Jul 4 2017 11:00am

6 Can’t-Miss Romantic Suspense Novels

I don’t know about you, but life at my house has been occurring at warp-speed. I feel like last week we were celebrating the holidays, and this week we’re sweltering in near-triple-digit heat. Plus, in the blink of an eye, my son just finished his freshman year in college. Didn’t we just enroll him in kindergarten? Thank God for a healthy TBR pile, a lot of road trips where books get the time they deserve … and great romantic suspense authors who keep you on the edge of your seats!

Fuel for Fire by Julie Ann Walker

Fuel for Fire by Julie Ann Walker

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Walker’s at it again with a new installation of her Black Knights Inc. series about a US clandestine government firm that, well, is destined to save the day. Operative Dagan Zoelner is a badass field operative who does not support the Black Knights’ decision to send analyst Chelsea Duvall into the field to bring down the head of one of the “world’s most nefarious crime syndicates.” She’s smart, good at her job, and capable of anything. She also (unknowingly) holds his heart.

Dagan had spent the last handful of years keeping his heart encased in Kevlar. But Chelsea’s confession blew through the protective armor and pierced deep .

“You’ve always made me the best version of myself.”

Turn Me Loose by Anne Calhoun

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I loved the setup for this story, too. Ian Hawthorn and Riva Henneman were young when their paths crossed—but whereas Riva was a college student selling drugs on the side, Ian was an undercover police officer with an underlying anger at the world. He set her up as a confidential informant and battled with his attraction to her for years, forcing himself to keep his distance. When their paths cross again as adults, they’re both in very different places, and the power has shifted between the two. I love that both characters are flawed and so very human. This was a great story.

How could he understand what it was like to feel powerless, to face someone with an iron grip on your present, your future? When had he ever been truly powerless?

Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle

Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle

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Here’s another story I loved. So often the characters in romantic suspense are larger than life, with swagger and confidence. I totally get it; it’s one of the reasons I continually read the genre. But when flawed characters are written so robustly with layers of compelling … life … it draws me like a lodestone. In the first installment of Ruggle’s new Rocky Mountain K9 Unit, we meet officer Theo Bosco, who is angry at the world and not finding success in connecting with and caring for his late partner’s canine, Viggy; and waitress Jules Jackson, who is jumpy and clearly on the run from something.

“Sometimes you have to trust what you feel in your gut to be right, even if others are telling you it’s wrong.”

Theo is drawn to Jules from the start, seemingly fascinated with her at the diner where he has breakfast every morning. He’s a brooding, emotional mess months after Don’s suicide, and the fact that Viggy continues to grieve and battle anxiety doesn’t help. Theo’s emotional state roars to life constantly, and is off-putting to everyone. Jules and her younger siblings have settled in the little community of Monroe, Colorado with the help of Mr. Espina, a connected man of questionable ethics (and methods). To attract the attention of a moody cop makes her a nervous wreck, but unbeknownst to her, she makes Theo feel again. The development of the characters and their healing is fascinating and so well-written. I cannot wait for the next story in this series!

Delta: Revenge by Cristin Harber

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This is one of my favorite tropes—the best friend and little sister romance. Only, in this second installation of Harber’s Delta series, it’s also set at a foreign embassy. OMG, the combination is like romantic suspense crack to me. There’s a quirky setup, bad guys, exotic locales, kidnapped heroines, sexy heroes. Yep, this one made my heart race.

Sophia had grace, yet there was a rawness about her that added color to his black-and-white world.

Going Dark by Monica McCarty

Going Dark by Monica McCarty

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McCarty’s Lost Platoon series, which launches with Going Dark in September, has an interesting premise, and I’m looking forward seeing how the overarching mystery is resolved. I’ll bet she had a good time veering a totally different direction from her Scottish historicals.

Being a SEAL didn’t mean you weren’t afraid of anything, it meant you knew how to control the fear and could still perform at the highest, most elite level under extreme conditions.

SEAL Team Nine definitely faces extreme conditions in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway, a hundred feet below the surface in a submarine, with limited communication and flying under the radar of the Russians. When the mission goes FUBAR, it’s hard to tell who survives and who’s responsible for the melee. I had a hard time connecting with Dr. Annie Henderson, an academic who followed a man she’s known and dated for two months to Scotland to join the protest against exploratory drilling in the Hebrides. For an educated woman, she lacks ALL self-preservation instincts. But I did like Senior Chief Dean Baylor. His quiet investigation into what befell his team while balancing the messy situation Annie carries in her wake is a reminder of how important it is for our nation to have strong, intelligent soldiers keeping us safe.

Holding Fire by April Hunt

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There’s a cautionary tale at the core of Hunt’s second installment of the Alpha Security series: don’t opt for a one-night stand … that you pick up in a rural Thailand bar. It’s never as unencumbered as you’d think, particularly with the daughter of a US Senator is swept up in an intimidation scheme affecting her father. And when your one-night stand is Tray Hanson, the man hired to guard your back.

This is what happens when you develop a rebellious streak seventeen years past puberty.

H&H Editor Picks:

Fall into Safe Hands with Romantic Suspense

Types of Romantic Suspense to Get Your Heart Racing

July 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List






Dolly Sickles is a Southerner with a lifelong penchant for storytelling. Her Secret Squirrel identity is Dolly Sickles, but she also writes romance as Becky Moore, and this year her first children’s book will be published as Dolly Dozier. She’s an avid reader of all literature, but she takes refuge in the romance genre, where despite the most grandiose, exhilarating, strange, and unlikely plot that’s out there, every story has a happy ending.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
Some intriguing choices here. Thanks for the post, Dolly.
2. Rah
I really enjoy your reviews and suggestions for new books to read. Romance/Suspense is my favorite type of book to read. Keep up the good work.
3. wsl0612
I really enjoyed Ruggle's Run to Ground but I am NOT a fan of that cover, it just seems like his hip is drawn weirdly.
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