Jan 30 2014 11:30am

Keeping You in...: Top 10 Romantic Suspense Novels You Should Read

Black Ice by Anne StuartRomantic Suspense is a tricky genre, requiring a perfect balance between its two main elements. If the plot is too heavy on the suspense, romance readers are bound to be disappointed because we love our romance. On the flip side, we pick up a suspense novel expecting something exciting and nail biting. So which novels give us both?

I have listed 10 books where the authors did a perfect job of mixing the love interest, good times and heart pounding action. What do you think? Did I miss anything obvious?

10. Black Ice by Anne Stuart

Why? Anne Stuart writes the best anti-hero around. When you combine that with the mystery and intrigue you have a perfect mix of romance and suspense. Black Ice will have you wondering about the HEA and the 'how will they fix this’ question up to the final page.

9. After the Night by Linda Howard

Why? Linda Howard is one of the best Romantic Suspense authors around and After the Night is one of her best. Faith Devlin’s mom is the local tramp, and when she runs away with Gray Rouillard’s father the town is up in arms. Things aren’t really what they seem, so when Faith returns 12 years later to confront the past, the passion between Gray and Faith explodes onto the pages. Their first time is one of the hottest scenes in memory.

Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux8. Cut & Run by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

Why? Cut & Run is the first book in Roux's very popular m/m series. It follows several months of Ty Grady and Zane Garrett’s lives as they work to track down a serial killer. Ultimately, the bad guy isn’t one the reader expects and our heroes fight to save each other and any future victims.

7. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

Why? At almost 40 books, this is a very popular series but the first book remains one of the best. Readers are introduces to the very clinical and focused Eve Duncan and the man who owns half the world, Roarke. The mystery is unsolved to the end and has ramifications that ripple throughout the series —plus we have one of romance’s epic couples meeting for the first time.

Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare6. Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare

Why? Pamela Clare pens knowledgeable and thought provoking suspense novels. Her I-team series is one of the best around, and Hard Evidence features Julian Darcangelo, which and was enough to make this one a favorite.

5. Lethal by Sandra Brown

Why? Another big player in the Romantic Suspense world is Sandra Brown. Lethal is heavy on the suspense, but it also features a lovely, slow developing romance. The hero is an accused murderer and needs the heroine to help prove his innocence.

4. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann

Why? Book six in the Troubleshooters series, and we finally had Alyssa and Sam’s story. Every previous book in the series seemed to lead the reader to this one. The wait was worth the culmination of this romance and the murder and mayhem that always followed them.

The Witness by Nora Roberts3. The Witness by Nora Roberts

Why? Because it is Nora Roberts.

And because it has a very interesting, security conscious hero who attracts the attention of the local police chief.

2. Off the Edge by Carolyn Crane

Why? Off the Edge has a linguist hero, not your typical Romantic Suspense kickass hero. He uses words and language to find the bad guys.

He also uses the heroine for the task and then later feels the need to make up for it, in very yummy ways.

Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard1. Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard

Why? “Mean” Joe Green leaves his love, Stephanie, in order to solve the mystery and she wastes no time in following him. Another romance that has been simmering for many book, this couple closes out the Black Ops series and gives us the answer to questions we have had for a long time.


+Check out more reading recommendation lists:

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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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1. pamelia
Great list. Gives me a great "shopping" list for when I want romantic suspense. I've been meaning to read the Cut and Run books and have only recently started diving into the "In Death" books.
Some of my favorites not on your list include:
"Dangerous Passions" and "Midnight Man" (well the whole "Midnight" series really) by Lisa Marie Rice.
"A Righteous Kill" which I just read by Kerrigan Byrne was also really good.
"Bad to the Bone" by Debra Dixon is really good too.
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
My issue with romantic suspense is the necessary balance between the two--and when it's done well, it's incredible. I haven't read a ton of RS, but I do love (as is well-documented here...) Anne Stuart's Black Ice.
3. Kareni
I've actually read eight of your ten recommendations and have added two to my list of future reads.

I second Lisa Marie Rice and will add Laura Griffin to the list of other good authors.
4. Mo
Awwwww, no Gennita Low on that list? Though all of her books are interconnected, Facing Fear is still one of my personal favorites and a frequent re-read. Her Tempting Trouble is up for (doggone it! I can't remember now which one but) an award. Her Virtually series (one book to go) features one of the hottest spies (but really so much more) I have ever come across and yes, he rivals anyone in Anne Stuart's Ice series which is also one of my favs in the genre.
Jennifer Myers
5. jennyb845
@Mo I definitely enjoy Genita Low but I have been waiting for that thrid Virtually book for about 3ish years now? And I have not been waiting patiently!
6. Mo

Yeah, the waiting can be hard. Though, I have had to wait more than 3 years for some books to come out.
7. carmenlire
After the night was the second romance novel I read and I remember being so into the story, not only the first time but the several times when I reread it. The book is great, and I didn't expect the ending.
The Witness os a good NR book. Nora Roberts writes such good suspense books!
I've only just started Naked inDeath but it's intriguing so far!
Karen Rose is a great author to read if you like suspense.
Alexandra W
8. parasolprotectorate
*Eve Dallas :)

Love the In Death series and The Witness was very good. Gone too far is my favourite Troubleshooters book because Alyssa and Sam finally got together! Haven't read After the Night, but Linda Howard has written some really good romantic suspenses. All in all, I prefer her older books.
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