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REVIEW: Die For Me by Karen Rose

Dear Ms. Rose:

Die for MeThis may be a week of talking about under appreciated gems. You consistently put out strong suspense stories with an qually strong romance. I also appreciate the thematic approach to have your books.

Die for Me‘s theme was families–the families that we create and the families we are born with. Regardless of what you feel about your family, their actions can reflect on you.

Vito Ciccotelli, a detective from Philadelphia, comes from a large family. His parents are still alive. His brothers are very close, at least one of them has lived with him at one time or another. Vita has always believed that he would have a family as well. Vito is unafraid of love. To some extent he embraces it and what it would mean for the creation of his own family.

Sophie Johannsen, an archeologist, has a family is one that she created and was, in part, created for her. Her mother figure is her grandmother, a former famous opera singer. Her father figure is her uncle by marriage. Her view of families is understandably quite different than Vito’s and her own experience with love cost her a priceless commodity within the academic field – her reputation.

Sophie comes to Vito’s aid when a series of graves are found in a remote field. Sophie is charged with locating the graves and determining whether they are occupied or empty. The empty graves are of great concern.

The villian’s developmental arc also was family related. Families can be born of a bond of blood, of love and what one member of the family will do for others plays a vital part in the unraveling of the mystery and the creation of the relationship betwee Vito and Sophie. Thus, the mirroring effect strengthens the theme.

I always view keepers by their re-readability fator. It’s not one that I think I can re-read but it’s full of verys:

  • very gruesome
  • very tense
  • very romantic. One scene features Vito doing something swoon worthy

The ending was a bit contrived. The story had little character development which I think is essential for a romance. There were some strong similarities in part of the suspense to one of my favorite mystery books, Monkeewrench by PJ Tracy. I also thought the epilogue was ovrly fecund but they’ve suffered so much, why not. B+

Best regards


This book can be purchased at Amazon as of August 28, 2007, and in ebook format at Fictionwise and Books on Board on September 1, 2007.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Janine
    Aug 29, 2007 @ 16:00:30

    I also thought the epilogue was overly fecund but they've suffered so much, why not.

    LOL, you sound like Jayne! (In the first part of the sentence at least).

  2. Jane
    Aug 29, 2007 @ 16:04:34

    We are anti-baby related epilogues, I guess.

  3. Janine
    Aug 29, 2007 @ 17:29:44

    I’m not that hot on baby endings myself. But it was that Jaynish word “fecund” that had me laughing out loud.

  4. Josie
    Aug 29, 2007 @ 19:37:00

    Jane, don’t spoil the epilogue! ;-)
    I currently have this one on order but I’ve read similar sounding stories where the 180 from the violence and bloodshed to the HEA can almost give you whiplash.
    I’ve always wondered why some of the heroines/heroes don’t have counselling mentioned in their epilogues. God knows if I’d lived through what happens to Karen Rose’s characters I would have a permanent place on a therapists couch!

  5. Angela
    Aug 29, 2007 @ 20:43:29

    I’ve begun to read romsusp and contemporaries more often than in the past, and this one caught my eye in RT. Good to know that it lives up to its hype.

  6. vanessa jaye
    Aug 30, 2007 @ 08:06:52

    Karen Rose is an autobuy for me at this point. I’ve found her writing to be stronger with each release, so I’m glad to hear that this one is another stronger contender.

  7. Ann Bruce
    Aug 30, 2007 @ 08:36:24

    I've read similar sounding stories where the 180 from the violence and bloodshed to the HEA can almost give you whiplash.

    You need something to balance the violence.

    That being said, some publishers are trying to get their writers away from the baby epilogue because so many readers hate them.

  8. Amateur
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 11:44:07

    Die for Me was my first Karen Rose book. I happened to find it at the library while on a dry spell. I was hooked!!! Immediately!! Blood dripping from the page, and a truly screwed up psycho. How can it get any better than that?

    It did. The two sequels, Scream for Me and Kill for Me, especially, were wonderful. I really enjoyed reading about this screwed family, and the town they grew up in.

    The plot, not the characters, drove the story for me. That’s okay by me. Not every story should be written the same, as that would be truly boring.

    And yes, I’ve re-read them all. It’s so hard to find a really good writer, that when I find one, I treasure them.

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