One sub-genre of crime fiction that I love is romantic suspense. Combining my two favorite genres into one story that features a fast pace, a thrilling plot, and a love story? Consider me sold. The more I dove into this genre, the more I realized how enjoyable a thriller is with a little (or a lot) of steam to go along with it. From dangerous sugar daddies to serial killer thrillers, here are some of the steamiest thrillers to add to your shelves if you can handle both the heat and the chills!
Verify by Colleen Hoover
This is the book that solidified my love for romantic suspense. Lowen is a struggling writer who is pretty much broke when she is hired by Jeremy Crawford to complete the rest of the books in a series that his wife, Verify, was working on before she became seriously injured. As she is going through Verity’s notes, Lowen finds an unfinished autobiography. Hiding the pages from Jeremy, Lowen begins to learn Verity’s secrets as her feelings for Jeremy start to transform from business to something much deeper.
The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
Not much can be said about this story without any spoilers, but The Girl in 6E is a stunning erotic thriller about a woman who has a set of three rules she must follow. Our protagonist is a cam girl and student who is not allowed to leave her apartment, not allowed to let anyone in, and most importantly not allowed to kill anyone. Right from the first page, she makes it very apparent that while she follows these rules, they were meant to be broken.
Couples Wanted by Briana Cole
Sex, lies and secrets have never been as seductive as they are in this story. Newlyweds Bridget and Roman want to have an adventurous love life, so they jump at the chance to swap partners with their new friends, Corinne and Patrick. After one intense and steamy night, Bridget and Roman feel their relationship grow stronger, but Corinne and Patrick begin to become obsessive and possessive of the couple. As Bridget and Roman try to avoid insanity that comes with the other couple, they realize they may end up fighting for more than just their relationship.
Her Last Word by Mary Burton
My first and favorite Mary Burton, Her Last Word does not disappoint and features one of the most terrifying kidnapping scenes I’ve ever read. Fourteen years after witnessing the brutal abduction of her cousin Gina, Kaitlin Roe has only one way of coping—she interviews everyone she believes to be connected to the crime for her podcast. After interviewing a potential witness, the woman is soon murdered and Kaitlin now must team together with Detective John Adler to hunt down a killer who has been hiding in the shadows for too long.
The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White
After he disappeared two years ago, Angie Pallorino will never forget the violent rapist who left unsolved crimes in his wake. Now, a comatose Jane Doe is found with similarities to the earlier victims and Angie wonders if this case could be related to the cold case crimes. Then, when the body of a woman is found, Angie fears this unknown man is turning from serial rapist to serial killer.Things take a wild turn when Angie is introduced to her new temporary partner, James Maddocks. But this isn’t the first time Angie and James have met, they had an intense anonymous encounter the night before. As the two hunt for a killer, their feelings for one another intensify in this first story in a trilogy that you won’t want to put down.
Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon
Oliver Park is a recovering addict from Indiana who has turned his life around and is now sober and living in DC with his wealthy surgeon partner, Nathan. One evening with Nathan out of town, Oliver risks his perfect life by going to a gay bathhouse. Once inside, he meets a man and things go from steamy to scary only to have Oliver barely escaping alive. Now, hiding the truth from not only Nathan, but also the police, Oliver has buried himself in a web of lies that could ruin everything. This high octane thriller is not only sexy and stylish, but cinematically stunning.
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding
A provocative tale reminiscent of Pretty Woman, The Arrangement is the perfect example of a book impossible to put down. Natalie is a young art student who is financially struggling and ends up looking into a friends suggestion to find a “sugar daddy”—a rich older man who will give her a monthly allowance to be the beautiful woman on his arm—sexual favors optional. Natalie then meets Gabe and the two quickly fall into an arrangement and Natalie falls in love. But Gabe has not intention of leaving his family and ends things abruptly, leaving Natalie heartbroken. As Natalie spirals into obsession, things take a wild turn when a body is found near Gabe’s home.
Addicted by Zane
Addicted by Zane is even more erotic than 50 Shades of Grey and full of suspense. Zoe Reynard is a Black businesswoman who has it all, a wonderful husband, a successful company, and three beautiful children. But not even all of that is enough for her to battle her demons alone. Zoe is a sex addict. After finding a fantastic therapist, Zoe begins to tell her all about her past and present from the affairs to the danger that her addiction has brought into her life. But with every story there’s an ending, and Zoe’s story brings her to a finale that involves her fighting for her marriage, sanity and her life.