It's Monday, which is usually when we tell you to
But we're switching it up a little bit this week.
I've been in a weird reading mood lately. I haven't wanted to read my typical science fiction and fantasy fare. I'm still picking up paranormal romance books and urban fantasy but not much else. I've been craving a good romance and a good thriller or in the words of Gretl, "Oh, you mean Romantic Suspense!" I totally knew there was a term for these types of books. I just couldn't remember what it was. :)
About ten years ago, I was super into Phyllis A. Whitney's romantic suspense books and I miss them! Although, I would like there to be more romance in the next romantic suspense book I pick up than were in hers. The thing is I don't seem to have any romantic suspense book on my shelves or in my endless stockpile of kindle books. I need recommendations!
They can be contemporary, historical, paranormal, etc. My preliminary searches on Goodreads and Amazon bring up lots of suspense books with bikers, special agents, military men, and werewolves. It's kind of overwhelming! I just want some good romantic suspense books in my life right now!
So this week I'm asking
Sell Me on Romantic Suspense: Which F-ing Book should I read?
Here are some suggestions from my co-bloggers to get it started:
Goodies from Gretl:
I'm going to break this down a little bit since, as Rose Red noticed, there are so many sub-genres (or would they be sub-sub-genres?) to choose from. I can't think of a Historical Suspense title to recommend and I really haven't read any MC series, but hopefully you commenters will have some favorite bikers. So this is not a complete list of categories in Romantic Suspense, just a list of what I've read.
What I've read the most are series about private Black Ops groups made up of former CIA agents and Special Forces soldiers. I think The Associates series by Carolyn Crane is my favorite. It's darker than some of the others with the undercover Associates infiltrating crime families and drug cartels. Each of Crane's characters has interesting skills, like Macmillan the forensic linguistics expert, that set them apart from the rest. I also think that the books in this series stand alone better than some of the others if you don't have time for a binge. I reviewed the latest release in the series, Behind the Mask, a few months ago.
In this category, I've also enjoyed Julie Ann Walker's Black Knights Inc series, its spin-off Deep Six (I recently reviewed the first book in that series, Hell or High Water) and Shannon K. Butcher's Edge series. If you want a paranormal version, I recently read the Alpha Pack series by J.D. Tyler in which the former SEALs are all werewolves.
Another thing you see a lot in Romantic Suspense series are law enforcement officers. My favorite of these is Mandy Baxter's U.S. Marshals. I've reviewed each of the first two books, One Night More and One Kiss More, here on the blog. Book three is due out in October. Baxter's series is a little more light-hearted, filled with pop-culture references from its snarky heroines.
In this category, you might also want to check out Tessa Bailey. I've only read one book in her Line of Duty series about dirty-talking Alpha cops, but it was pretty good. These are sometimes listed as erotica, so they're steamier than some of the others.
Small town suspense
I cannot rave enough about The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward! (You can read my full review here.) I could not put it down. This small town in Kentucky is home to two rival bourbon-making families, corporate politics, legal wrangling, and closets full of skeletons. It reminds me of a prime time soap and it already has a TV deal.
I also liked the Ash Trilogy by Shiloh Walker. This one's also set in Kentucky - total coincidence. The first book, If You Hear Her, features a blind heroine which is something I haven't seen anywhere else.
Tell me about your favorite Romantic Suspense books in the comments!
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