Howdy, Delighted Readers!
Thank you for joining us on our first mini blog event, I Dare You Throw Down which will go from January 21st to the 27th. We are jazzed to try something different this year that will get us exploring some of each other’s favorite romance elements and inviting you to do the same. We have daily fun in store so come by each day to enjoy: reviews, book tag, lists, discussions, games, and oh yes, some snazzy giveaways.
“I dare Shari and Lorna to read a thriller romance
(or two) with me.”
Before I ever picked up a romance book, I enjoyed mystery and action. I like my gritty villains and my tough and skilled heroes and heroines who would best them. It only took adding a romance element to make it perfect.
To my knowledge, my first ever thrilling romantic suspense was Listen for the Whisperer by Phyllis A. Whitney.
Thrillers can take many forms from a police procedural, to a military operation, a jewel heist, the inside of a mafia or gang empire, tracking a murderer or serial killer, spying on a bad guy and more. I love this added element of suspense and danger. My only disappointments tend to be when a book isn’t as exciting as it should be, goes too far into improbable or inaccurate, or my protagonists don’t show a proper degree of intelligence and self-preservation (voila- the Too Stupid to Live).
Some of my favorite thriller-style reads include books by: M.L. Buchman, Jaye Frances, Kay Hooper, S.E. Jakes, Susanna Kearsley, Elle Kennedy, Jayne Ann Krentz, Melinda Leigh, Jen McLaughlin, Katie Reus, Abigail Roux, J.D. Robb, Karen Rose, Katie Ruggle, K.A. Tucker, Paige Tyler, and Rebecca Zanetti
But that’s just me. Let’s hear from the other gals. What were their first encounters with thrillers and what do they like and not like about them? Who are their favorite authors writing thrilling reads?
I started reading gothic romances that always included suspense and mystery when I was a teenager. Of course I read Nancy Drew before my teen years. In my teens, I loved Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney just to name two of the authors. Wildfire at Midnight and The Moon Spinners by Stewart are the books that come to mind and were favorites of mine. When I got older, I graduated to serial killer books, thrillers and romantic suspense. Favorite authors from those genres include Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, John Sanford, J.D. Robb, Anne Frazier, Iris Johansen, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Lisa Jackson, Maggie Shane, Anne Stuart and Tess Gerritsen.
While some of those authors have disappointed me to the point I quit reading them, I still usually can’t pass up a Connelly, Sandford, Coben, or Frazier book. J.D. Robb’s books are still favorites, but after reading thirty something of them, I am on a break and have every intention of going back. One big reason for disappointments are authors that write the same series for so long that it’s not fresh anymore, otherwise known as the same thing over and over. Others, I just quit reading when I switched to paranormal romance and contemporary romance, as well as urban fantasy. One author finished a series that I read for years by writing three books for the finale that could and should have been done in one book. And I haven’t read her since then. My favorite mysteries or suspense are ones that I don’t figure out the whodunnit part until close to the end. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen that often, but it’s still fun to see if I am right. And of course, I like my suspense with a side of romance, pretty much always-with a few exceptions.
Traditional mysteries and thrillers haven’t been my thing in a long while. While I don’t detest thrillers, I mostly don’t like dealing with real world situations in my stories to this degree. Like serial killers, physic villains, or murder mysteries. I often get confused between thriller and romantic suspense. It was explained to me they are the same, but thrillers have more of a dark edge. I think the dark edge is what I shy away from.
Probably my first introduction into thrillers was Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham or Julie Garwood’s contemporary stories with lawyers and FBI agents. At one time I tried to read more than romance when I worked in a local library. John Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark were the big ones at this time and I even ventured out to Dan Brown. I keep coming back to romance though and I don’t mind if you throw in some suspense.
What I like most about a thriller is the ongoing action that keeps you guessing till the end. If they can tie me in knots and leave me guessing, yeah, I love it. But……when they take it too far and nothing else in the story is taken into consideration, then I get bored. I need my romance! Also, if a story follows the same couple over a course of thriller books in a series, yeah, I don’t want to follow along. I want newness! I want exciting! Thrill me.
My favorite authors who write thrilling romances with an edge to them include: Rebecca Zanetti, Lara Adrian, Eve Langlais, Julie Ann Walker, and Larissa Ione. I found it hard to pin point ones. Shayla Black has a few that have heroines that shouldn’t be alive they are so dumb, but they have that element of suspense. Lexi Blake has a few that combine humor with the suspense that I like. I guess though my all time favorite author for this genre is Rebecca Zanetti. I can’t get enough of her books now that I have found her. Throw in Lara Adrian with a splash of vampire and I love unraveling the mystery. I contemplated adding J.R. Ward. Her Black Dagger Brotherhood keeps you on edge, but I was trying to keep most of them out of the paranormal world
And, now…. What books did we pick for my I Dare You Throw Down?
Are you joining us for I Dare You Throw Down: Thriller edition?
What do you like/loathe about thrillers?
Got a favorite author?
Got a romantic thriller or suspense picked out?