One of the most popular genres today is romantic suspense. “What is ‘romantic suspense’?” you may be wondering. While it sounds like that time in a book when you’re reading along and waiting and waiting for those two characters who are perfect for one another to finally kiss, it’s actually when a romance novel also has a mystery or thriller plot. So it’s like lots of suspense mixed in the kissing parts. (I say ‘kissing parts’ to be funny, but some of these are HOT.)
Solving mysteries, getting smooched—what great fun! Many of you are probably reading this because you love romantic suspense novels and are looking for more suggestions. Or maybe you’re looking to get started in the genre! You’re probably familiar with some of the big names in romantic suspense—like Nora Roberts, Iris Johansen, Sandra Brown, or Brenda Novak—but you don’t know what books to read. Either way, below is a list of great romantic suspense novels sure to please any reader. They combine the best elements of romance with the thrill of danger to make for a satisfying read.
Iris Johansen is the queen of romantic suspense novels. She's been writing them for almost three decades, so she's had a lot of practice. Smokescreen is the 26th entry in her series about forensic sculptor Eve Duncan. In this adventure, journalist Jill Cassidy asks Eve for her help. The families in a small African village need help to identify the bodies of their loved ones after a horrific attack by guerilla soldiers. But shortly after her arrival in the remote jungle, Eve begins to suspect Jill’s story and can trust no one to help her make it back home.
FBI agent Drex Easton has been searching relentlessly for suspected conman and murdered Weston Graham. Easton believes Graham successfully married eight wealthy women before disappearing with their money–and the women are never seen again. When Easton thinks he has finally located Graham pretending to be a man named Jasper Ford, he moves into the neighborhood to keep an eye on Jasper and his lovely wife, Talia. But things get complicated when Easton begins to fall for her.
Zoey Wright is looking forward to her new job as a CSI agent. But her hunt for a serial killer gets complicated when her childhood crush, Knox Steele, gets involved in the case. When the former Army Ranger stumbles onto a crime scene, he never expected it to lead him to his best friend's little sister And while the new chemistry between Zoey and Knox is undeniable, they have a killer to catch–before Zoey is his next victim.
For many years, Annie Lakes has had the same nightmare, involving screaming, and a voice begging her to run. She’s beginning to suspect it isn’t just a dream. Years ago, Annie’s cousin disappeared, and now Annie thinks her family was involved. So she enlists the help of handsome detective Mark Sutton. Mark thinks Annie’s hunch is correct, but can he keep from falling in love with a woman he has to protect from a killer?
Sheriff Case Lawton must uphold the law, but the last thing he wants to do is help Aspen Barlow, the lawyer who cost him custody of his son. But someone has broken into Aspen's office, and she's scared for her life. In order to catch a dangerous criminal, they'll have to trust each other, and face the truth about what happened years ago.
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Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.