Who’s new in Romantic Suspense

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Since Mysteries and Suspense Thrillers are among my favorite genres–and the reason behind my website mysterysuspensereviews.com, I’ve been trying a delightful group of new authors to see who is out there.

I’ve run across some wonderful ‘newish’ writers (or at least new to me) in the thriller category.  Excellent additions to names like Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, Lee Childs, and David Thor.  You can read about some of my new favorites here.

It’s now a goal to read at least one new writer a month. An pretty easy thing to do when there is such a huge variety.  There are regional authors, such as a Florida series now underway, they are cozy writers, and there is another favorite area—romantic suspense.

If you read romantic suspense, you will be familiar with Nora Roberts.  You’ve probably read Lisa Jackson and Julie Garwood as well.  They are among my favorites of authors who have been around a long time with a terrific selection of books to read. After writing an article about the three of them (click here to read),  it seemed only fair to discover some of the latest writers in the genre.  Most of them aren’t brand new.  Several have written many books in a fairly short time.

There is a great selection, many who have grown into bestselling authors.  Last month’s reviews covered several of them that I would like to share here.  They are in no particular order.  Some are light and amusing, some more dramatic and explicit.  All of them were entertaining reads that have added several new names to look for when I’m shopping.

Laura Griffin 

First published in 2007, she now has 16 published books of her own, 3 anthologies, and two in the series she writes with Allison Brennan.  I believe they are all romantic suspense.  I first read her years ago, then got caught up in several of her Tracer Series.

The review below is the 8th book in that series.  The ninth, Shadow Fall will be released September 22nd this year.  I’ve enjoyed each of the books I’ve read by this popular author.

She has been awarded the Daphne du Maurier Award for her 2009 novel, Untraceable, also the first in the Tracer series.  Two of her other novels earned her Rita awards as well.  I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for Ms. Griffin.

Click here to  read my review of Beyond Limits.

Marie Force

 Marie Force published her first book in 2008.  It wasn’t until her Fatal suspense series came out in 2010 that I became interested.  The author has self published the majority of her novels, a trend we are seeing more and more these days.

At first, she says, that publishers weren’t interested, but with her success in self publishing, she continued on. Right on to the NY Times best sellers list.

To date, she has over thirty published books, has three ongoing series, each of which she expects to continue.

 

Read the review here of Fatal Affair  

Gemma Halliday 

Gemma  Halliday published her first book—this book—in 2005.  A great start to her new career.  She now has nine in the series along with National Reader’s Choice award and three RITA nominations.  Maddie Springer, the star of her High Heel series  is a fun, entertaining soul.

Gemma also writes Hollywood headlines series about writers for a tabloid that should offer a wealth of subject matter, and the Jamie Bond series, a perfect play on 007.

Ms. Halliday said she decided to write a romance novel after reading one she found particularly bad.  Once she began she realized it wasn’t as easy as it seemed.  It wasn’t until her seventh effort that she was published, and that was after she began leaning toward mysteries.<

Here is my review of Spying in High Heels

Melissa Miller

 

I read Melissa F Miller on the recommendation of a good friend. I wasn’t disappointed.  Irreparable Harm was her first published book, and the first in a series.  It included likable characters, a plot with an interesting twist, since it included the investigation of an airline crash. Since the author herself is an attorney, she is well able to describe both the law office settings and any courtroom drama.

Since this first novel, Ms. Miller has published eight stories in that series, along with starting a new series.

The new series features an assistant U.S. attorney named Aroostine Higgins beginning with Critical Vulnerability.  I’m looking forward to reading the first in the series soon.  The second is the new series, Chilling Effect,will be released June 16, 2015.

Just this month she released the first in a cozy mystery called Rosemary’s Gravy, A We Sisters Three novel.

You can read the review of Ms. Miller’s first book, Irreparable Harm here.

Kendra Elliot

I’m growing more fond of Ms. Elliot with each book I read by her.  Part of that is because she writes of and lives in the Pacific Northwest.  That’s always a draw for me.  Besides that she writes a complex, intriguing mystery that has drawn me in every time.  After reading a couple from her Bone Secret series, I got the first in Callahan McLane romantic suspense series.

