New Release: Beneath Dark Waters by Karen Rose + Excerpt

It's time to head back to the bayous of Louisiana in book two of the New Orleans series by Karen Rose. Prepare yourself for intrigue, grit, and twists and turns in Beneath Dark Waters. I've also got an excerpt to share, which you can find below. Enjoy!

New Release: Beneath Dark Waters by Karen Rose
Beneath Dark Waters (New Orleans #2) by Karen Rose

Deadly secrets lie beneath the murky waters of the Louisiana bayou in this pulse-pounding new romantic suspense novel from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Rose.

There’s no safe place for a child to hide when danger comes from every direction.

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.

But when the high-stakes investigation reveals an explosive network of crime through a revived drug gang, lingering deep-seated corruption in the NOPD, and a group of murderers-for-hire targeting Kaj, Elijah, and Kaj's star client, they’re all left scrambling for safety…


"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.

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New Orleans Series
Quarter to Midnight (#1) - Amazon | My Review
Beneath Dark Waters (#2) - Amazon

Say You're Sorry (#1) - Amazon | My Review
Say No More (#2) Amazon | My Review
Say Goodbye (#3) - Amazon | My Review | Favorite Book of 2021

Cold Blooded Liar (#1) - Amazon | My Review
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