Cover Image: Into the Dark

Into the Dark

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4 1/2 STARS!

Complex, endearing and oh so satisfying! With the fifth book in The Cincinnati Series, Karen Rose brings us Dani and Diesel's story. If you're not familiar with this series already, you might be a little overwhelmed with the number of people this cast consists of, but you'll quickly become accustomed to the group of extended family and friends that help bring this case through ups and downs of evil.

Teenager Michael grabs a readers attention immediately as he tears through danger without thought to try to rescue his little brother from the monster he knows oh too well. As the story unfolds, he becomes a favorite character as he works hard to overcome the trauma he's been through and learn to trust in this family that helps him take care of his little brother.

Dani won't let her guard down around Diesel ... not because she doesn't want him but because she thinks he deserves better than she can offer him. He's an awesome guy, so watching him start to slowly build a connection with her that he's been dreaming of is super sweet amid a lot of ugly deeds they are uncovering.

I highly recommend this story to anyone wanting a very suspenseful thriller that has an underlying warmth of a close knit group of family and friends.
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In to the Dark is the 5 book in Karen Rose's Cincinnati series. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, but after reading the first book in her Sacramento series Say You're Sorry this past March I had to pick up this book when I saw it at Netgalley. Thankfully it could be read as a stand alone. There are a few references to events in the other books, but enough information is provided for a new reader to know what is happened.

I loved Say You're Sorry. Sometimes when you discover a new to you author the first book wows you but then the second one doesn't live up to expectations because you've set the bar really high. I will say I had really high expectations going into this book. And I can also say that Rose not only met but exceeded those expectations. Into the Dark is brilliant!

The writing is raw, realistic, and emotional. I had tears streaming down my face before I even hit the 10% mark. The story is very emotionally, but the plot is paced well so there are moments of relief from the suspense and shocking details. Rose does not shy away from the evils of the world. She shows how dark the world is, but also shines the light on the good.

I loved the characters. This book is focused on Dani and Diesel. I gather that the previous books in the series focus on different individuals in their circle of friends. These characters play a supporting role in this novel, but their personality is quite evident and I want to know them more. I want to pick up the other books, not just because they will be great thrillers, but because I want to know these characters more. Even without the dangerous plots, I would still want to pick up this series just for the characters.

Into the Dark has a unique element. There are deaf people as key characters. Dani's brother is deaf so this element is woven into the whole series (at least I would assume Greg shows up in the other books). In this book, one of the children they Dani and Diesel (and the rest of their friends) are trying to protect is also deaf. Rose has experience with the deaf and hard of hearing culture and I felt she portrayed the characters accurately and fully, and they aren't just stereotypical "handicap" characters. I have deaf relatives and Rose brought into the story issues that I have seen them discuss.

I will warn you that reading Into the Dark will give you a book hangover. I'm having trouble picking up my next book because I'm not quite ready to leave this story yet. Thankfully, Rose has a long backlist that I'm sure will be just as satisfying.

This review will be published at Girl Who Reads on Tuesday, Nov. 26 - https://www.girl-who-reads.com/2019/11/into-dark-by-karen-rose-review.html
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This review was originally posted on  Books of My Heart
 
Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
 
4.5 hearts

I really enjoy the Romantic Suspense series. I've read them all. I started the series with the first Cincinnati book, with Faith and Deacon.  It was actually #16 overall. Then I went back and read the previous 15 books. Into the Dark takes us back to Cincinnati, where we see many old friends from the other Cincinnati books.

There is always a mystery, and in each book there is a new couple. Someone is usually in law enforcement. Besides the layers of the mystery and romance, is the character development which is part of the new relationship.  All of this makes for an engrossing, suspenseful read with plenty of action.

Dani is a doctor, sister to Deacon, who had a bad experience in a previous relationship which left her HIV positive.  She doesn't believe she can have a good relationship. Diesel was abused as a child and has an injury from his military service. Both of them lost their parents during their teen years. Diesel works in IT investigations at the Ledger (newspaper).  While neither of them are in law enforcement, many of their friends and family are.

The mystery centers on several murders starting with a stepfather who is abusing his sons. The theme of child abuse and human trafficking is a difficult and heart-breaking aspect here. I do love how hard Dani and Diesel and their amazing peer group works to protect and support those who have been abused and / or are in danger.

The suspense and action kept me on edge.  The children broke my heart.  The compassion of this character group I know and love was incredible.  I shed tears more than once.

Every book is great; I highly recommend them. I would start in order or at least within a city. These are long books; each one is about double a regular book in length.  There are connections between all the books because of the law enforcement aspects or family connections.  I love the circle of friends who support each other, and seeing them briefly in future books to get updates on their lives.

 
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Highly enjoyable, the book kept me up late wanting to finish it. This is the second book that I have read by Karen Rose and it will not be my last. Fast paced and exciting with relatable characters and a gripping plot.

