Title: Say You’re Sorry
Author: Karen Rose
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: The Sacramento Series book 1
Date of Publication: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
When a serial killer targets Daisy Dawson, he doesn’t expect her to fight back. But she does, and she manages to grab the locket he wears around his neck during the struggle. This locket connects to a cult that Agent Gideon Reynolds of the FBI escaped when he was only 13 years old. He is driven to find that cult and expose them, saving the women and children from their psychotic leader’s tyranny. This serial killer is Gideon’s one tangible connection to the cult. He’s assigned to Daisy to protect her from the killer and hopefully draw him out. Daisy and Gideon have undeniable chemistry, and Gideon quickly realizes that Daisy isn’t as helpless as he thought she was…
First off, I want to say that Karen Rose is an excellent writer. Everything she writes is wrought with tension, and she creates such dynamic and realistic characters that it’s hard not to grow attached to every single one of them, even minor characters. This is the primary reason why I gave Say You’re Sorry a 4 star rating, even though I had several issues with the plot, pacing, and characters.
Say You’re Sorry is gripping from the very first lines of the prologue. The concept of the story itself is thrilling. A psycho who kidnaps women and tortures them until they say they’re “sorry”? This is what nightmares are made of! Even the backstory of the cult that Gideon escaped as a pre-teen is intriguing and propels the plot forward.
That said, the plot lags from time to time. The characters spend a lot of time talking. This would be fine if it weren’t highly repetitive talking. We’re introduced to the characters Gideon and Daisy and right off the bat we know a little bit about their traumatic backstories. We’re given that information (in significant detail), but we also have to be given that information again as they reveal it to each other. Daisy and Gideon have a lot of issues with their family members, and they talk about these issues ad nauseam. These discussions end up repeating the details of their traumatic pasts, whether it’s in the dialogue or what the characters are thinking. Even at the end, when Gideon tells his family the truth about his childhood trauma, instead of including this as a quick narrative paragraph, the author feels the need to retell it all over the span of several pages. This is all information that the reader has been exposed to multiple times over the course of the 544-page book. I’m more familiar with Gideon’s backstory better than my own, and I actually lived it.
The POV scenes for the serial killer were a thrilling way to push the plot forward and give us insight into his motives. I almost felt bad for him (almost), which says something about Rose’s writing style. That said, towards the end, his scenes were a tad too frequent. We knew exactly where the serial killer was at any given time, which removed any element of surprise when he attacked.
I already touched upon this a little under the plot section, but I do want to point out that the characters are a little far fetched. Gideon and Daisy have been through serious traumas in their life. This part isn’t unrealistic. But it’s what they went through that requires a suspension of disbelief. I think it would have been fine if one of them had a bizarre backstory, and the other had a more generic childhood trauma. But no, both of them have really detailed and hard-to-swallow backstories that get more convoluted as the novel progresses. I love a cheesy romantic suspense, but it did make me roll my eyes a few times.
I’m also not a huge fan of the “love at first sight” plot device, unless the characters can’t be together, or there are some major obstacles tearing them apart. Aside from the serial killer on the loose, there isn’t much keeping Daisy and Gideon from being together. In fact, the serial killer targetting Daisy actually keeps them together, because Gideon doesn’t want to let her out of his sight. Daisy and Gideon essentially fall in love when they first lay eyes on each other, and despite being extremely damaged emotionally, they don’t have much trouble opening up to each other. This made for a fairly linear romantic plotline in a story which had quite a few twists and turns in the mystery plotline.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a lengthy romantic suspense, who doesn’t mind repetition, and loves POV scenes from a psychotic serial killer.
*Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the arc for review!*
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