Beyond Bestsellers: Historical Romantic Suspense

by Jocelyn R.

As a huge fan of the romance genre, it’s probably no surprise that I also find historical romance very appealing. With historical romance, not only do I get the love story, I also get the historical details that convey the spirit of the age – the society, social mores, courtship rules and rituals, and historical people of note (and since many historical romance authors research the heck out of the time period for their novels, I feel like I’m also getting a really fun history lesson). But what if you want a little bit…more in your romance novel? What if you crave a little adventure, suspense or mystery as well? That’s when you should look for a historical romance that is also a romantic suspense novel.

Romantic suspense is a sub-genre of romance where the main characters are in ongoing jeopardy due to a mystery or intrigue. The jeopardy they face is much higher than simple societal consequences, as often in these novels their very lives are at stake. The inclusion of a suspense plot in a romance can help enhance the developing relationship between the characters as they work through conflicts with each other as they overcome serious threats and obstacles.

One well-known author of historical romantic suspense is Amanda Quick (a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz). Many of her novels are set in Britain during the 1800s, but she recently made forays into 1930s America. Just to give you an idea of what she writes, here’s some info about two of her novels –

Slightly Shady
A banter-filled regency romance where shopkeeper Lavinia and private investigator Tobias attempt to solve a murder and find a diary that’d been used for blackmail.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Set in 1930s California, this swiftly moving historical romance contains surprising plot twists, secrets galore, and a murder mystery.

Of course, other authors have delved into historical romantic suspense as well. Check out the suggestions below and on this list.

The Lotus Palace – Jeannie Lin
Set in ninth century, Imperial China, this historical romance thrusts aristocrat Bai Huang and street-smart maidservant to courtesan, Yue-ying together to solve a murder.

Ready, Set, Rogue – Manda Collins
In this banter-filled regency romance, bluestocking heiress and scholar Ivy Wareham must solve the murder of her benefactress with the help of an irritable Marquess.

Through Waters Deep – Sarah Sundin
In this novel that blends history, romance, faith, and friendship, a naval officer and navy secretary must expose a saboteur in 1941 Boston.

Happy reading!

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