If you are a fan of thrillers with a great does of romance, this is one not to be missed!
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I've never read anything from this author in the past, but I'm likely to check out her future books, as this one quickly pulled me in. It's a fast-paced, emotional story, and there's even a romance angle (that's not overwhelming). The characters are flawed, which makes them realistic and relatable. There were numerous twists and turns to keep me engaged and guessing as to who the killer was.

The book appears to be part of a series, but I had no problem following the story line, so this could be read as a standalone. I loved the fact that there are some characters I don't typically see in novels, especially psychological thrillers (a deaf child and a doctor with HIV). Difficult topics, such as child sexual abuse and human trafficking, are handled in a delicate manner. I look forward to reading future books.
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I’m starting this soon and I’m so so excited to get started... Thanks to Netgalley and publishers for allowing me a copy.
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I love Karen Rose novels. They are always well written with interesting characters, including the antagonists. This lived up to my expectations. I was sucked right in and stayed that way until I finished the book.
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Into the Dark is the twenty-third book in the Romantic Suspense series by Author Karen Rose. This series includes many characters from different professions but all the professions are aimed at helping others and all of the protagonists are about exposing the truth, no matter how ugly. This book features two characters, Diesel Kennedy and Dani Novak, who are both drawn to each other but Dani has been resisting the attraction. She has been successful at keeping Diesel at arm’s length for quite some time but after the events that take place in this book, well, let’s just say that Dani will start singing a different tune.

Diesel is a man who has been living on borrowed time and he knows it. To that end, he has committed to making a difference as long as he is able and coaching a youth league is just one of the many ways he gives back. It was in his capacity as a coach that he made a startling discovery that would bring him and those around him into the lives of two boys who desperately need advocates. There was only one person that Diesel could think of who would be beneficial in the situation he had been placed in and that was Dani. Together they would encounter many horrible truths, wrestle difficult decisions, and learn a few important lessons that would open their eyes and their hearts along the way. 

The opening of Into the Dark was just heartbreaking and learning everything that Michael went through was very upsetting, to say the least. I immediately loved Diesel because of his protective instincts as well as his vulnerability. Everything that was taking place took him to a very dark place but he stayed the course. Dani was an amazing advocate in this story and I liked that she was an HIV positive character who still lived her life to the fullest that she could. What took place between her and Diesel was a slow building romance that was very swoony. I loved, loved, loved, the fast-paced action and mystery that unfurled in Into the Dark because it kept me on the edge of my seat! This is a story and series that I absolutely would highly recommend to those who love to read a good thriller.

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
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Karen Rose knows how to write thrilling suspense and this action packed story, kept me riveted to my seat from start to finish. It has a complex plot that is interwoven with an intriguing cast of characters. It is an intricate fascinating puzzle that is slowly uncovered one piece at a time. This story kept me spellbound, although the subject matter of child abuse can be difficult and there are some gruesome and grisly parts. 


Along with this intense emotional story, their is a beautiful love story taking place between Diesel and Dani. They are both flawed and vulnerable. Even though they are damaged, they are selfless and want to give back and help others. Their pasts have not made them bitter but they are afraid of being hurt. Dani is even more closed off than Diesel and is afraid to start a relationship with him. Diesel never wavers in his feelings for Dani, as he patiently waits for her to put down her guard and trust him. 

There is a tangled and twisted web that Diesel is trying to uncover.  I too, couldn’t figure out who was murdering everyone until the very end. There are many entertaining characters in this story. They are all interconnected and making appearances from past stories in this series. If you like suspense and romance, along with great writing, you don’t want to miss INTO THE DARK.
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Karen Rose is one of my favorite Romantic Suspense authors and I know with every book of hers that I start that I will love it. Into the Dark was no different and right from the beginning this story had me captivated. Dani and Diesel had a relationship and connection that actually surprised me with how personal they got. It was a bit of a change from the usual heavy focus on the suspense that Ms. Rose does but I liked that we got to see so much of these characters all while still getting that mystery aspect.

There was a lot going on in this book and it all came together really well. Dani and Diesel had so much to work out, we had a mystery trying to be unraveled, the killer's thoughts thrown in giving clues that will keep you guessing. And it all worked so well together and added to the intrigue that had me loving this book.

This was actually my first book in the Cincinnati series but I could follow along with all of the side characters without issue and now I can't wait to go back and read their own stories. I do think it would be better to read the series in order so that you get a better understanding of the characters, but it's not necessary.
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Into the Dark by Karen Rose is the 5th book in her Cincinnati romance suspense series.  The last book I had read in this series, I had noted that it was one of the best thrillers of the year.  I have read a few of Rose’s other series, and they were equally as awesome.  I was thrilled to find out that Into the Dark returns to the Cincinnati series, which has some wonderful secondary characters. Once again, Rose gives us a sensational book, which not only keeps us on the edge of our seats with intense and exciting action, but was also an emotional and heartwarming story.  

