Oct 11 2017 2:00pm

5 Romantic Suspense Novels That Will Get Your Blood Pumping This Fall!

The heat wasn't just outside this summer and fall, but on the pages, too! Once the weather begins to change I’m always ready for autumn. There was a great crop of romantic suspense books over the last three months, and here's what you definitely don't want to miss!

The Hunting Grounds by Katee Robert

The Hunting Grounds by Katee Robert

(Amazon | B&N)

I think this might be one of my favorite books ever. We’re big hikers in my family, so anytime I can be outside in nature—or read a great outdoor adventure—I’m hooked. I’m also a fan of leveling the playing field, so I thoroughly enjoyed Maggie Gaines, who’s worked as a forest ranger for the last six years. She spent a year in the FBI in the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) unit, partnered with Vic Southerland, a veteran in the BAU. And in the fallout of her first big case that broke her, she kissed Vic. It was awkward because of the timing, and the fact that he had been married.

He’d gone years without seeing her, and now that they were in the same general area, it was like they were two magnets that could barely resist the pull.

Seven years later, though, both Maggie and Vic were different people in different places in their lives. A brutal murder in Glacier National Park requires federal assistance, which means Vic is the man on the scene. He’s been hunting a serial killer and needs Maggie’s outdoor expertise. They’re soon on the run once the killer strikes more than once in her park. I love the pace of this suspense. I love the intimacy of the romance. I love the equal strength and vulnerability in both characters. Did I mention this might be one of my favorite books?

“Fuck being professional. I want you, Maggie. Not the former FBI agent. Not the park ranger. I want you.”

Critical Instinct by Janie Crouch

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

I’m not a typical paranormal reader, but when mystical elements are woven into a good story, I always enjoy it. I think one of the reasons I loved this suspense is because it reminds me of Now You See Her, from one of my all-time favorite authors, Linda Howard. Paige Jeffries and her sisters, Adrienne and Chloe, all have some level of sensitivity … Paige could see colors. Auras. She was kidnapped and nearly beaten to death two years ago but managed to escape before her attacker could burn her. She meets Detective Brett Wagner when he’s assigned to her cold case. Brett was a local football hero in Portland, Oregon as a teenager, but moved away after high school. He’s back in town and remembers Paige from an art class they had together. When he begins to find a pattern with other cold cases involving young women beaten in a similar pattern to Paige’s trauma, the shit hits the fan … not just because Paige was the one that got away from her abductor, but also because it is increasingly obvious she was just one of the victims of a serial killer. And once it’s obvious that her artistic talent extends from her vivid aural paintings to finely detailed sketches of crime scenes … well, that’s all she wrote.

She’d had a scare, but she was working her way back from it. Refusing to let it control her. Courage didn’t always roar.

SEALed With A Twist by Kiersten Hallie Krum

SEALed With A Twist by Kiersten Hallie Krum


Kiersten Hallie Krum’s latest installment of the Barefoot Bay series is like a sexy-alpha-SEAL-anti-hero mashup that makes this romantic suspense genre so much fun. Ever since one of Grant Sisti’s SEAL brothers killed a civilian in the Lords of Mayhem MC’s roadhouse bar two years ago … then turned the gun on himself … his conscience has been even more troubled than usual. So has his depression, and he ought to know because he’s the Team’s therapist. Skye Thornquist has been hiding behind the façade of cleaning lady at the Casa Blanca Spa, working hard to escape her family’s gravitational influence over her life. Grief is a daily struggle for so many people, which gives SEALed With A Twist a very real atmosphere. So many of the heroes and heroines in romantic suspense are larger than life, as they should be, but it’s humanizing to see characters who struggle with the consequences of their actions.

“You think you’re super shrink, keeping yourself to yourself even as you plunge deep into the dark spots in everyone else’s head.” He jabbed a finger at Grant, who had to work not to reach out and rip it off. “You are not pulling the wool on me, brother. You think I don’t talk to anyone on the team ‘cept you? You’re fooling no one—not anyone who cares about you and bothers to look. And I’m looking, Twist. You can goddamn well count on that.”

Savage Rising by Katie Reus

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

I love a good fake fiancé story, particularly when the rest of the suspense sends the ol’ ticker into overdrive. Katie Reus brings the excitement once again with the second installment of her Redemption Harbor series, and it doesn’t disappoint. When single mother Olivia Carter is pulled back into her former life as a thief, she is forced to rely on Zac Savage as her backup. They’re both great characters, robustly written with equitable strengths and vulnerabilities … a personal favorite of mine. The romance progresses nicely, the story believable and the suspense engaging. All around, this was one of my favorites this year.

Broken Rebel by Sherilee Gray

Broken Rebel by Sherilee Gray

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

This is much darker and gritter than I normally read, but I’ve enjoyed Sherilee Gray’s Lawless series. Her characters come from a much harder place, with traumatic backgrounds that dog them for life. But I love a beat-the-odds storyline, and Gray is a fabulous storyteller. Broken Rebel is the second book in the series, and we finally understand the sexy, brooding looks Neco Malik has for Ruby … and vice versa. Neco and Ruby grew up across the street from each other, and Neco was Ruby’s protector when they were children. When life was bad at home, she fled to him for shelter. He was her Superman. As adults, they have struggled to find a workable relationship that overlooks the searing passion simmering below the surface. But when Ruby is attacked by her roommate—a guy Neco hates—Neco his PI firm find evidence of Web cams broadcasting live footage of her room, and a perverted bastard who wants to buy her. The race is on to keep her out of the clutches of a madman, but in the end it “Turned out Ruby had her own red cape.” This not a sweet or easy love story, but it has one of the loveliest passages ever.

“I love you, too,” I said against his chest.

Lightning didn’t rend the sky above us, and the ground didn’t move beneath my feet. They were just words, words that meant everything and nothing all at once. Because I’d always known it and so did he.

We were written in the stars.

We were inevitable.

I belong to him and he belonged to me.

And THAT is why I love romance!

H&H Editor Picks:

6 Can’t-Miss Romantic Suspense Novels

Types of Romantic Suspense to Get Your Heart Racing

October 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
Linda Howard's Now You See Her is a definite favorite of mine. I'm downloading a sample of Critical Instinct to see what I think. Thanks for the list, Dolly.
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
Oooh, that Katee Robert cover is my aesthetic! And I do love FBI agents. Might need it. Thanks for the recs!
Dolly Sickles
3. Dolly_Sickles
I love that cover, too, Heather! Sexy abs are always pretty to look at, but I like when the cover doesn't give it away. And Kareni - always happy to find another Howard fan. I love her stuff from the early 2000s. All the Queen's Men, Open Season and Mr. Perfect are my faves!
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