Looking for the Best Action and Suspense Romance Novels to read?
See our newest picks for the month in the chart below:
We’ve got your back. You won’t be able to put down our top picks…
Author Melinda Leigh
Morgan is a lawyer who moves back to her hometown after her husband is killed in Iraq. Everything is going well until her babysitter is killed and the main suspect ends up being her neighbor’s son, Nick, whom she has known for many years. She teams up with a private investigator named Lance and goes up against an over-zealous DA, the police, and community secrets that are more than they bargained for. Convinced that Nick is innocent, Morgan and Lance are determined to make sure that justice is served in the end.
Author J.D. Robb
While airline executives are working on a very big merger, a man walks into one of their meetings, strapped with explosives. It turns out that his wife and kids were being threatened, but detective Eve Dallas wants to find out the motive of the person doing the threatening. She enlists the help of her husband Roarke and sets out to uncover the truth, bound and determined to find out if this was a simple act of terror or something far more complex.
Author Christopher Greyson
When the murder of four people occurs, including Faith’s sister, she is the only one who survives the ordeal. She is placed in a psychiatric hospital, where her therapist thinks she’s suicidal, townspeople think she’s a drunk, and no one believes a word she says. After she is released, she finds comfort in the bottle, but soon she changes her ways and sets out to find out who really killed her sister. Unfortunately, at this point, everyone is a suspect, including Faith, and the task becomes much more dangerous than she was prepared for.
Author Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca was the first wife of Mrs. de Winter’s husband, and in this book she tells the story of her marriage to a man she barely knew and everything that transpired afterwards. Her gray stone mansion is haunted by an eerie housekeeper, a room that is meticulous but which no one lives in, and secrets and truths that are waiting to be uncovered. Mrs. de Winter is tired of living in Rebecca’s shadow, and her story is about finding out the truth about this mysterious woman despite the evil presence she already feels is around her.
Author J.R. Ward
Anne is an ex-firefighter who is now working as an arson investigator due to an accident in the field, and she considers her new job a pale comparison to her former one. Still, she does the best she can, and when a string of fires threatens to ruin her city, she teams up with bad-boy fireman Danny, to whom she is immediately attracted, to find out the truth about their origin. She soon realizes she is getting close when the arsonist decides to come after her.
Author Mary Burton
Faith is a medical examiner who comes across a hit-and-run victim named Macy, and there are two interesting aspects to Macy. First, she is an FBI agent who was in a dark alley after midnight for reasons unknown, and second, she is the spitting image of Faith. When Faith discovers that Macy is the twin sister she never knew she had, her investigation brings her to an eerie discovery on an isolated ranch where several women have been buried. She and a Texas Ranger named Mitchell then set out to uncover the truth, and neither of them are prepared for what they find.
Author Irene Hannon
Kristin is fulfilling her dream of making the world a better place by operating a fair market store, but when people associated with the store begin dying, she is determined to find out why. She teams up with a handsome cop named Luke to track a killer, and they soon find themselves in the middle of an international scheme with a ruthless killer whom they both know will be difficult to stop. Still, they won’t give up until their questions are answered and the killer is caught.
Author Melinda Leigh
Chelsea is the mother of two small children who disappears after leaving for a girls’ night out, and her husband is in a panic. When he hires Morgan, a single mother with a lot of empathy for Chelsea’s family, she is determined to find out what happened. After teaming up with a private investigator named Lance, they find their investigation getting deadlier at every turn. Soon, Morgan is being stalked by someone who is obviously very dangerous, making it even more important to get to the bottom of everything.
Author Penelope Sky
Bosco is a crime lord who wants Carmen, and soon, she feels like she belongs to him already. She wants a family, but he isn’t exactly the family type. Their relationship is intense because both of them are strong-willed and independent, and their story is hot, sexy, and fast-paced. Enjoy an exciting ride with Carmen and Bosco as they figure out what they want to do next and how they are each going to achieve the goals they’ve set out for themselves.
Author Charles Martin
A true page-turner, this is the story of Ben, a physician, and Ashley, a writer, who find themselves the only survivors of a plane crash. Stuck in the mountains near Denver, Ben starts to nurse Ashley back to health, and they both start to reexamine their lives. As days turn into weeks, Ben starts to record messages to his wife back home, but what Ashley discovers is more alarming, because she has now decided that she wants Ben.
Author Penelope Sky
Pearl is a strong woman who gets kidnapped by a man who buys her at an auction and doesn’t treat her very well, but she is trapped nonetheless. Although Pearl knows her captor Crow is not a person she would’ve chosen on her own, she starts to fall for him anyway. Will she get rescued in the end, and will she agree to go with her rescuer? This is a dark but very interesting read that no reader will be able to forget anytime soon.
