Suspense? Romance? What's your preference?

Thanks to the Romance Junkies for having me here today!

Suspense? Romance? What's your preference?For those of you who don’t know me, I write romantic suspense for Dorchester. My debut book, STOLEN FURY, released in January 2009 and got a fabulous five ribbon review from the Junkies. The second book in the Stolen Trilogy, STOLEN HEAT, hits store shelves next Tuesday, July 28, 2009, and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of this next book. 

My books have been compared to Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones. I consider myself a throw-back to the old style of RS – when it wasn’t so much about forensics and chasing a killer in order to solve a crime as it was about running for your life, being involved in an adventure, taking a chance on something you never planned to take a chance on. I fell in love with Nora’s early RS’s like Hot Ice, Elizabeth Lowell’s Donovan family (Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove…) and Judith McNaught’s Perfect. And I knew those were the style of books I wanted to write. The style that isn’t around so much anymore in this era of dark and gritty serial killer romantic suspense.

In STOLEN HEAT, Pete and Kat aren’t trying to solve a crime, not at first anyway. They’re just trying to stay alive. But circumstances thrust them back together after six years, and the only path to freedom for either one is to find a way to work together: 

Suspense? Romance? What's your preference?His past tore them apart. Her lies thrust them back together. Now a killer’s out for revenge, but the biggest threat for both may just be the heat they thought they’d already lost….

Antiquities dealer Peter Kauffman walked a fine line between clean and corrupt for years. And then he met the woman who changed his life—Egyptologist Katherine Meyer. Their love affair burned white-hot in Egypt, until the day Pete’s lies and half-truths caught up with him. After that, their relationship imploded, Kat walked out, and before Pete could find her to make things right, he heard she’d died in a car bomb.

Six years later, the woman Pete thought he’d lost for good is suddenly back. The lies this time aren’t just his, though. The only way he and Kat will find the truth and evade a killer out for revenge is to work together—as long as they don’t find themselves burned by the heat each thought was stolen long ago…

The one thing I love about romantic suspense is that it forces two people together in extreme circumstances. You realize what’s really important in life when it comes down to the basics, and that’s what happens for my characters. My books are equally weighted on the romance and the suspense. Take one away and the book falls flat. In STOLEN HEAT, it’s the suspense that draws these two back together, but it’s the romance that keeps them there when things get hot.

I’d love to get your opinion on RS. What type do you like to read? Equally balanced suspense/romance, heavier on one or the other? And what kind of RSs would you like to see more of on the market?

Thanks so much for having me here today. For those that are interested, in anticipation of the release of STOLEN HEAT I have BIG contest going on at my website. Enter the drawing and you could win a $100 VISA giftcard, plus a whole host of daily prizes! Go to to enter!!

24 Responses to Suspense? Romance? What's your preference?

  1. Lindy

    No question — I want it to be heavier on the romance!


  2. MarthaE

    Hi Elizabeth! Romantic Suspense like Romancing the Stone!? Sounds good to me. And I loved Perfect by McNaught and the Donovan series by EL too! I will be looking to add your books to my TBR!! Thanks! Martha

  3. Wendy

    Hey Elizabeth,
    I love love love Romantic Suspense! But I like them best when the romance and the suspense equal out. I am a romance junkie at heart so if it falls short in that department I get a little bummed. Cant wait to pick up Stolen Heat!!!

  4. Julie Robinson

    BTW, Elisabeth, Romancing the Stone and its ssequel and Indiana Jones, etc. are two of my all time favorite movies to watch again. And again. . . .
    I am fixing to buy Stolen Fury so that I can start at the beginning.

  5. Julie Robinson

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Harlequin Intrigues are my favorite, so you could say I love suspense but knowing that love is the ultimate ending. And since my favorite heroes are military or law enforcement types, then undercover ops is my favorite plot.


  6. Terisa Wilcox

    I like romantic suspense for the poolside, but I like straight romance for relaxing at night. I usually have two books going at once, when I find the time to read :D.

  7. Crystal B.

    Hi Elizabeth. I like romantic suspense that has a balance of intrigue and romance.

  8. Pam S

    I enjoy a good romantic suspense that balances intrigue and passion. I love Indiana and Romancing the Stone, was one of my favorite Michael Douglas movies (part 2 was good as well).

    Congrats on Stolen Heat’s release!

  9. Julia

    For me, I like romantic suspense. So I would like 50% of romance and 50% of suspense in a book. It far more interesting and exciting for me.

    Happy release day for STOLEN HEAT on July 28, Elizabeth!

  10. Carol M

    I’m a big fan of all kinds of suspense books! Usually though, I read books with more suspense and mystery than romance.

  11. Joyce

    Romantic suspense is my favorite type of reading. I like a 50-50 split. I enjoy the suspense and I enjoy the building of a relationship.

  12. Cherie J

    I like Romance with some suspense thrown in. For me the romance is essential. However, occasionally I will read suspense with a little romance thrown in. Just depends on how good the plot sounds.

  13. susan leech

    Can I like both? ha I have to say it’s 50/50 but even better if a book has both. susan L.

  14. Lisa

    Oh hope I get this threw dorchester member club as there being late this month on books. Sound great and hope it show up soon Thanks!

  15. LJ White

    I read just about every type of romance but I do prefer ones with suspense in it. It’s great to try to figure out a mystery during a romance. It makes for a more interesting read and storyline.

  16. Sherry H

    I love romantic suspense too!

  17. Lexee

    I love romance but i like my romance to have some suspense. Just like i like my suspense to have romance. I don’t really read just suspense.

  18. Breia Brickey

    I like them both but enjoy suspense more.

    BreiaB in NC

  19. Pamela Keener

    I love suspense with a little romance blended in. Being a retired police officer my first picks for romance novels will always be contemporary suspense. It doesn’t have to be forensic based just good old suspense.
    Your books sound awesome and I am definately putting them on my TBR pile
    Good Luck
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam Keener in PA

  20. Eva Lege

    I love romantic suspense reads!!Lege70542

  21. Elisabeth Naughton

    Hi Tracy,

    I always gravitate to suspense too. I have a new paranormal series starting next spring and even that has suspense in it. I just can’t seem to get away from it. 😉

    Thanks for the comment!

  22. Elisabeth Naughton

    Hi Lois,

    I agree on the mood thing. When I need comfort I turn to Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I can read her books over and over and they’re definitely not suspense.

    Thanks for the comment on my book. I hope you enjoy it!

  23. Tracy Cooper-Posey

    Oh, romantic suspense for me, whenever possible! I’ve written contemporary, and read it, too, but tend to gravitate toward suspense. There’s more intensity to the romance when there’s more danger in the air, and a chance that either of the pair are in jeopardy. Preferably both!

  24. Lois

    I like suspense, and I like straight romance; it all comes down to my mood, what I want at that moment. But definitely, there needs to be a balance to it, maybe not equal, a particular story might need a little more romance or in the other direction, a little more suspense. I remember early on when I discovered romances I read a couple of books, they were more simply mysteries than all out romantic suspense, but still the same principle — I really wasn’t thrilled with them; I remember one seem to forget there should be this romance going on, and the other seemed to forget there was this mystery going on. And have to admit, I haven’t read your books yet, but sure like the sound of the one above, the word Egypt helps such me in a bit too. LOL 🙂


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