Did you know that August is Read-a-Romance month? There’s nothing like a good love story to keep us turning the pages. Our favorite? Those teeming with suspense. Whether we’re following a protagonist avenging a fallen loved one, mending a broken relationship, or those whose actions bring them closer—willingly or not—to their romantic counterparts, we’re all hands on deck for the emotional and, oftentimes, turbulent journey of a good love story. Here are some of our favorite suspense books that have romantic subplots. Though they may not be your typical romantic suspense, trust us…they’re too good to miss.
P. J. Vernon
Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they've made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn't be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it's a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it's the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.
He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies. What follows is a classic runaway-train narrative, full of the exquisite escalations, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and oh-my-god twists.
by Sandra Brown
Thatcher Hutton, a war-weary soldier on the way back to his cowboy life, jumps from a moving freight train to avoid trouble . . . and lands in more than he bargained for. On the day he arrives in Foley, Texas, a local woman goes missing. Thatcher, the only stranger in town, is suspected of her abduction, and worse. Standing between him and exoneration are a corrupt mayor, a crooked sheriff, a notorious cathouse madam, a sly bootlegger, feuding moonshiners . . . and a young widow whose soft features conceal an iron will.
What was supposed to be a fresh start for Laurel Plummer turns to tragedy. Left destitute but determined to dictate her own future, Laurel plunges into the lucrative regional industry, much to the dislike of the good ol’ boys, who have ruled supreme. Her success quickly makes her a target for cutthroat competitors, whose only code of law is reprisal. As violence erupts, Laurel and—now deputy—Thatcher find themselves on opposite sides of a moonshine war, where blood flows as freely as whiskey.
A thriller. A romance. A story of revenge. Orphaned young, Ming Tsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, is raised by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate, who trains him to be his deadly enforcer. But when Ming falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate, and the two elope, he seizes the opportunity to escape to a different life. Soon after, in a violent raid, the tycoon’s henchmen kidnap Ada and conscript Ming into service for the Central Pacific Railroad.
Battered, heartbroken, and yet defiant, Ming partners with a blind clairvoyant known only as the prophet. Together the two set out to rescue his wife and to exact revenge on the men who destroyed Ming.
K. A. Tucker
On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old in Manhattan could want: a one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?
The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
by Jami Alden
Sean Flynn should feel lucky he’s alive. But a betrayal by a close friend-and two years on death row-has left him feeling only numb. When his conviction was overturned, Sean retreated to a quiet woodland cabin, far away from prying eyes. There, he believed, the past couldn’t come back to haunt him . . . until she showed up.
Overcome with guilt, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Krista Slater can’t forgive herself for convicting an innocent man. But when another brutal murder reveals chilling, new facts about his case, she must turn to Sean for help. She’s ready to face his anger, but the desire in his eyes ignites a need she’s never felt before. Shadowed by danger, Sean and Krista uncover a twisted maze of deception and betrayal-all under the dangerous gaze of a cunning mastermind who will do whatever it takes to keep his evil secrets safe.
Villanelle (a codename, of course) is one of the world’s most skilled assassins. A catlike psychopath whose love for the creature comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to her love of the game, she specializes in murdering the world’s richest and most powerful. But when she murders an influential Russian politician, she draws a relentless foe to her tail.
Eve Polastri (not a codename) is a former MI6 operative hired by the national security services for a singular task: to find and capture or kill the assassin responsible, and those who have aided her. Eve, whose quiet and otherwise unextraordinary life belies her quick wit and keen intellect, accepts the mission.
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