The book starts off with a bang, as teenager Michael Rowland is being chased by first his step father, trying to run away with his 5-year-old brother, Joshua.  Michael is protecting Joshua from his evil father, and just when he thinks he is safe, he sees his father murdered by another man.  

Michael, who is deaf, will run into his coach Diesel Kennedy (our hero), who will notice that Michael is bleeding and brings him to Doctor Dani Novak, who will treat Michael.  Dani, our heroine, is also deaf in one ear; works with abused children, and is able communicate with the deaf using sign language.  She is also an emergency foster care provider. The police find the father’s body, and early on suspect Michael may have killed his father, since his mother claims he did.  But evidence will prove that Michael is innocent, but his life is in danger, as the murderer will find out that Michael can identify him. 

Both Dani and Diesel will take on the responsibility of taking care and protecting both Michael and Joshua at her place.  The best part of this is all the wonderful secondary characters we have come to know in the previous books (Marcus, Stone, Scarlett, Meredith, Deacon and Adam, just to name a few), who are cops, FBI, doctors, therapists; who all come to their aid and work together to protect the boys, as well as try to find the murder; especially since so many bodies are showing up.  

There are two main parts of this story; a mystery revolving around a murderer, who is a vigilante, killing anyone who was trafficking or abusing children, even if he killed innocent people along the way; and the romance between Diesel and Dani.  Make no mistake this is a very heartbreaking and emotional story, with topics such as child sexual abuse, HIV, human trafficking, etc. We couldn’t help but feel sorry for both Michael, and Joshua, and I loved how Diesel and Dani were with them.  We know that Diesel has always love Dani, but she has held him off due to her lack of confidence (losing a boyfriend to suicide) and mostly due to her HIV status.  It was great to watch as she slowly brought down her wall to open her heart to Diesel, and both boys.

This is just the beginning of an intense & complex murder mystery that will result in more murders. What follows is an amazing story that held me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.  Even though we knew who the murderer was, it was an action-packed thriller, with Diesel, Dani and the rest of this great team in danger so many times. We held our breaths, as their lives would hang by a thread.  In between these many tense moments, I loved how Diesel and Dani opened their hearts to Michael and Joshua, and the close bond between them and their strong, smart and loyal team of close-knit friends and family.

I am in awe of Karen Rose, as her books are so well written with fantastic characters, evil villains, a great couple, and a totally intense mystery that keeps you in suspense to the very end.  If you love suspense, with a touch of romance and a thriller all the way, you should be reading anything by Karen Rose. I know I will.
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What a brave young man. He didn’t know what he was facing but MICHAEL went into the woods and took his younger brother. I enjoyed the surprises and twists in the story. How does he know the good guy from the bad?  MICHAEL had other hindrances that would stop any normal teen. He was truly a hero.
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Into the Dark, which is the fifth installment in Karen Rose's Cincinnati series, is one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. I fell in love with Dr. Dani Novak and computer hacker extraordinaire Diesel Kennedy way back in book one (Closer Than You Think), and I have been on tenterhooks waiting for their story. Ms. Rose has finally delivered it, and it's everything I hoped for and then some.

Before I get into the meat of this review, I want to let potential readers know that it's completely possible to read Into the Dark even if you haven't read the previous books in the series. Both the romance and the mystery are wrapped up at the end of the book, and while the story makes reference to events from previous installments, you can follow this one with no problems. Of course, your understanding of the characters and their relationships with one another will be much fuller and richer if you read the series in order, but if you absolutely cannot wait to dive into this one, you can definitely do that.

Dani Novak is a tough, hard-working doctor who spends her days tending to the sick and injured at one of Cincinnati's only clinics for people on low incomes. She sometimes misses the hustle and bustle of emergency medicine, but she was forced to resign her position at the local hospital when her HIV status was revealed two years before this story begins. Even so, she leads a happy life, even if there's not a special someone for her to share it with.

Elvis (Diesel) Kennedy has had a huge crush on Dani since the moment he laid eyes on her nearly three years earlier. He knows she's attracted to him as well, but she has persistently kept him at arm's length, and he's beginning to lose hope. He knows she's HIV positive, and although this is not a deal-breaker for him, he can't help but wonder if it could be the reason for Dani's refusal to be anything more than his friend.

In his spare time, Diesel volunteers as a soccer coach, serving as a male role model to boys in need. Years ago, Diesel himself suffered unspeakable abuse at the hands of a trusted adult, and he's made it his personal mission to protect as many children as possible, so when Michael Rowland, the older brother of one of the boys on Diesel's soccer team, shows up to pick five-year-old Joshua up from practice with a bleeding head injury, Diesel knows something is dreadfully wrong. He convinces Michael to accompany him to the clinic where Dani works, and once Dani examines the boy, it's obvious he's been abused.