Author Helen Hardt
Jonah and Melanie are in a relationship, but they each have demons in their past that promise to stand in the way. Jonah’s confession convinces him that Melanie will leave him, but surprisingly she does not. Their relationship is hot, steamy, and sexy, and the story is filled with twists and turns that you won’t expect. Between Jonah’s family’s past, a new threat that is trying to change both their lives, and the ghosts from Melanie’s past, you have to get to the last page to discover how their story will end.
Author Jamie McGuire
Darby moves to a new town and changes her name after finding out she’s pregnant and leaving an untrustworthy fiancée at the altar. When a firefighter named Trex comes to her new town to fight a nearby blaze, she knows that he is hiding something. In fact, they both have secrets they don’t want to share, but it doesn’t stop them from being attracted to one another. With her ex getting close to finding her, can Darby and Trex maintain their relationship and finally get the happy ending they both deserve?
A recovering alcoholic and would-be writer is trying his hand at advertising and at online dating. He soon finds himself going on numerous dates that each have some very interesting results. Some are funny, some are awkward, but all of that ends when he meets Marian, because he finds himself in the one situation he never thought he’d be in – he’s in love. A touching story that warms your heart and has you pulling for the main character from the very first page.
Author Catherine Coulter
When Kara’s newborn son disappears from the hospital where she gives birth, two FBI agents soon find out that they’re investigating more than a simple abduction. The case also involves a medical mystery that can make immortality possible. In the Appalachian mountains, a notorious thief named Liam is hiding, and agents Cam and Jack are sent to find him. The two cases eventually become related to one another, and with the clock ticking, no reader will be able to guess what is going to happen next.
Author Rebecca Zanetti
Darby is being chased and her life is in danger, so she goes off the grid and hides away in a small cabin in the woods. Unbeknownst to her, her new gorgeous neighbor Malcolm is also running because of the undercover assignment that just went wrong. When the two of them meet, sparks fly, but it isn’t long before they both realize that they’ve been set up. But why? And by whom? Between their passionate time together and their many questions, neither of them knows what to do next.
Author Nora Roberts
Abigail has run away to a small town in the Ozarks to escape an incident from her past and now works as a security expert, and she is terrified all the time. When she meets Brooks, the police chief, he suspects there’s a lot more to her story than what she’s telling him, but he can’t help but be attracted to her. Soon, her past catches up to her, and both she and Brooks are in danger of losing everything, including their lives.
Author Lynette Eason
Chloe is a cop who was dumped by her boyfriend and whose only male companion is her K-9 dog Hank. When a human trafficking case becomes her next case, she starts working with a handsome cop named Blake. Blake has been asked to kill a judge in order to save his daughter, who has gone missing, and they find themselves racing against the clock to stop a trafficking ring from inflicting more harm on these young woman, all the while trying to deal with their feelings towards each other.
Author Kate White
This is a psychological thriller that centers on a self-help author who is haunted by dreams that she believes are trying to tell her something. To make things worse, Bryn’s once-supportive husband Guy is suddenly becoming evasive and quiet, making Bryn wonder what is going on. When several local women end up murdered, Bryn starts to wonder if her dreams have something to do with the killings, and she sets out to find the truth, regardless of how dangerous it is.
Author Sandra Brown
When a contract killer named Ricky goes on trial, one of the jurors is a doctor named Rennie who applies precision to her decision just like she does her job. After Ricky is acquitted, one of Rennie’s rivals is murdered, and all signs are pointing to Rennie. She begins working with a cop named Wick to help her discover who the true murderer is, and in the meantime, Ricky starts stalking her. Has this notorious killer found another victim, or is the killer someone else?
Author Kerry Lonsdale
This is a story filled with suspense and romance, which starts with the story of Ian, an award-winning photographer who wants two things in life – to be included in National Geographic magazine, and to find his long-lost mother. When his wife’s ex-fiancée brings a message on the same day that he gets an offer from the magazine, he feels he has the chance to get both of the things he wants most out of life. But if he must make a choice between the two; which one will he choose?
Author Laura Griffin
A fast-paced thriller romance, this is the tale of a defense attorney named Brynn, who has put many dangerous killers behind bars. One of those killers is now free and starts to kill again, so Brynn ends up with a former Secret Service agent to protect her. Getting involved in the investigation was her first mistake, and now it could cost her life, especially after she discovers secrets which are better off hidden.
