Celebrate October With 9 Thrilling Romantic Suspense Books

– Oh, hello, Read Bliss. My name is Mara from bookslikewhoa and thanks so much for having
me back here on the channel, and this time, I’m here to talk to you about some recommendations I
have for romantic suspense, some things that I love, some suggestions on like gateways into romantic suspense, and some ones that I’ve not yet read, but are from authors that
I’ve been meaning to try. So hopefully, this will
get you in the mood for ooky-spooky fall atmosphere. That’s definitely when
I like to read mysteries and some sort of horror kinds of things. So if you are looking
for the romantic flavor of that stuff, keep watching. Let’s just start at the very beginning. A very good place to start
which is my number one place that I think people should
start for romantic suspense and that is pretty much
anything in this genre from Nora Roberts,
particularly “The Obsession.” This is my favorite of her
sort of like stand-alone, romantic suspense, romantic
thriller kinds of books. This to me is the best one, but the thing about Nora Roberts is that she has written
like literally dozens of these kinds of books that are fantastic and depending on your
particular trope preference or kind of like what you
like to see in a small town, usually kind of contemporary romance, that would influence
the best place to start with Nora Roberts for you. Like I said, to me this is the best one. I love that this is like her, basically it starts off with her dad being unveiled as a serial killer, their main character when she’s a kid, and then we kind of
follow her as she grows up sort of under that shadow and then meet back up with her when she’s moving to this small town, renovating a house, falling in love, and has some sort of
copycat killer on her tail. So, this is my personal favorite, but I actually have an
entire video on my channel if you are interested of
where I think you should start with Nora Roberts, so feel
free to check that out, but like, the gal has written so many of these kinds of books that
you kind of can’t go wrong. Read some of the descriptions and you’ll be able to find the one that will work best for you, but this is my personal favorite. Okay, so where do we go after le Nora? I mean, she is truly the queen. Well, let’s go to Karen Rose. Okay, so Karen Rose has been
writing romantic suspense for like, let’s say the
last 15, 20-ish years, and I think, I’ve never read one from her that I didn’t like. This one, they came out this year though. “Say You’re Sorry” is far and away my favorite one I’ve read from her. I really liked this book and it’s the beginning of
a new arc in her world. So something about Karen Rose to know is that all of her books
take place in the same world, but they take place in different cities, so like they are interconnected, like you’ll see people from various cities showing back up in different
ones of her novels, but they each kind of have
their own through-line. And the through-line for this one, so this one is set in Sacramento is that there is a
killer related to a cult that the hero who is an FBI
agent was briefly involved in and there’s basically a serial
killer related to that cult who tries to take the heroine
as one of his victims. She fights him off because
she’s not here for that and they basically, you
know, solve crime together and it’s great, but yeah, her books just so you
know can get real dark. I would say darker than Nora Roberts, so like some content
warnings in terms of like if you don’t wanna get that deep, maybe her books are not
gonna be so much for you. I love these. I love this series, but
just as sort of like know your comfort level with
darkness before you dive in. If you are looking
something a little lighter, I would actually recommend instead of going with Karen Rose’s series, going with Laura Griffin “Tracers” series which I really enjoy
what I’ve read of that and it tends to be still serial killers, still a lot of dark crime, but less heavy. It’s got a lighter touch to it so if you’re looking for something that doesn’t feel as dark, so like maybe if you’re thinking TV shows, if you’re looking more
for CBS level of gore versus like HBO level of
gore, that kind of thing, I would maybe steer you
more towards this one because it does have that
kind of lightness of touch. My favorite one that
I’ve read in that series is “Touch of Red,” but all
of her books take place in this crime lab in Austin,
Texas, kind of around, like there’s this like
world-renown forensics labatory and it’s either like the
detectives in the surrounding area or like the FBI who tend to
be the other half of the pair. So usually it’s like a girl
or guy who works at the lab, getting together with a girl or a guy who works for law enforcement, and all of them have like a
really good sort of whodunit in the core of them while never getting too, too dark even though the circumstances
are pretty grim. It doesn’t get too heavy. So between that series,
Karen Rose, and Nora Roberts, like those are sort of
my personal favorite romantic suspense ones
that I found so far. So the last one that I
actually wanna mention before we move into two suggestions I have of places to start if you don’t
like romantic suspense yet, but you do like contemporary
romance or historical romance. I have some like gateways
suggestions for you guys. Before I do that, I do
wanna just mention quickly that “Mr. Perfect” by Linda Howard is a classic of the
romantic suspense genre. I haven’t read enough of her yet to give you like my full like
“Linda Howard is awesome,” but like that particular
book is so often cited as like a classic of this subgenre and for a very good reason, and I will tell you even though it’s like, I think, probably 20-ish years old now, I think it really holds up, like I would totally recommend this still to somebody who’s interested
in getting into this subgenre. I think it’s a really
well-executed example of what this subgenre does well. It is a serial killer book. In the premise here is that
there’s a circle of friends, and the serial killer targets them and starts like nipping
them off one by one, and love happens as, you
know, people are trying to keep people from dying. So, I would just throw that in before I get into some gateways of another example of something
that I think really works and it’s just like a great
example of this subgenre. But getting more into like
the true gateway here, I think that Meg Tilly’s current series called “Solace Island.” The third one is coming out in October. I’ve not read it yet,
though I do have an ARC. It’s just really good. I think can be a really good gateway for people who like small
town romantic comedies, but want to try romantic suspense because her books are this fascinating and to my mind, unique combination of zany rom-com set in a small town and like full-on serial killer
or stalker romantic suspense depending on the book. So, it’s kind of like a
really weird tone mismatch, but it works for me, and again, I think if you are not used to reading romantic suspense, I think that this could be a
