Cleveland following the confusing trail his missing brother left behind taking him to Cincinnati and the trail of conflicting clues and bodies to an answer.

Into the Dark is a well set up and developed thriller romance like all the books in the series before it.  The author introduces the reader to the world of the deaf and to those who live life HIV positive  added to child abuse and human trafficking.  These are always a little longer in page count, but I love that it gives the author room to develop all components of the book deeply.  There is no skimping on character, relationships, criminal mind and actions, police procedure, detective work, some twists, and followed by intense pay off scenes.  It’s the whole package.

I hesitated to read this right away because it was Diesel and Dani’s story and I was most taken with Diesel as soon as he was introduced just as I’ve always had a soft spot for sweet Dani who has had be oh so strong.  I just wanted to relish having their story still to read even while a tidbit worried that it wouldn’t meet my overly expectant anticipation.  But, it did in spades.  In fact, much of the focus of the book was on them and the Rowland boys.  Such a fabulous story that left my eyes burning with tears of sad or happy a few times.

So, all in all, it was an amazing reading experience.  If you crave a fab thriller romance, I can’t recommend the Cincinnati series enough.

My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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After reading Say You’re Sorry, I become obsessed with Karen Rose and as soon as I was approved for this title, I started reading it and it did not disappoint!!!

Karen Rose is absolutely brilliant at putting together mystery/thriller and romance! Which in my opinion is hard to execute!
This was book #5 in the Cincinnati series, and I wish I had read the previous four books since there are some spoilers in this one, but I loved it so much I would probably still read book 1-4 after reading this one.

This also pulled at your hear string! I immediately fell in love with Dr. Dani Novak and Diesel Kennedy !! I truly felt like I was a friend of theirs and was in the same story. That’s how Karen Rose’s writing is amazing!

It’s a very high paced page-turning novel! It kept changing POVs, including the “killer’s” POV.
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I really enjoyed this mystery. It had a modern touch and feel about it with the topic it explored. Even thou we know the killer in the beginning, we get to know him even more.  The romantic aspect kept you guessing. I don’t want to give too much away but it will not disappoint!
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I had high hopes for this one. In the end, I struggled to connect with the characters and it just wasn't my cup of tea.
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I tried to get into this book, but couldn't. The 'tension' started straight away but I didn't really connect with the main characters and so it was difficult for me to find my way into this book. A pity. In the end, I did not finish it. Or rather, I could not finish it.
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I read Karen Rose's Say You're Sorry last year, and was so excited when I requested and was approved for her 2019 release! Into the Dark follows many characters as they work to catch a serial killer that may be going after a teenage boy next. Before I get further into the review, I do want to give trigger warnings for discussions on human trafficking, violence, pedophilia, discussions about rape and child abuse, child pornography, and verbal and emotional abuse because of a positive HIV status. 
There was a lot going on in this almost 600 page book. I was worried it was going to be too much to remember or keep straight, especially with so many different point of views, but it wasn't. This book also had a lot of diversity that I've never read about before. It's own voices for Waardenburg Syndrome (read the introduction because it gives more information), has multiple characters that are hearing impaired, and the heroine is HIV+.
This is the fourth book in a series, so there are allusions to things that happened in previous books, and a lot of characters from previous books show up, but it was easy to get into the story even though I didn't know some of the backstory. I did have to put this book down for about a week or so halfway through because it was a very heavy read. It's so good and done so well, but since it tackled a lot of heavy material I needed to take a break from it. Once I picked it back up though, I couldn't put it down because I needed to know what would happen next.
I really loved all the characters in this book. Michael and Josh the two kids who are now in Dr. Novak's care, are so vulnerable and have experienced so much. It made me sad to read about what the kids went through, but loved seeing them become part of Dani and Diesel's family. I also really loved seeing Dani and Diesel's relationship progress throughout the book. From the beginning it's clear that there's something between them, and even mentioned that Diesel has tried to initiate a relationship with Dani in the past (I assume this is part of a storyline in a previous book). I loved seeing both characters learn to be vulnerable with each other and learn to open up and trust in themselves and in the other person. I loved Diesel, he was so kind and gentle with Dani, and really just wanted the best for her and wanted to be there and help her. Not only was the romantic relationship great, but I love the found family aspect as well. The family didn't just include the two boys and Dani and Diesel, but a whole group of their friends as well who help them so much throughout the book.
Overall I'm so glad I was able to read this book, and can't wait to go back and read the first few books in this series!
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Karen Rose's Into the Dark is a very thrilling suspense and is action packed. There is a complex plot that unravels slowly. 