Author Kendra Elliot
Mercy is an investigator who is good at finding felons whom the law can’t touch, and she returns to rural Oregon when the remains of five people are uncovered. Is this the work of a copycat killer, or is the wrong person behind bars? When a young woman who was left for dead in the original killings comes back to town, Mercy and a police chief named Truman try to learn if she has truly forgotten about what happened or if she simply doesn’t want anyone to know what the truth is.
Author Dani Pettrey
Luke is an operative who is involved with Kate, a private investigator, and together they are trying to solve a case that could destroy the country. Luke has recently returned home to do the job, and Kate is finally understanding why he left in the first place. Amid their growing attraction to one another, they must work together to uncover a mystery that involves lies, betrayals, and a lot of secrets, both to save themselves and everyone else.
Author Brenda Novak
Evelyn is a psychiatrist who works with psychopaths because she was a crime victim as a teenager, and her boyfriend is working hard to determine the identity of the killer of two local people. Evelyn notices the similarities between this crime and the one that affected her many years earlier, and since she knows her would-be killer was never caught, she starts to look for him in every corner so that he doesn’t strike again – or come after her.
Author Heather Graham
Sophie is a detective investigating the case of a woman drained of blood and cut in two, just like the Black Dahlia case. When she starts receiving messages from ghosts, she enlists the help of a man named Bruce who claims he can talk to the dead. With both of them trying to fight their affection for one another, they find they have to work together if this case is going to be solved, so that the killer doesn’t strike again.
Author Lisa Harris
Psychologist Grace and detective Nate are working together to solve the murder of Stephen, one of Grace’s patients, whom she suddenly realizes was not actually being paranoid on his visits to her. Now Nate believes Grace is in danger because the killer seems to be after her as well, even though she is also a suspect. This is a story about racing against time to find out the truth before everything falls apart for both Grace and everyone around her.
Author Julie Garwood
Allison is a college student who loves writing and breaking computer codes in her spare time, and Liam is an FBI agent trying to get her to help him find a leak in his department by hacking into the main FBI computer system. At first she turns him down, in part because she has secrets she doesn’t want the FBI to know about. But Liam is persistent, and he soon discovers he is willing to do anything to enlist her help, whether it’s legal or not.
Author Beatriz Williams
Star-crossed lovers that include a woman who is on the run; this is what keeps this story so exciting. In the mid-1960s, Pepper is single and pregnant, thanks to her affair with a married politician, and she refurbishes a classic car and sells it to get some extra cash. Annabelle buys the car, and like Pepper, she has a lot of secrets, including a World War II-era Jewish lover and a Nazi husband. Soon, Pepper and Annabelle’s lives intertwine, and when the father of Pepper’s baby tracks her down, both women have to come to term with their pasts.
Author Sandra Brown
Jordie and Shaw meet in a seedy bar on the bayou, but what Jordie doesn’t know is that Shaw is there to kill her. Instead, Shaw decides to kidnap her and maybe get his hands on the $30 million that Jordie’s brother stole. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Jordie knows where the money is, but after Shaw whisks her away to a remote location, Jordie’s secrets aren’t the only thing Shaw is interested in. Will their growing attraction to one another thwart both of their plans, and will the truth ever be disclosed?
Author Mary Burton
When Kaitlyn becomes the only survivor during the abduction of her cousin Gina, her survivor’s guilt causes her to try and solve the crime herself. She decides to question everyone who was questioned early on, but when one of those people turns up dead, she feels she has unleashed the killer’s wrath. She and a detective named John work together to solve the mystery, but their growing attraction to one another might make things a little more complicated than they’d planned.
Author Gwendolyn Womack
Semele is an appraiser at an auction house, and she comes across a manuscript that is thousands of years old. She deciphers it and learns that there is also a deck of tarot cards that is tied to it, but she has no idea where those cards are now. The manuscript also foretells numerous events, and the closer the auction date gets, the more Semele feels as if she is being followed. Theo, her client, is someone with secrets of his own, and soon their relationship becomes more than either of them bargained for.
Author Carla Neggers
Emma and Colin are married FBI agents and get involved when their friend Tamara goes missing. In London, the woman scheduled to meet Emma’s art-detective grandfather turns up nearly dead and her husband has vanished, and Emma and Colin’s relationship to Tamara only deepens the mystery. Add to that a maze of misdirection left by a clever criminal, and you end up with several different scenarios connected to one another, making it unclear who to trust and who not to trust.
