Aug 7 2013 3:30pm

The Balancing Act of Romantic Suspense: Kennedy, Robb, Gerard and More!

Midnight Games by Elle KennedyRomantic Suspense is a tough sub-genre to write. Instead of just having one subject to deal with, the author has to balance both romance and suspense. Usually, one of those elements is overwhelmed by the other. It is hard to decipher which is more important and what should carry the book, but if done well, both devices should complement the other.

I have a couple of go-to authors for Romantic Suspense; most are older series and one is a fairly new one. But with each book each author releases, they do not disappoint with either the sexy times or the suspenseful times.

Elle Kennedy has a fairly new series called Killer Instincts. Book three, Midnight Games, is has just been released. Midnight Games is the book where Ms. Kennedy’s new series really amped up the stakes.

A master of disguise, Isabel Roma spends her life pretending to be other women. Normally, her emotions are reined in tight—but sexy mercenary Trevor Callaghan has a knack for getting under her skin. The elite operative’s quiet strength and raw magnetism affect her in ways she’s never felt before, a distraction that can quickly turn deadly in their dangerous line of work.

After putting his tragic past behind him, Trevor is ready to focus on his future—and he damn well intends for Isabel to be in it. When their entire operation is thrown into chaos, Trevor enlists Isabel’s talent for deception. And as they attempt to save their team in a world where the stakes are high and the danger is grave, Trevor must convince Isabel that the woman beneath all the disguises is the one worth having...

The Killer Instincts series follows a group of super hunky mercenaries that keep falling for equally badass women. Each book features a new couple but also follows the larger group as they all go on missions. These missions are not for the faint of heart either. People die, hearts are broken, and there is much blood shed. Ms. Kennedy pulls no punches when it comes to some of these characters.

And yet with all of the bullets flying and deadly goings on, these books have wonderful, solid love stories. Midnight Games features a woman who is a master of disguise because she cannot handle being herself, and a man who lost his fiancée and gave up on life. Individually Trevor and Isabel are broken and scarred but together they make an exceptional couple. The same thing could be said for each previous couple and the ones to come.

Killing Time by Cindy GerardCindy Gerard writes several Romantic Suspense series, none of which disappoint. The Bodyguard seriesfollows the Garrett family and their security firm, E.D.E.N. Inc. Not only does this series have romance and suspense but it also has the fun of dealing with family relationships.

Gerard's Black Ops Inc. series is described as sexy heroes working in a covert security team, and yes, the heroes are sexy and the action is non-stop.

The One-Eyed Jacks series is loosely tied to the Black Ops Inc. series; some of the characters from the BOI’s novels make an appearance in the first One-Eyed Jacks book, Killing Time. The new series easily stands on its own but having characters from another beloved series show up to help only makes these newer books even better.

J.D. Robb’s In Death series is at a daunting 37 books with plenty more to come. I know it seems insane to even contemplate starting a series with so many books, but once I began, I couldn’t stop. This series features one of the all-time best heroes Roarke and his true match, Eve Dallas. Each new book has a clever plot, a dastardly bad guy and more insight into our main couple. Paired with some amazing secondary characters, Eve and Roarke never let the reader down when it comes to the romance and the excitement.

Cherry Adair, Shannon McKenna, and Pamela Clare can all be added to my list of good Romantic Suspense authors. What about you? Do you have any go-to authors in this area?


Jen loves a broody, alpha book boyfriend and the St. Louis Cardinals, not necessarily in that order. You can find her at Fiction Vixen and @FVJen_Cardsgirl

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Sandra Ghorbani
1. Sandra Ghorbani
Elizabeth Lowell and Linda Howard balance romance and suspense very well (especially in their older books).

For suspense driven novels: Tami Hoag. For romance driven novels: Tessa Bailey.
2. Kareni
I think that Maya Banks' KGI series fits the bill.
4. Endres2
I would add Lora Leigh's Tempting SEALs and Elite Ops books as well as Christine Feehans Ghostwalkers.
K Giardina
5. bluedragon30
I would also add Roxanne St. Claire. Her Bullet Catchers and The Guardian Angelinos are excellent series, with the added mix of family included with The Guardian Angelinos.
Sandra Ghorbani
6. kim333
Kendra Elliott. Buried is her 3rd book but I think it's the best.
Sandra Ghorbani
7. bergerta
Thanks for the tip on Elle Kennedy's series, I just bought hte first one and can't wait to start it.
Sandra Ghorbani
8. APoohW
You also need to add Susan Brockman "Trouble Shooters Inc."
Sandra Ghorbani
9. kreads4fun
Linda Howard and Elizabeth Lowell are the gold standard here, and naturally Nora Roberts (both the In Death as well as her mainstream hardback release each year). But Laura Griffin's Tracers series is a decent modern day incarnation of the romantic suspense genre.
Sandra Ghorbani
10. Laurie G.
My "go to" authors are definitely Laura Griffin and her Tracers series, Roxanne St. Claire's Bullet Catchers and Guardian Angelinos, Cindy Gerard, Pamela Clare, Maya Banks and Shannon McKenna. Also can't forget the master storyteller, Sandra Brown.
Sandra Ghorbani
11. Jennifer Lane
Pamela Clare is the best! I also love Cindy Gerard's Black Ops series and Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard. I need to read Elle Kennedy and J.D. Robb--thanks for the recommendations.
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