There characters are all intriguing and are connected. An interesting suspense/romance read.
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Into the Dark by Karen Rose is a Suspense Romance Thriller, Book #5 of the Cincinnati Romantic Suspense Series, that moves fast and will keep you on your toes and turning those pages. This is a part of a series that I have not personally have read before, but I enjoyed this just as amazingly as Karen Rose’s fans and dedicated readers. I understand the huge following Rose has, because from the first page, the reader will already be hooked by her writing. I love the action filled scenarios that make for a very suspenseful story line and creative plot that keeps the book moving in a very exciting way. 

The characters in this story are amazing and the subject matter will grip you and immerse you into the story. I loved the main character, Dr. Dani Novak, who I understand from the author’s notes has a rare genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome, which affects hearing the most, besides the other pigmentation issues in the skin, hair and eyes. It opened my understanding of people and families who have to navigate language and speech using sign language and other ways of communication. 

The book begins with a highly emotional scene where Michael Rowland, a deaf child, is rescuing his 5-year-old brother, Joshua from being abused by his step-father – running away as fast as he could, while also witnessing a murder – which puts Michael’s life on the line. Michael’s coach, Diesel Kennedy, brings the injured Michael to Dr. Dani Novak, who will treat Michael. She is also deaf in one ear, and is able communicate with Michael using sign language. 

I am in awe of Karen Rose, as her books are so well written with amazing characters, an intense story line, a subplot with romance and of course the murder mystery thriller with the amazing twists that make for a highly entertaining read. I am a fan and will definitely be going back to read the rest of this exciting series that is emotionally charged and highly addicting read.
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**Trigger Warning**

**This book contains serious and disturbing situations that may make some readers uncomfortable**

Wow. Karen Rose is diabolical! It is mystifying how she can write an intense suspenseful book and tap into her vulnerability while creating the main characters, but can easily switch to developing the most dastardly villain(s). It just blows my mind! 

I am SO happy that Dani and Diesel got their book. They belong together but their happily ever after is put on the back burner as they shove their feelings aside to protect two young boys from an unknown threat. Diesel is a perfect imperfect hero. His childhood was unbearable and he suffered unimaginable horrors. But Diesel fought his way into adulthood and didn't let his past define his future. And he is head over heels in love with Dani, which will melt the heck out of your heart!

Dani is fighting her own demons. She's loved Diesel for years but is hung up in her past somewhere and doesn't want to hurt him. Little does she know that Diesel is more than willing to shoulder anything Dani throws at him, including her HIV status. I just want to hug them both so hard!

I love going back to the Cincinnati wing of the series because I get to see my favorite characters again! Deacon Novak (Dani's brother), Adam Kimble (Dani and Deacon's cousin) and so much more! 

I would absolutely recommend this book! But, if you have content issues with abuse, this may not be the read for you.

***I voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of the book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my thoughts or feelings***
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Karen Rose is one of the OG romantic suspense authors for me, and one of the reasons I love the genre. Book 5 in her Cincinnati series, NTO THE DARK, is another exciting thriller. Over the course of, like, 23 books, she’s developed a whole world involving law enforcement and therapists and brave people who face and survive insurmountable odds. She writes anthems for our times, really. This was a particularly compelling book for me because the title really foretold the story—when one of the kids on Diesel Kennedy’s soccer team, Michael, and his brother show up at Diesel’s house, fleeing from their stepfather, he doesn’t hesitate to help them. He’s an ex-Army ranger, after all, even though he’s a journalist now … maybe he’s Superman? Because Michael is injured, Diesel takes them to Dr. Dani Novak, the woman he also happens to love. Layers of complexity dot the story, ranging from Michael’s deafness to Dr. Dani’s private reasons for resisting their attraction, and Diesel’s own issues from childhood, but Rose weaves them together in a fast-paced, compelling story that I’ve come to expect from her. Really, y’all, this is a terrific book.

*Originally published at Frolic.Media:
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Fourteen-year-old Michael witnesses the murder of his stepfather.  His stepfather was a pedophile and abused Michael, so I wasn’t too broken up over his death. My heart truly went out to Michael growing up with a neglectful, selfish mother.  She didn’t even bother to learn sign language even though Michael was deaf from birth. On top of all that, she marries an abusive asshole leaving her kids vulnerable!  

When the police start to investigate the murder, the killer realizes he may have left a witness, so Michael and his five year-old-brother are in danger.  That’s when Joshua’s soccer coach, Diesel, gets involved.  Diesel is a coach in his free time to give back to the community and help kids out, but he’s mainly a hacker for The Ledger, an investigative news/website. 

When Diesel realizes Michael is injured and these kids may be victims of neglect or worse, he takes them to Dr. Dani Novak, not only because Dani’s is partially deaf and fluent in sign language, but because she’s the most compassionate and kind doctor he knows. His heart aches every time he lays eyes on her, because she has made it clear a relationship is off the table. Diesel knows there’s a mutual attraction, though so he’s not sure what’s holding Dani back.