Author Kat Martin
When Tory runs from her abusive fiancée with her four-year-old daughter, she isn’t sure where she’ll end up, but then she turns up near Josh’s ranch not far from Dallas. Josh has spent time in Afghanistan and knows what trouble looks like. Although he doesn’t feel he can completely trust Tory, he falls for her anyway. But Josh wants a quiet life, and he knows that if he pursues this relationship, his life will be anything but quiet, especially with Tory’s past trying to catch up with her.
Author Lora Leigh
Ivan is a former crime boss who is trying to escape his old occupation, but he is afraid that a woman he cannot forget is going to pay the price for his past. Syn has a life that is much less complicated than it used to be, but when the past comes back with a vengeance, both she and Ivan know that they need to stay alert to make things right, which could prove to be difficult because they are deeply attracted to one another.
Author Charlotte Byrd
Ellie has bills to pay, and therefore, she agrees to an auction where she has to date the highest bidder, who ends up being a Mr. Black. Mr. Black’s yacht is amazing, and so is their date. This is a hot, sexy story that ends up with both parties wondering where the relationship will go next. It was supposed to be a one-time-only date, but is it possible that both Ellie and Mr. Black want more?
Author Katie Reus
Nova operates a consulting agency and uses some of its resources to help an old friend who went through the foster care system with her. She brings along Gage, a computer genius who has feelings for her, for extra help. Nova will do anything to help her friend, but when Gage notices she’s headed straight towards trouble of the worst kind, he is determined to save her from this feat, regardless of what he has to do to make it happen.
Author Sharon Sala
Jack is an FBI agent very much in love with his wife Shelly. When an assignment causes him to get shot, one of the last things he hears before he collapses is the promise from the shooter to destroy everything he loves. To keep Shelly safe, he decides to fake his own death and hide in the shadows, at least until the shooter is caught, which wreaks havoc on Shelly’s life. To protect her, he has to remain a ghost for now.
Author Nikki Sex
Andre has decided to get two broken people together because he feels that they need one another. Renata was once a shy child who came to him mute and broken. Grant is a severely disfigured ex-Army Ranger who is used to being alone and is filled with secrets. Can Grant and Renata help one another heal and feel secure and whole again? This is Andre’s hope, and he is doing everything in his power to make it happen. After all, they deserve it.
Author Chris Bohjalian
Annalee is a sleepwalker, and when she doesn’t return one night, her daughter Lianna comes home from college to help find her. Soon, she is involved with the handsome detective in charge of the case, but she eventually feels like Gavin knows more about her mother than he’s willing to admit. Why does Gavin know so much about her mother’s life, and is it possible that he could be involved in her disappearance? A true thriller with an ending you will never forget.
Author Bijou Hunter
When Chipper spots his boozy Miss Right, he soon discovers that she is trying to kill her dad because of his horrid lifestyle that affected her in more ways than one. Tatum, however, is bound and determined to go through with her plan. Soon, Chipper is so intent on stopping her that he enlists the help of his family of busybodies to stop Tatum from making the mistake of her life. But when the two fall for one another, he feels that he may not be successful with his endeavors.
Author Jo Robertson
Isabella and Rafe spend a passionate night together, but the next day, they find out that they are both working to prosecute an evil man named Diego. Isabella is the assistant D.A., and Rafe is a DEA agent. Unfortunately, Isabella also thinks that Diego has information on her missing sister and wants to offer him a deal in exchange for this information, and Rafe wants to nail him big-time. Their attraction to one another could get in the way, and neither of them knows how the case will end.
Author Michelle Cox
Things are looking up for Henrietta after the market crashed and her father committed suicide, and she is now working as a dancer in a club and making the money she needs to take care of her younger siblings. When the club’s matron turns up dead, she agrees to go undercover for an inspector named Clive and is thrust into Chicago’s seedier side. Even though Henrietta has a neighbor who is attracted to her, it looks more like she and Clive will end up together the longer this whodunit story goes on.
Sloan and Asa are a couple, even though Sloan disapproves of Asa’s sinister lifestyle. They are each determined to stay one step ahead of the other, and Sloan is just waiting for the day when it is safe for her to leave. Both are determined to get their way regardless of how dangerous it is or what will happen next. There is only one thing that could possibly stop either of them from fulfilling their goals, and that is a man named Carter, who also has secrets he’d like to keep hidden.
Author Fern Michaels
Tessa has been waiting patiently in jail for a crime she didn’t commit – the murder of her husband and twin daughters. After ten years, her lawyer announces that she can have a new trial because her conviction has been overturned on a technicality. When she gets out, she retreats to a small island owned by her late husband’s company and tries to find out for herself exactly who murdered her family, but she runs into more twists and turns than she was prepared for.
