REVIEW: You Belong to Me by Karen Rose

You Belong to Me by Karen RoseTitle: You Belong to Me (Amazon)
Karen Rose

Format: paperback, 504 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: review copy from Fiction Vixen
Published: June 7, 2011 by Signet

Years ago, a young girl was beaten and raped while onlookers did nothing. Now those witnesses are becoming victims themselves…

Baltimore city Homicide Detective JD Fitzpatrick has seen a lot of horrific violence, both as a cop and during his deployment in Afghanistan, but nothing like the trail of tortured bodies that are turning up throughout the city. He’s up against a brutal killer with a very personal vendetta. And now JD is beginning to suspect that his medical examiner may be shielding some crucial evidence linked to the case.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Lucy Trask is intrigued by JD’s compassion, but she isn’t about to mix work with pleasure. Not while there’s a ruthless killer on the loose. And definitely not while she’s keeping a dark secret that could connect her to these vicious killings—and put her next on the killer’s hit list…

Why I Read this Book: I love me a good romantic suspense novel. I just can’t seem to get enough of this sub-genre and I’m always on the look out for new-to-me authors.

What I Liked: You Belong to Me reminded me of the TV series Body of Proof, which I love for its mystery and suspense, the forensics and the complex cases. You Belong to Me delivered that and more. One thing this book has that the TV show lacks is a developing romance. With books, I love forensics, mystery and suspense but I need some romance to hold me through.

There’s an attraction between Lucy and J.D. right from the beginning. Seeing that the main story takes place in only 4 days, you would think that their relationship progress too quickly but it didn’t feel that way. So much happens in those 4 days (between Lucy and J.D. as well as in regards to the case) that it feels like an adequate amount of time. Sure, the circumstances surrounding their relationship weren’t ideal but it was believable.

The characters in You Belong to Me were complex, from the main characters to even some of the secondary characters. The author gave them so much depth. Both Lucy and J.D. come from troubled pasts and neither of them like to talk about it. Lucy leads a double-life and does a great job at keeping each separate from the other. When J.D. questions Lucy, whether it be case-related or a personal inquiry, the answers Lucy provides are elusive and half-truths. She doesn’t like talking about her life, past or present, period. J.D. is no simple character either. He, too, has a broken past and has suffered loss and grief.

Not only were the characters complex but the case was as well. There is an interesting connection between Lucy and the first murder victim she finds. This turns Lucy herself into a suspect at first. That doesn’t last long when the murderer starts leaving ‘presents’ for Lucy. As the story progresses and more bodies turn up, there seems to be a personal connection between Lucy and the case but what that connection is remains to be seen until the further along you read.

I’m glad the author didn’t cut it short with the ending. Lucy suffers immensely, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. And it’s not I wanted Lucy to suffer; if the ending had gone any other way, it wouldn’t have felt justified.

The attention to detail in You Belong to Me is mind-blowing. The author is meticulous about the details and information she gives the reader and when she gives them. Every component in the story serves its purpose, whether it be right when it’s mentioned or sometime later on in the story. Every element and aspect has some sort of significance to the story. Nothing goes to waste. And yet at the end, everything comes together and falls into place like a well-organized and constructed jigsaw puzzle.

The author included the date and time at the beginning of each scene. This made the case timeline easy to follow.

You Belong to Me is not part of a series per se; there is a sequel coming out next year. That said, there are some characters that I’d like to read more about; one character being Gwyn, Lucy’s BFF. That poor woman went through hell and has some issues to work out. I’d like to see her get a HEA. Another character I’d like to read more of is Stevie, J.D.’s partner. She, too, has suffered from loss and grief and I’d also like to see a HEA for her as well. Speaking of Stevie, I love how sharp she is. Nothing gets past her.

Stevie: “That the PI and his assistant are lying and I don’t know why. They’d set it up to look like they were having an affair. She was in his shirt, all rumpled and sleepy-looking.”

J.D.: “But?”

Stevie: “But he didn’t look at her the way a man looks at a woman he’s just had sex with.”

J.D.: “Which is how?”

Stevie: “Like you looked at Lucy last night and most of today.”

What I Didn’t Like: You Belong to Me was a bit of a grim, dark read in a way similar to Naked in Death. The murder victims in You Belong to Me weren’t killed quickly; they were tortured and brutally murdered. Most victims were left with little to go off on for proper identification. I personally didn’t find it bothersome but for those with a weak stomach, you may wish to read this book with caution.

It took me a bit to get “in the zone” at first. There’s an added story arc taking place that gets introduced on page 31. I didn’t see the correlation between the new story arc and the main storyline involving Lucy at first and that kind of confused me a bit. I knew the new story arc was there for a reason so I filed it away for the time being. I wasn’t sure if or how these new set of characters tied into the main story arc but everything came together later on. There’s a lot of characters in You Belong to Me.

Overall Impression: You Belong to Me was a masterpiece of intricate details and complex characters. It was an intense, heart-pounding romantic suspense novel. I was emotionally invested with these characters and the case. This is one book you won’t want to rush though; it took me 4 days to read. There is quite a bit going on and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything. As I got further along in the book, the intensity only increased. The ending got my pulse racing. You Belong to Me was the first book I read by this author and I just found me a new author. I am excited for the upcoming sequel No One Left to Tell.


The Book Vixen’s Rating:
4 1/2 Frogs

*This review was originally posted on Fiction Vixen Book Reviews as a guest review.

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. oooh, great review! I have debated getting this one because I have heard that it was great, but was worried that it was going to be too dark. I think that you may have just put me over the top...adding it to my list! Thanks! smiles...

  2. I keep saying I want to read more rom suspense, but, but when it comes to doing it, lol, yes I work very slowly.

  3. @Blodeuedd

    I love romantic suspense! I can't get enough of the genre :)

  4. I've never read a romantic suspense. This sounds like something I might enjoy though so I'll add it to my list! Thanks for the review and I love the quote!!

  5. I am a devoted Karen Rose fangirl - I LOVE everything she does. You have got to read her first ten books - they're all loosely connected (sorta best read in order just to get the full character arcs, but no real harm done if you don't).

    Her first book, Don't Tell, remains one of my all time favorite reads.

  6. @Allison

    I'm definitely checking out Karen Rose's backlist!

  7. Thanks for the lovely guest review. It was a pleasure to have you Fiction Vixen as always. :)

    I've heard good things about this author. I'm going to try to read more RS.


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