Diesel and Dani’s attraction can’t be ignored when they’re thrown together to look after Michael and Joshua when they have no place to go.  However, they’ll have to deal with their feelings in between dodging a killer bent on eliminating Michael.  

I found that the romance drama was low, because Dani and Diesel didn’t have time to wishy washy back and forth, they had to just get their shit sorted and concentrate on not dying, lol! Dani might have tried my patience otherwise. There are a few reasons she’d held back, reasons she felt were valid, but any outsider could’ve told her they were BS. 

There were a lot of heartbreaking moments here since Michael was the victim of abuse. Diesel has his own story to tell, and he helped Michael deal with the feelings of guilt, shame and anger.  

Despite Into the Dark being over six hundred pages long, I felt like I breezed through the story pretty quickly. Lots of action and danger, they kept me turning the pages, and I cared about what happened to Dani, Diesel, Michael and Joshua! 

I switched back and forth from e-book to audio and I'm happy I did that because I didn't want to put the book down when I had to get real-life stuff done.  Hillary Huber did an excellent job with both the male and female voices.
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Into the Dark was my first Karen Rose novel and I’m so excited to be able to read all the rest! 

This was truly a pageturner. Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for the free review copy - I also bought the audiobook when I couldn’t stop reading. 

There was a lot going on in this book - and I was jumping in late to the series but I had no problems following what was happening. Two young brothers are escaping an abusive home and end up in the care of Dr Dani Novak and Diesel Kennedy. In order to keep the boys safe - Dani and Diesel end up teaming up with their friends and investigating a serial killer. 

Dani is HIV positive and this is the first romance I’ve read where that has been represented. There are also multiple characters who are deaf. I learned a lot without ever feeling that I was being lectured. 

I am really looking forward to going back through the other books already out in the series and learning more about all the side characters. 

Content warning: so many - basically if you have triggers, proceed with caution. Child abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, gun violence, drug abuse, parental neglect, car accident, human trafficking.
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Wowzers!  What a book!  Sometimes, once you get so far into a series, you find that each book gets a little less exciting and you find you want to read a little less or you anticipate less.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH KAREN ROSE AND THE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE SERIES!  Each book seems to get better and better and I feel like I can't get enough!

Karen Rose has become my absolute favorite author!  I can depend on every story she writes being a solid story that keeps you guessing until the end, on the edge of your seat with the turn of each page, and falling in love with each and every character she writes about!

Into the Dark is no exception!  I was so excited to finally get to learn a little more about Dani and Deacon!  Dani is such a unique character and this new story about her made me want to devour it up!  Deacon never gives up, which is such an admirable trait!  But together, they will do whatever they can to protect two innocent little boys that they come to love as if they were their own!

I was hooked on this story from the first word to the last word and kept finding myself wanting more and more, staying up into the late hours of the night just to finish another chapter!

Karen Rose is such a talented author, and as always, I absolutely cannot wait until the next book in this series is released!
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I love that we (finally) have a sensitive, well-researched romance novel starring a heroine living a relatively normal life with HIV. Honestly, it’s about time. Brava Karen Rose for giving this book the love, research, and tone it deserves. This is the second romance novel I’ve read this year where one of the main characters has a sexually transmitted disease; both were published by Berkley Romance. So, thank you to them for leaning into serious topics in romance novels.

Okay, onto my review. Is it weird to say that a romantic suspense novel covering topics like HIV, child abuse, and murder is cute? Because it is. Well, at least the romance between Diesel and Dani is freaking adorable. Diesel has been in love with Dani for years, and their whole friend group is aware. Dani herself is aware but has reservations for many valid reasons. Dani is a fierce survivor and I admired her as a character, even when I occasionally wanted to shake her for ignoring her feelings.

Now, onto Diesel. My sexy, bald, mountain of a beta hero. I love him. How can you not? He’s a hacker with a heart of gold and a mile-wide soft spot for kids in need. I would recommend reading this book for him alone! His emotional vulnerability and gentleness with the traumatized children in his care turned my heart to mush. New book boyfriend alert for sure.

This sweet push and pull love story was contrasted by a truly dark thriller. This book isn’t for the faint of heart. The child trafficking and child abuse are explored in-depth and could be triggering for some readers. As I mentioned, Ms. Rose handles tough topics with grace and sensitivity, but that doesn’t make it any easier to read.

I did knock off a star because I felt Diesel and Dani’s love story got repetitive at times. I also felt the many, many, MANY characters were a little overwhelming. I’m sure it will be a treat for series devotees, but the book didn’t stand alone as well as I would have preferred.

Overall, I read this 500+ page book in two days. Find a comfy chair and hot beverage because this book is the perfect companion.