Author Cara Putman
Jaime is a defense attorney who helps young women have the voice she never had as a child, and when she starts to prosecute someone who once wronged her, the demons from her past come back to haunt her. This powerful man ruined her childhood, but when she starts helping a retired veteran named Chandler help a young victim who has to testify in court, she gains a whole new outlook on what she does for a living, which is easy because she is now falling for Chandler.
Author Lisa Gardner
Tess was married to Jim and gave him a child before he went to jail for murdering ten women, but now that he has escaped from prison and is after her, her life is in mortal danger. Determined to protect herself and her young daughter, Tess enlists the help of a burned-out ex-Marine and decides that even though it means kill or be killed, she will stop at nothing to make sure she and her child are alive and well in the end.
Author Katie Ruggle
Kit is a part of a newly formed K-9 unit, but she is having trouble fitting in. When a killer strikes, her unit reluctantly allows her to help, and when she finds herself working with a fire-spotter named Wes, sparks immediately fly. But a member of the K-9 unit is out to get revenge against Kit, so in addition to tending to her relationship with Wes and making sure she does her job right, she has to deal with an internal threat that she wasn’t completely prepared for.
Author T.M. Frazier
This story deals with a heroine with a lot of tricks up her sleeve and an anti-hero whom you’ll love to hate. It’s the story between a con artist and a criminal, people who grew up without parents and share a common bond, and captivating characters that make you continuously wonder what will happen next. It is a sexy, gritty, angst-filled tale with characters you’ll love and an ending you will never expect.
Author Julie Garwood
Avery was raised by a grandmother and her Aunt Carolyn, until one day her grandmother was killed, and she herself was left for dead. Now a crime analyst for the FBI, Avery ends up with a case that involves her aunt, which means it’s personal. Her Aunt Carolyn was supposed to be on her way to a remote spa for a few weeks of rest and relaxation, but instead she is now in an isolated area with someone determined to kill her. It’s up to Avery to get to her before it’s too late, and she’s just hoping that this task is possible.
Most Popular Romance Thriller Tropes
Are you tired of reading the same run-of-the-mill love stories over and over again? Then you might enjoy romantic suspense books. They’re probably not your usual fare, but we promise that you’ll still fall in love with them just the same.
Here are the most popular tropes that you can explore regardless of whether you’re a long-time fan or just dipping your toes into these uncharted waters.
Allow us to start with our favorite trope, Badass Women. It’s a romantic thriller book that features a tough, cunning, and strong-willed female lead. Since it’s a romance, this story will still feature a hunky leading man, but he will be more of a supporting character rather than a savior.
Some stories out there also feature the female lead overpowering the male antagonist, who eventually turns into the male lead. Think of a clever-kidnapping-gone-wrong story but instead of the kidnapper getting killed, the victim and bad guy fall in love.
We also want our hair-raising story to show how our heroine became the badass woman that she is. She probably went through a family tragedy in the past that motivated her to train in the martial arts? Or maybe someone who grew up in a harsh environment and having such skills is a given?
Hero to the Rescue
Let’s face it. Not all lovers of romantic suspense novels want their female lead to be a badass. After all, having a female character who leads a normal life with low survival skills is sometimes more relatable. Not to mention that it makes the male heroes all the more impressive and hot.
While we love ourselves a fast-paced story, we also enjoy novels that take the time to develop their complex characters. We’re not just talking about all of the central characters 一 even the antagonists.
The male lead doesn’t have to be a hero already. They can’t all be firemen, cops, and investigators from the get-go. In fact, isn’t it more interesting when the hero is just a regular guy who just managed to find the courage because of love?
Finally, another popular romance thriller trope is the Romantic Mystery. It usually involves a murder done by an unknown killer, who eventually gets caught by the main characters as they’re also falling in love.
Romantic thrillers like these always keep us at the edge of our seats. After all, they are filled with deep, dark secrets that can unravel at any time.
Plus, who’s to say if the male lead isn’t the disturbed killer that everyone’s hunting for? Now that makes for a really juicy yet deadly secret that we’d love to read any day.
The “Sherlock Holmes” character doesn’t have to be a guy as well. We always enjoy reading a complicated story that involves the brilliant thinking skills of a woman.
What’s Your Favorite?
There are definitely other romance thrillers aside from the book recommendations we’ve featured above. We simply hope that we’ve given you enough choices to start with.
Feel free to look into other romance thriller tropes as well, and share your thoughts in the comments section below. Have fun reading!