It’s always a treat to learn how an author got started.  In Kendra Elliot’s case you could say it started when she was young, reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, as many of us did.  She decided to try it herself after reading about a NaNoWriMo contest.

Also fun to know is that while she started to write a romance she “kept tripping over dead bodies.”  An apt description that would guide you into romantic suspense.  Lucky for us!  Her second book in the Callahan McLane series is on my bookshelf awaiting its turn to be read.  Very enjoyable.

Click here to read more about Vanished.

Kristen Ashley

A prolific writer, Kristen Ashley, has nearly fifty books published.  She writes in various genres, though most will definitely include romance.  Some include paranormal, some small town romance.

The Rock Chicks series would be considered romantic suspense, though perhaps leaning a little more on the romance side.   The stories are entertaining and light, perhaps due to the laughter that comes with each story.

The characters in her books are fun and likable, her stories amusing.  The contemporary Rock Chick series definitely contains all that.  So far I have only read the first in the series, but the characters are so enjoyable I want to read more to see what happens with the characters in future books.

If you are looking for romantic suspense the Burg series by Ms. Ashley is another one you might enjoy.

Here is Rock Chicks review.

Rita Herron

Rita Herron is another author who grew up loving mysteries.  Though she chose to become a teacher first, she now writes full time.  With more than sixty books published, it’s clear she is making the most of her time.

She has several series that reflect her romantic suspense direction, including the Manhunt series, the Cold Case series, her Slaughter Creek Series.  Coming over the next few months will be another new series, Graveyard Falls. She does write contemporary romance sometimes too.

Ms. Herron’s novels are high on the suspense side. Her books often contain grittier, more descriptive crimes than some of the authors included here.  Still, you find a romantic edge in each as well that draws us into the characters lives.  She ties the two together into an exciting tale, with tension filled moments that keep you turning the pages until you find out how it ends.

Here’s the  review of Dying to Tell.

Cynthia Eden

 I first read Cynthia Eden when she wrote her ‘Deadly’ series several years ago.  The story line of an FBI profiler caught my attention. It was a very entertaining book that led me to read more.  If you enjoy the genre, you will enjoy her novels.

Ms. Eden is probably one of my favorite newer writers of romantic suspense.  Writing full time since 2005, she has over a dozen different series.  I was surprised to learn how many paranormal books she’d written in addition to romantic suspense.  She has a following for those series as well, but my preference is romantic suspense.  She’s been a RITA finalist for both categories.

Her latest series, the LOST (Last Option Search Team) series sounds like an interesting approach, a tea  searching for the missing.  You can always count on Ms. Eden for a solid suspenseful mystery, many that will leave you uncertain right up to the end of the story.  She handles the romance very well too, blending it in and through the story.  Watch for more reviews on this author.

You can read my review of Die for Me here.

Melinda Leigh 

Melinda Leigh started off her writing career with 2012 International Thriller Award nominee for Best First Novel.  That book,  She Can Run, was published late 2011.  Since then Ms. Leigh has written nine novels, and several novellas as well.  Quite a change from her previous career as a banker, and much more entertaining for us.

I’ve enjoyed several other novels by Ms. Leigh, but will say her newest book is my favorite.   Hour of Need seemed a more involved plot.  The characters are very likable, the story suspenseful.

The next in the Scarlett Falls series, Minutes to Kill, is scheduled for release on June 30th.  I’m looking forward to it.

Here’s the review of Hour of Need

Alexa Grace   

Alexa Grace is another author who started writing after another career ended in 2011.  When her position was eliminated, she decided to write, something she had always wanted to do.  She does it quite well too!

Into her second series now, she surely qualifies for one of the new romantic suspense authors to watch.

Highly suspenseful plots, twisted serial killers, strong heroes, and romance, all combine into terrific stories.

A review of Deadly Offerings is here.

And Many More…

This is another of those articles that could go on and on.  There are so many more new authors in the Romantic suspense genre that belong on this list.   Some are more mystery, some are more romance.  Most are very entertaining, enjoyable reads for both.

Watch for names like Jaycee Clark,  Christy Reece, and Julie James.   Most will leave you smiling when you finish, even while the suspense has kept you tuned in throughout the story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

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