**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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Excellent read, I have always liked Karen’s writing but feel she really out did herself with this one. Outstanding.
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3.5 Star

Holy crap was this book emotional and graphic in detail (murder, human trafficking, rape, child abuse, and molestation). Not my favorite of the series, but I did love Dani and Diesel, and all the supporting characters.  

I struggled a lot with the back and forth between Dani and Diesel. 90% off it was Dani's doing. I get her inner turmoil, but man it drove me absolutely insane! On top of that, I got tired of Dani's focus on Diesel's looks and vice versa. Why do authors do this?! Do they think we can't read or that we aren't intelligent enough to understand it the first 100 times they have to pound it in our heads? We got it, Diesel was downright hot, with his tight body, bulging muscles, and captivating eyes. And we got it that Dani was so unique and beautiful.  Less is best, people. 

Technically this can be read alone but I felt a little lost with all of the extra name and players, as I haven't read most of the books in this huge series. I guess Dani and Diesel are in a few of the prior books. I wish I had known that and which ones so I could get a better handle on their back stories. 
Other than that, I had no trouble following along. It was more of a personal thing, than a reader thing as a whole.
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Unsurprisingly, this book packs quite the emotional punch. Karen Rose has such a gift for pulling the reader into the story only to spit you out at the end with all the feels. That was Alone in the Dark for me. Whenever there is a child involved, especially in KR book, it hits me hard. Like really hard. This book was no different.

Michael Rowland has been abused by his stepfather for years. The only reason he hasn’t run away is because he has to protect Joshua, his little brother. When he sees his stepfather inject Joshua with something, the fight is on. Michael gets Joshua away safely. For now. When Brewer comes looking for them, Michael hides in the bushes along the road. He then witnesses something that is hard to comprehend. A man murdering his stepfather. Michael is deaf so he didn’t hear anything that was said. He does feel relief that Brewer is dead, followed by terror that the killer will come after him and Joshua next.

Diesel Kennedy coaches peewee soccer. Joshua is on his team. When his brother, Michael, runs six miles to make sure he is okay, it sends up red flags for Diesel. The only person he can take the boys to is Dani Novak. Dani is not only a doctor, but she is able to do emergency foster care for deaf children. When Dani and Diesel realize the extent of Michael’s abuse, they will not let him out of their site. Diesel has taken it upon himself to protect Dani and the boys, something he takes very seriously. It is hard for him to be around Dani because she’s been rejecting his advances for 18 months. Still, Diesel can only look at the situation as the chance it is to make Dani see that they would be good together.

With Michael able to identify the killer, he is now being hunted by the killer. Who is not just a killer, but a serial killer. Dani, Diesel and all their friends now have to fight to keep the boys safe when it becomes evident that the killer won’t stop coming after Michael. And what a crack team they are together. I loved the dynamic with all the friends and visiting couples that I have read about in previous books.

KR did a superb job here. I was angry at the killer, yet at the same time rooting him on. If that’s not effed, I don’t know what is. KR just has that knack. I loved Michael and Joshua. Their problems were very real and they came out loud and clear through the pages. Dani and Diesel’s love was sweet and passionate. I liked that once Dani decided she was in, she was all in. With Diesel and with the boys. This is yet another book that shows Karen Rose is on top of the romantic suspense genre and not leaving anytime soon.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.
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Into the Dark by Karen Rose was exactly what I expect from her Cincinnati series and I loved it. First, I must say that her inclusion of deaf characters was amazing. As someone who is mostly deaf in one ear, I love to read about characters who have similar struggles and still maintain active, happy lives. The BAHA that Dani wears was an option offered to me by my ENT a year ago!

Now, I have to say that Into The Dark is pretty much one long trigger. There is child molestation discussed throughout the book as several characters have dealt with it and the plot of the story is focused around it. So it's difficult to say I loved this book because the content is so heartbreaking. However, Rose writes such wonderful characters and terrifying plots that I was hooked from page one. Dani and Diesel have such awful backstories. These two have had more trauma than any person should have to bear. Diesel's devotion to Dani for over a year before she gives him a chance was so endearing. You can't help but adore Diesel! Add in how wonderful he is with Joshua and Michael and you are a goner (and so is Dani)!

If you are able to read stories about horrible human tragedies like child abuse and human trafficking, I encourage you to read Karen Rose's Cincinnati series! She handles the delicate topics by showing the reader the effects in the immediate aftermath and the long term. The focus is on the people who survive these abhorrent crimes and how they rebuild their lives. In that sense, you get a hopeful look into the possibilities for those who are survivors and that is what I loved about the stories. Into the Dark shows you all sides of the puzzle: the cop looking for a missing sister, the children rescued from an abusive home, and a vigilante who wants to kill the people involved in trafficking.

Into the Dark will take you on a journey that is at times painful, at times endearing, yet always hopeful despite the challenges of each person. Rose's books will always be "must buys" for me because of her writing style and her gripping characters.
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