Seven of the Best Romantic Suspense Novels
I’ve always been a huge fan of romantic suspense, especially when there’s a mystery involved. I love a good whodunit that has you flying through the pages, eyes wide and second-guessing every character that has been introduced to you. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with just romance or just suspense, but romance and suspense combined is pretty much the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of the book world: two amazing things coming together to form a delicious and addictive read. And like with most peanut butter cups, you can’t have just one, right? Under the romantic suspense sub-genre, you can find anything from fleeing gun-toting bad guys to psychological thrillers that stay with you long after you close the book. You can even find paranormal hidden in the sub-genre. Romantic suspense can often be both genre-bending and -breaking, and here are seven of my favorite romantic suspense novels.
Melinda Leigh—Midnight Exposure
Leigh is one of those authors who can seamlessly blend romance and suspense. You’re never left wondering how in the world the two main characters are finding time for a little one-on-one activity while their entire world is burning down around them. Midnight Exposure takes a sleepy town, huge snowstorm, and missing hikers, and pairs two unforgettable characters together.
Linda Howard—Shades of Twilight
Holy smokes! The drama, the mystery, the angst, and the I-cannot-believe-what-I-just read? Yeah, there are marrying cousins and all, but trust me, you cannot stop reading. Shades of Twilight was the first novel of Linda’s that I read and then I immediately binged on all her books. She’s a timeless author whose success in the genre is not only awe-inspiring but also inspirational.
Laura Kaye—Hard As It Gets
I absolutely love Laura’s characters and Becca and Nick are one of my favorite couples out there. This isn’t just a steamy romance, but you’re dying to know what happened to Becca’s brother and how it involves Nick’s old Special Forces team. Hard As It Gets kicks off one of my favorite series, featuring members of the Special Forces team and even Nick’s brother.
Tiffany Snow—No Turning Back
Okay, this is series is just super fun. Come on, the main character’s name is Kathleen Turner. She’s basically the Sookie Stackhouse of the suspense world, always falling into trouble… and into love. I like a girl in danger who ends up keeping herself safe, and over the course of the series, Kathleen goes from the damsel in distress to the damsel who is going to kick some butt. Plus, there’s not one but two swoon-worthy love interests. Time for a re-read!
Laura Griffin—At Close Range
No one writes romantic suspense quite like Laura Griffin. Her books are pulse-pounding, gritty, and keep you on the edge of your seat. I particularly love the romantic line in this book. Detective Daniele Harper has been crushing on Scott Black, a ballistics expert and former Navy Seal, an attraction that is distracting in the worst and best possible ways. And in a killer who now has Daniele as a target, you have one heck of a ride on your hands.
Kimberly Derting—The Body Finder Series
Oh my word, this is not only one of my favorite young adult series out there, but also one of my favorite suspense novels with a hint of paranormal. Think Ghost Whisperer meets Nancy Drew and you have The Body Finder. And the love interest Jay? Deep sigh. One of the best book boyfriends out there, Jay’s the kind of guy you wish you knew in high school. Violet has an unique ability to sense dead bodies, which can help her find a killer and can also put her in a whole world of danger.
Cristin Harber—Winter’s Heat
Cristin is a new-to-me author, but all that means is that I’m really late to the game here. She is masterful at spinning suspenseful tales and out-of-this-world romances. Winter’s Heat is an action-packed, super-hot romance with astonishing character development that turns lust into believable love, even with tear gas bombs going off and bullets flying.