The story takes off from there, but I'll leave the rest for you to figure out on your own. Readers of Ms. Rose's previous books are no doubt familiar with her high-octane brand of romantic suspense, and she definitely does not disappoint with Into the Dark. Dani and Diesel are both extremely kind and caring people with a lot of emotional baggage to sort through before they are able to claim their HEA, and their journey is breathtaking. There's something so special about the way Ms. Rose is able to enter the heads of these complicated characters and bring their struggles and their triumphs to life on the page.

I was particularly pleased with the way the author handles Dani's HIV status and her partial deafness. Readers of the previous books in the series will know that Dani has struggled to come to terms with the fact that she’s HIV positive and the implications it has on all aspects of her life, but she never seems to let it get the best of her, and the same is true of her hearing loss. The author allows readers to get to know Dani as a whole person, not simply as someone with a disability, and this sets her apart from many of today's authors.

Some people complain about the length of Ms. Rose's books, but they always fly by for me, and this one is no exception. At a little over 600 pages, it's a book you might expect to drag on and on, but it never does. Despite its length, the story is fast-paced, making it possible to devour it in just a couple of sittings.

If you tend to steer clear of books containing graphic descriptions of violence, this won't be the book for you. Ms. Rose doesn't shy away from the darker side of humanity, and I know that's not something everyone enjoys. She doesn't describe things in a way that feels over the top, but there are a few scenes that could turn your stomach if you aren't prepared for them.

I loved everything about this book, and I can't wait for Dani and Diesel's story to be released into the world. It's a book with so much heart filled with characters who have begun to feel like friends of mine, and I want everyone to embrace them the way I have.

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Karen Rose never disappoints me and this latest installment in the Cincinnati series had me staying up late to finish it. I have been looking forward to Dani’s story for awhile and it was worth the wait! The plot is fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. Rose is the queen of romantic suspense!
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I did not realize that this book is part of an ongoing series when I picked it up.  For the most part, this was not an issue.  I had to chuckle, however, at the constant references to other kidnappings, gunshot wounds and the like suffered by all the characters in this book.  These people need to wear Kevlar vests and tracking devices at all times!
That said, Rose tackles the tough subject of child sexual assault in a touching and thoughtful manner.  A young boy trying to protect his five year old brother from their stepfather, witnesses the murder of that stepfather.  When the murderer realizes that he could be identified, it takes all the skill of Dani and Diesel, and their posse of law enforcement friends to keep the boys safe.  The action never stops, and the twists and turns keep coming.  Recommended.
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Karen Rose is one of my top 5 authors and I really love her books!!!

The cast of characters in this book are awesome!!!! A couple of new arrivals, a lot of friends turned family, some evil, most good, but all of them will suck you right into their world.

While this can be read as a stand alone and Karen does give you some background into the characters, I recommend you read all the books because they are great.

I never give any details away because what's the point of reading the book if I tell you everything that happens??? I will say there are characters with disabilities, murder, rape, revenge, trafficing, drug addiction, abuse, and everything in between, but that's what makes this book so good.

#NetGalley #KarenRose #IntoTheDark #Plus5Stars #Berkley
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While this can be a stand alone, it appears to fit in to a series. There are a lot of references to characters and their story-lines that having read the earlier stories would be helpful for.

Dani and Diesel have a complicated non-relationship, one that is about to explode thanks to two young boys who need their help. What appears to at first be parental neglect and abuse soon evolves into a much more complex and dangerous situation, one that will take everyone in to unknown territory.

This book has plenty of romance and action, but also touches on much more serious issues like disabilities, abuse, addictions, and HIV.
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Karen Rose is my romantic suspense/thriller queen. I know that every time she writes something new I need to block off the weekend to enjoy the read and the adrenaline and then re-group. INTO THE DARK (Cincinnati series #5) took me there too! So good. So suspenseful. So thrilling. What a ride!
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I had a hard time putting this book down once I started reading.  Sibling love is displayed in its purest form on several fronts in this book.  With a Mother who is an addict and a Step-Father with highly questionable morals any teen would struggle.  Add being hearing impaired and the only caretaker for your young brother to the mix and Michael is faces with situations no one should face.  Thankfully Dr. Dani Novak enters the picture for Michael and Joshua and with her come her family and friends with many law enforcement connections.  

The characters are compelling and Karen Rose has devised an intricate plot that will keep you engaged.
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Finally! A long awaited storyline is finally here!  True love is proven to be worth waiting for.  Karen Rose has written another suspenseful, yet heartwarming story.  The grace used to tell a chilling tale of child abuse, as only she can do, keeps you turning the page to see how she somehow adds kindness and love to a story that has it all.
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