really friendly point of entry because it does have some of
those contemporary romance, small town beats that people are used to, but just incorporating
more of a suspense element in there with it. So again, I think Meg Tilly’s
“Solace Island” series, it’s a pretty good place to go for this. And then lastly, they’re
kind of gateway suggestion that I have is a newish author who I’ve now read both of her books and I think really is doing a great job of making a romantic gothic
suspense that they just work. So that is Hester Fox and she wrote, so in 2018, she wrote “The Witch of Willow Hall.” This year’s book is “The
Widow of Pale Harbor” and I just think that they’re
really, very atmospheric. If you are looking for
like an ooky-spooky vibe that doesn’t get too
heavy, these are for you, like they’re very, like
you can feel the fog, you can like hear the heavy breathing of someone following our
heroine home in the dark, and she’s got like her
little cloak and bonnet. So if you are into like
historical romance for example, I think that this could be a good way to get into romantic suspense because I think that
she’s playing on a lot of those historical romance tropes and sort of those classic,
gothic historical romance tropes, but there is definitely
like a mystery element to it that makes it, like that pushes it more into the true suspense
category than just a gothic. So for instance, and the one
that’s coming out this year, there is a serial killer
who is killing people based on, like inspired
by Edgar Allen Poe stories so I think that’s really cool, and then yeah, it’s a romance so like there’s always some
people getting together. Ooh, if you are a
contemporary romance reader, I would suggest Meg Tilly as a friendly, on ramp into romantic suspense. If you are historical romance reader, I would suggest Hester
Fox as a friendly, on ramp into romantic suspense. And then last but not least, I wanted to tell you three authors that I am currently
investigating in my pursuit of more romantic suspense because this is something, this is like one of my
more recent romance genre, like subgenre explorations. I’ve only really internalized
that I like this subgenre in the last couple of years
so I’m still reading a lot and still kind of exploring my taste. And there are three
books and three authors I’ve been meaning to try. And I always try to wait
until there is a trope or a sub-trope that I
already know that I like to try a new author with because I always wanna give them like the best shot possible. The first, well, we’ll just
march down here in order. So first we have Carla Neggers and Carla Neggers is just like a longtime romantic suspense author. I don’t think that this
is like a shocking name to see thrown in here in the mix and the reason why this one appealed to me is that it’s a newly wed couple who are kind of our detectives. So, it’s not a romantic
suspense of the variety of like they’re getting together. I gather that this is like
a long-running series. These kinds of series usually
can be read as stand-alones without a problem so I’m
not worried about that. But so anyway, they’ve just got married and she is like an art, like
she has expertise in art crime and he was like an undercover
FBI agent or something, and there’s gonna be some
sort of murder related to art, like an art heist. And anytime there is crime related to art, that’s a trope that I absolutely love, so I am excited to give this one a try. Like I said, trope combo here that usually works really well for me, and she is somebody who I’ve been meaning to try for quite some time. Similarly, Heather
Graham is another person who I have been meaning
to try for forever, and this seems like a
great trope combo for me because it’s about like a
paranormal haunting of an old inn and then somebody dies in real life, like they’re investigating
paranormal activity at this old haunted inn, and then somebody actually dies. I am a sucker for old inns,
like that is a setting that I absolutely love and I think they’re gonna be digging up like mysteries from the past. The main gal is on the paranormal crew investigating the death. The main dude, I think is an
FBI agent who’s been called in. I don’t know, I think that
this is gonna be a lot of fun and again, just like tropes I super like. And then finally, the other one
that I’m very excited to try is “Wyoming Cowboy Ranger” by Nicole Helm. Now, I really enjoy Nicole
Helm’s contemporary romances. “All I Have” and “All I
Want” I think are the two. There’s like this series that
it’s set at a farmers’ market that I really enjoyed. I really liked her authorial voice and I think she has a real like maturity to the kind of characterizations she has for her various characters. So, I am really excited to
try a suspense from her. And this is another trope I love where there is a serial killer,
like a killer on the loose who is targeting somebody
because they know that the other person
will be devastated by it. So like in this case,
I think that the hero and heroine were together a long time ago, they hear or left for
some reason or another, but the killer knows that
he still loves the gal, and so he’s targeting her
and he has to come back to try to save her. That is another romantic suspense
trope that I really enjoy. So I think that this will
be a great opportunity to give her a try. And actually, I’ve not read
much from the intrigue line, but I am intrigued, haha, by it. And I probably should
read it more because yeah, sounds like they’re sort
of like fun mysteries, like short mysteries
which I’m always down for. So anyway, these are three ladies that I’m very excited to give a try and have been sort of like on my roadmap of people I need to try in this subgenre. So yeah, those are some of the places that I would recommend starting
with romantic suspense. One just overall piece of
advice I would have for people is to know if you are
already are a mystery reader to try to find books that map into your existing mystery preferences. I think that that will go a
long way to enjoying a book. Or if you’re not a mystery reader, like I was suggesting earlier, I think if you kind of know
some of the tropes that you like in contemporary, historical,
whatever kind of romances, you can also map that
into romantic suspense because it is quite an expansive subgenre that has a lot to offer. Those are my recommendations. Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite romantic
suspense authors or books. If you have a place
that you would recommend people starting with, let me know in the comments. And thanks so much to Read
Bliss for letting me come back. You should definitely follow
them on all their social medias so Twitter, Instagram,
Facebook, all that good stuff. It’s @read_bliss. You could also follow me
on Twitter and Instagram and YouTube @bookslikewhoa. (lips smacking) I’m here. So, thank you so much. Hope you guys are having
an absolutely lovely day and I will catch you later. Bye! (gentle music)

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