Thursday, June 30, 2011

Romantic Suspense

Wikipedia explains Romantic Suspense as follows:

Romantic suspense involves an intrigue or mystery for the protagonists to solve. Typically, however, the heroine is the victim of a crime or attempted crime, and works with a hero, who tends to be in a field where he would serve as a protector, such as a police officer, FBI agent, bodyguard, or Navy Seal. By the end of the novel, the mystery is resolved and the interaction between the hero and heroine has evolved into a solid relationship. These novels primarily take place in contemporary times, but authors such as Amanda Quick have broadened the genre to also include historical timeframes.

Like all romances, romantic suspense novels must place the development of a relationship between the protagonists at the heart of the story. The relationship "must impact each decision they make and increase the tension of the suspense as it propel the story. In turn, the events of suspense must also directly affect the relationship and move the story forward."Romantic suspense novels tend to have more "clean" language, without the "emotional, intimate" descriptions often used in more traditional romances. Because the mystery is a crucial aspect of the plot, these novels are more plot-driven instead of character-driven.

This blend of the romance and mystery was perfected by Mary Stewart, who wrote ten romantic suspense novels between 1955 and 1967. Stewart was one of the first to seamlessly combine the two genres, maintaining a full mystery while focusing on the courtship between two people. In her novels, the process of solving the mystery "helps to illuminate" the hero's personality, helping the heroine to fall in love with him.

Mischief, Amanda Quick

Imogen Waterstone had always prided herself on being a thoroughly independent young woman. But now she needed a man, and not just any man: one with an implacable will and nerves of iron. That's why she invited Matthias Marshall, the infamous Earl of Colchester, to her home in Upper Stickleford. For who better than the legendary explorer to help her lay the perfect trap. Her scheme was simple, really: She planned to let it be known that when she inherited her uncle's collection of antiquities, she also inherited a map to a fabulous ancient treasure.

She was certain that her enemy would risk financial ruin in pursuit of the mythical artifact. And to make doubly sure the scoundrel took the bait, the strong-minded beauty expected Colchester to set himself up as the ruthless lord's rival and pretend that he was out to seduce Imogen so that he, too, could get his hands on her map. Yet in all of her plotting, Imogen never anticipated Colchester's violent reaction to her request ... or her own electrifying reaction to him. With his powerful build and the swath of silver in his midnight dark hair, Matthias was more than magnificent. And as he entered in to her charade, acting out the part of spellbound suitor for all the world to see, Imogen found herself in the thrall of true passion at last.

But to Colchester it was no act. Indeed, to the formidable earl's surprise, he found himself succumbing to the charms of the most amazingly forceful, opinionated, stubborn woman it had ever been his misfortune to meet. Yet just as he decides the time is ripe to reveal his own motives for going along with Imogen's scheme, there emerges from the labyrinth of London society an undreamed-of threat - sinister enough to endanger the one woman a man like Colchester could ever love.

Mercy, Julie Garwood

The spell-binding follow-up to HEARTBREAKER, Julie Garwood's biggest blockbuster yet. This, her second foray into contemporary literature, cements Garwood's reputation as one of the premier writers of heart-pounding suspense. Attorney Theo Buchanan - brother of seasoned FBI agent Nick Buchanan, the hero of HEARTBREAKER - is in New Orleans to receive an award for his work with the Department of Justice. When he becomes unexpectedly ill at the gala, a beautiful stranger rushes him to the hospital and saves his life. The woman - a brilliant surgeon named Michelle Renard - intrigues Theo, but before he can learn more about her, she leaves New Orleans and returns to her small clinic in Louisiana. Theo seeks her out to thank her, but finds more than he bargained for. When he arrives in the little town of Bowen, he discovers that Michelle is being followed, her house has been broken into and her clinic destroyed. Theo is in a position to return the ultimate favour. Michelle saved his can he save hers?

Chasing The Night, Iris Johanson

A CIA agent's two-year-old child was stolen in the night as a brutal act of vengeance. Now, eight years later, this torment is something Catherine Ling awakens to every day. Her friends, family, and colleagues tell her to let go, move on, accept that her son is never coming back. But she can't. Catherine needs to find someone as driven and obsessed as she is to help her-- and that person is Eve Duncan. She knows that Eve shares her nightmare, since closure is also something that eludes Eve after the disappearance of her daughter Bonnie. Now, Eve must take her talents as a forensic sculptor to another level, using age progression as a way to unite Catherine with her child. As Eve gets drawn deeper into Catherine's horror, she must face looming demons of her own.

Bonnie's killer is still out there. And a new killer is taunting Eve and Catherine at every turn. Is Catherine's son alive, or not? These two women endure the worst fear any mother can imagine in Iris Johansen's latest thrill ride, a gut-wrenching journey into the darkest places of the soul.

Whiplash, Catherine Coulter

Yale professor Dr. Edward Kender's father is undergoing chemotherapy when the supply of a critical accompanying drug suddenly runs out. Unwilling to accept the drug company's disingenuous excuse of production line problems, Dr. Kender hires private investigator Erin Pulask to prove there is something more sinister going on at Schiffer Engel's manufacturing facility in Indiana.
Pulaski uncovers a bombshell - Schiffer Engel's intentional shortage is bringing in a windfall profit in excess of two billion dollars.

When a top Schiffer Engel employee shows up viciously murdered behind the U.S. headquarters, Sherlock and Savich are called in to lend a hand. The murder of a foreign national on federal land can only mean the German drug company has a secret of epic proportions.

All the Queen's Men, Linda Howard

CIA agent John Medina and electronics expert Niema Burdock share a violent past: the two were part of a covert operation that went tragically wrong, resulting in the death of several people. Now, five years later, their paths cross again and John, whose love for Niema has only grown over time, is determined to keep her in his life for good. Having spent the intervening five years living a solitary, staid existence--due to feelings of guilt over the ill-fated operation--Niema is somewhat reluctant to reenter the shadowy world she once inhabited. Still, she can't resist the lure and excitement of danger when John asks her to join him on his latest mission to discover the origins of a deadly new explosive already in use by terrorists.

Concocting a plan to reveal the source of the explosive, the two enter into a dangerous masquerade, walking a tightrope between safety and death, while passion boils beneath the surface. Unaware of John's feelings, Niema fights her physical response to the legendary agent as her emotions, in frozen limbo for the last five years, thaw with astonishing speed.

First introduced in Kill and Tell, agent John Medina is as intriguing as the perilous world he operates in. Watching him in action, Ã la James Bond, is exhilarating--as is the single-minded intensity of his feelings for Niema, whose ability to hold her own with John--on both a personal and professional level--and with the host of terrorists, spies, and double-dealers the pair encounter is impressive to say the least. Throw in a couple of chilling chase scenes, some romantic interludes hot enough to peel paint from the walls, and one or two bigger-than-life internationally connected characters, and you've got the latest from Linda Howard--a romantic thriller that's sure to be coming soon to a bestseller list near you.

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