Do you love your thrillers with a dash of romantic tension? Then you’ve come to the right place! The best romantic suspense novels have danger, high stakes, and the sexual tension to match it. Whether you’re looking for a new series, something historical, or a classic gothic retelling, we’ve got 15 of the best romantic thriller books just for you!
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
This is a social thriller with a bit of darker twist. Sydney Green joins forces with her neighbor Theo to offer historic walking tours of their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, only to begin investigating what’s really happening to her Black neighbors who have been moving out of the neighborhood for the suburbs.
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Anahera has just returned to her remote New Zealand town after heartbreak, and finds that little has changed, except that the town now has a single police officer: Will. When a woman goes missing, the two team up to investigate a darker angle of the case that draws them together — and closer to a serial killer.
Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
Jane is a pleasant abut unremarkable employee at the insurance company she works at, and she catches the attention of her manager, Stephen, because she seems easygoing. Malleable. But Jane is anything but that, and as she draws closer to Stephen’s life, her true intentions become clear.
A Spy in the Struggle by Aya de León
Yolanda is a Black woman who beat the odds to become a lawyer and landed a prestigious job at a high-powered NYC law firm — but it all came crashing down when the FBI raided the firm. Yolanda turned in her bosses and cooperated with the FBI, and they decided to send her to infiltrate an African American “extremist” activist group called Red, Green, and Black. But when a new romance and a complicated conspiracy put her in a tough spot, Yolanda will have to act very carefully.
Hidden by Laura Griffin
Bailey is an investigative reporter who shows up when a woman is found dead in Austin, Texas, and she begins asking questions. Lead detective Jacob knows he shouldn’t reveal anything — but his attraction to Bailey is harder to resist. As Bailey continues to pursue the case, their relationship heats up…and soon they find themselves working together to solve a high-stakes case.
The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre
Marlena Durst may seem to have it all from the outside, but reality is that she lives in a tightly controlled environment where her every move is tracked by her husband, and punishment for disobedience is harsh. There seems no escaping his control — his first two wives ended up dead, after all — unless Marlena can find a way to outsmart him.
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
Veronica is an independent woman who is looking forward to a bit of travel without having to report to her spinster aunt, but when she’s nearly kidnapped and she meets Stoker, a natural historian, the two find themselves on the run together, trying to stay one step ahead of a murderer and solve this mystery.
Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan
Maddox is a strong, capable woman who is given an impossible task of neutralizing a dangerous bioweapon, and it pains her to admit that she needs help — but not from just anyone. From Cole, her former lover who she thought was dead, and is pissed that she moved on. Cole would rather fight Maddox each step of the way, but the stakes are too high and they must work together to save thousands of lives.
Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye
Jane Steele has a deadly secret — well, several. Multiple times throughout her life, when ill-intentioned men have tried to take advantage of her, she’s responded in violence. With a few murders under her belt, she now wants to return to her ancestral home, but she’ll have to stay ahead of the law and face its new owner, the brooding Mr. Thornfield, who has secrets of his own.
American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
Marie is a young Black FBI officer whose career is going nowhere fast when she’s recruited by the CIA to spy on the president of Burkina Faso. She agrees to the mission, but is surprised when she finds that it’s not hard to gain his trust — she genuinely likes him, and he is intrigued by her. But with American meddling only increasing, Marie must decide where her loyalties lie.
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
In this callback to classic gothic suspense, Hawkins tells the story of Jane, a poor young dog walker in a wealthy neighborhood who has a past she wants to keep secret. When she meets Eddie Rochester, and he falls for her, it seems like her luck is turning around…but Eddie’s first wife Bea drowned not too long ago, and Jane is haunted by her memory.
The Lady Sherlock Series by Sherry Thomas
Charlotte Holmes is a disgraced society lady who goes by the pseudonym Sherlock Holmes in order to solve some truly complicated and high-stakes cases — and she’s not above having a romantic dalliance when it suits her. This is a fun and complex mystery series with some great romance on the side.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Lowen is a struggling writer when she receive a gig that could bail her out: Ghostwrite novels for famous author Verity Crawford, who is permanently injured and unable to finish them herself. Lowen agrees and while visiting Verity’s home and speaking with her husband Jeremy, she uncovers a secret manuscript full of Verity’s confessions. She’s uncertain whether to share the manuscript with Jeremy, especially as she finds herself falling for him.
Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
When Maddie leaves her husband and becomes determined to strike out on her own as a newspaper journalist, she underestimates how hard it is to start over as a housewife in the 1960s. But when she stumbles upon a murder, she’s able to leverage what she saw into a job. Now she just needs a story to launch her career — but she latches onto one story that might put her in danger. This is a great historical thriller, with a secret love interest.
Extreme Honor by Piper J. Drake
Starring a war veteran and combat dog trainer named David, this book is about the one dog he can’t get through to — and the dog whisperer named Lyn who manages to work with the dog. David is drawn to Lyn, but when her work with the dog puts her in danger, the two humans will have to work to protect the dog who brought them together.
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