Romantic suspense combines elements of the crime and thriller genres with the romance genre, weaving a love story through the suspense story as the protagonists are thrown together while they’re dealing with the external threat.
Leading US authors of romantic suspense include Nora Roberts, Karen Rose, Alison Brennan, Suzanne Brockmann, Carla Neggers and Sandra Brown, to name just a few.
In Australia, the sub genre was pioneered by Sandy Curtis. Sandy’s five romantic suspense novels were published by Pan Macmillan Australia. Sadly, they were out of print for a few years, but the fantastic news is that Clan Destine Press is now publishing them again as ebooks, and also Sandy’s new release, Fatal Flaw, in print.
US publishers have, in general, been cautious about acquiring romantic suspense stories set in Australia. Perhaps this is due to the significant differences between Australian law enforcement systems and the North American ones creating a potential barrier for readers. However, we remain optimistic! Melissa James‘ NightHawks series was published by Harlequin Mills & Boon in 2003-2004. More recently, Karly Blakemore-Mowle and Suzanne Brandyn have published Australian-set romantic suspense novels with The Wild Rose Press.
Hachette Australia now publish Helene Young and Bronwyn Parry, and the awareness and popularity of the sub-genre is gradually increasing. We hope more Australian authors will burst onto the local scene – and further afield! – in the near future. After all, with the excitement of Australia’s cities and coast, and the dramatic landscapes and isolation further inland, what better place is there to set romantic suspense novels?