Beneath Dark Waters by Karen Rose @KarenRoseBooks ‏ @BerkleyRomance @BerkleyPub #Excerpt

Posted August 15, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 18 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

Beneath Dark Waters by Karen Rose @KarenRoseBooks ‏ @BerkleyRomance  @BerkleyPub  #ExcerptBeneath Dark Waters by Karen Rose
Series: Romantic Suspense #28, New Orleans #2
Published by Berkley on August 15, 2023
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 592
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Public prosecutor J.P. "Kaj" Cardozo has only lived in New Orleans for six months, and he's already working on a high-profile celebrity sexual assault case that's made headlines all over the country. But when his son becomes the target of a kidnapping attempt as a threat to Kaj, he is desperate to keep him safe and turns to a private investigative firm famous for their protection services.

A veteran Marine, Val Sorensen is glad to have found a new career with Broussard Investigations. Her latest assignment as the bodyguard to ten-year-old Elijah Cardozo reminds her why--Val is a kick ass guardian with a tender heart. Through her duties, Val grows fond of the boy--and his handsome father.

This author never fails to bring suspense and emotion with well developed characters.  Beneath Dark Waters is set in New Orleans; it is the second book set there and #28 in the Romantic Suspense series.    This is my favorite romance genre by far because their is a mystery and action along with the romance.

In New Orleans, instead of being centered around law enforcement, the stories seem to be characters who work for Broussard’s private investigators. Broussard is an ex-cop in New Orleans and has friends on the force who also figure in the events.

The new ADA in town is here partly to start cleaning up the corrupt players on the force which is one of the reasons Broussard left the police.  The stakes feel as high as they can get when there is an attempted kidnapping of the ADA’s son, Elijah.  The emotional angst of that possibility and the situation of other minors kept me in suspense.  Not only is there a lot of action, but also many details as the criminals try to accomplish their goals. They want to force the ADA to let them get on with their criminal activities.

The romance develops between Broussard’s agent, Val and the ADA, Kaj.  They bond over Elijah and protecting his safety, as well as desire to capture the criminals.  We do see some characters from the previous book in New Orleans.

I highly recommend and enjoy these stories.  I don’t think you have to read them all in order, although they are well worth the effort, even though they are often twice the size of a regular book.  I would at least read a city in order.  There are connections throughout the series beyond each city which are fun for those like me who have read every one.



“Morning, Val,” Burke rumbled in that deep Cajun drawl of his. “You have a new client. Bring a cupcake for him.”

Okaaaay. Holding the two cupcakes, Val walked to Burke’s office door, hearing the whir of Joy’s motorized wheelchair as the older woman followed her, unabashedly curious. A shiver of trepidation raced down Val’s spine.

A moment later, she knew why. Assistant District Attorney Jean-Pierre Cardozo was coming to his feet, having been seated in one of the chairs in front of Burke’s desk. She’d first met him at a party back in the summer. Burke and his staff had been celebrating with some clients after closing an all-hands-on-deck case when Cardozo had arrived, dressed in an expensive black suit that made him look like a Fortune 500 CEO.

He’d been charming as hell and impossible to ignore, despite her best efforts-that day and later. Unable to resist, she’d found herself googling him later that evening, learning surprisingly little personal information. Other than a few of the cases he’d tried up in the New York City courts, the man had no real internet presence, which took a lot of talent. Burke’s IT guy, Antoine, would surely have been able to dig up a lot more, but she’d been unwilling to ask. Unwilling to voice aloud that the man had fascinated her.

She knew only that he’d recently moved from New York and that his first name was spelled K-a-j, but pronounced Kai, rhyming with pie. And she only knew those tidbits because she’d overheard Burke telling someone else in the firm.

After that day, she’d seen Cardozo twice. Once a couple weeks ago at another party at a friend’s restaurant, Le Petit Choux. He hadn’t stayed long, and she’d managed to avoid him. Their most recent crossing of paths had been in a courtroom the week before, a plea hearing for one of the criminals whose crimes Burke’s group had exposed. No words had been exchanged between them either time, but Val had noticed the man’s every movement.

He moved so very nicely. And he was a good guy, prosecuting bad guys, but that smile he’d worn . . . He could get her to trust that smile. Which meant he was dangerous.

He didn’t look anything like that now. He was as handsome as before, his dark brown hair neatly combed, his face freshly shaven. His khakis were unwrinkled, the sleeves of his casual button-up shirt rolled up, exposing tanned forearms. He even wore a tie printed with whimsical dinosaurs. But his expression appeared haggard, as if he hadn’t slept at all.

And his dark eyes were full of fear.

Val glanced to the corner of the room, revealing the source of his fear. A boy of about nine or ten sat at Burke’s little meeting table. His hair was white-blond, unlike Cardozo’s. But their faces were too much alike for them not to be related. Father and son, she thought.

She hadn’t realized that Cardozo had a child, and she didn’t want to think about why that disappointed her. It didn’t matter that the child had a mother, that Cardozo had a significant other. It didn’t matter because she was not interested in ADA Cardozo, first name Kaj that rhymed with pie.

The child, however, had captured her attention. He clutched a tablet in his hands, staring down at it with a vacant look that Val recognized all too well.

She’d seen it in the mirror plenty of times.

He’d been traumatized. He didn’t look up, so Val turned back to his father.

“Hey,” Val said quietly, because the mood in the room was brittle. “It’s good to see you again, ADA Cardozo.”

The man’s throat worked as he swallowed. “Likewise. This is my son, Elijah. Elijah, this is Miss Sorensen.”

My new client? Val wondered. She looked at Burke, who inclined his head toward the boy, gesturing her to engage.

“Hi, Elijah,” she said, approaching the table. “I’m Val.”

The boy didn’t look up until Val put the cupcake in front of him. “Hi,” he whispered.

It was one tiny word, but said with a determination that won her respect. She pointed at the cupcake. “That’s yours.”

“And that one, too?” Elijah asked, pointing at the cupcake still in her hand.

“Pfft. No,” she said, using her best duh tone. “This one is mine. You’re a greedy one, aren’t you?” She smiled so that he would know she was teasing.

The boy’s lips quirked up before returning to a grim line. “Was worth a try.”

“It’s always worth a try when cupcakes are on the line. Are you my new client?”

Elijah pushed Harry Potter-style glasses up on his nose. “I guess so.”

“May I sit down?” She waited until Elijah nodded before taking the seat beside him. From this vantage point she could see the boy’s face as well as that of his father.

Cardozo lowered himself back into his chair in front of Burke’s desk, his face still frozen in a rictus of fear.

Whatever had happened, it had been bad.

Excerpted from Beneath Dark Waters by Karen Rose Copyright © 2023 by Karen Rose. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved.


About Karen Rose

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn’t concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.”

Her debut suspense novel, DON’T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Her novels, I’M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into twenty-four languages.

A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, her two daughters, two dogs, and a cat.

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Posted August 15, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 18 Comments

18 responses to “Beneath Dark Waters by Karen Rose