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Help Me!

I have been challenged by a male online reader who has been questioning of the romance genre to find the following:

Does there exist such a thing as a mystery or suspense romance that doesn’t have a lot of sensual sexual physical or erotic stuff going on?

Help me make a convert here. First, give me your favorite mystery/romantic suspense and then give me your best recommendation of one that doesn’t have alot of sex. Make sure that it is a romance, not a cross over (like Iris Johansen).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

16 Comments

  1. Robin
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 12:29:11

    I think the In Death series is pretty tame in the sex area, plus it’s the only Romantic Suspense I ever see men reading publicly (usually at the car dealership when I’m having my car serviced). And it is, IMO, easily picked up in the middle if the reader isn’t so interested in the first throes of Roarke and Eve’s relationship. I, of course, prefer the earlier books, but the later ones might be better suited a this guy’s tastes, as the hardbacks, particularly, really soft-pedal the sex (from Divided in Death on).

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  2. Charlene
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 12:48:26

    The Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell. It’s a mystery and a romance. I think it won the Rita for best first book.

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  3. Tara Marie
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 12:52:28

    I’ve recently converted my husband to “romantic suspense” well kind of–LOL.

    He’s read Nora Robert’s Northern Lights and Tami Hoag’s A Thin Dark Line (is it Dark or Red, I’m not sure.) He’s also been on a Nelson DeMille kick which isn’t romance but has some slight romance overtones.

    My next RTB post will be about his “conversion”.

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  4. Estelle
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 13:12:35

    Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters has always been a favorite of mine. so very funny as well as well-written.

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  5. illyria
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 13:15:38

    I don’t think I have a favourite romantic suspense, but my favourite mystery series is Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak books. There is some romance in it, but I don’t know if it crosses into romantic suspense; there isn’t very much sex in it.

    I’d also recommend Tami Hoag’s Dark Horse, but I don’t know if it’s considered a romance or romantic suspense. It also has the added bonus of the horse stuff being accurate.

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  6. Jami
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 13:38:56

    What qualifies as “too much?” one scene? two? Even though all the books have 1 or 2 well described love scenes, I’ll but Allison Brennan’s THE PREY, THE HUNT, and THE KILL on the table.

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  7. Karen Scott
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 15:00:30

    How about Tami Hoag books? I love her recent books, but I don’t know if they count as romance. and JD Robb’s In Death books of course.

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  8. msaggie
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 17:27:25

    Mary Stewart’s suspense novels such as Madam Will You Talk?, Airs Above the Ground, This Rough Magic, etc are romantic suspense with no “sensual sexual physical or erotic stuff”. Same with Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series – almost all have a romantic subplot involving main characters in the mystery. Start with A Morbid Taste for Bones. However, these are shelved under Mystery rather than romantic suspense. Elizabeth George’s A Suitable Vengeance is a favourite of mine – it has a great mystery and wonderful characterisation, and also intricacies about what love really is without great physical detail.

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  9. Katharina
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 17:46:19

    Hi there, I am new here, but I just have to post.
    What about Sandra Brown’s The Switch (I know a man who adored this one) or White Hot.
    And as Estelle wrote, any mystery by Elizabeth Peters is recommendable, they are all great, though I prefer those when Ramses is all grown up. Peabody isn’t the bets mother material.

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  10. Samantha W
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 18:13:15

    Umm Stephanie Plum?
    I’m not sure if I really understand his limitations well, though. I mean, how much is too much? And is it the sex itself that bothers him, or is he uncomfortable with “flowery” sex? If he just doesn’t care for the more romance-y sex scenes, but doesn’t mind reading sex scenes in general, I’d steer him toward Anne Stuart’s Black Ice or Cold as Ice. Definatly nothing soft or flowery there.

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  11. Sora
    Oct 18, 2006 @ 21:11:16

    The first book that comes to mind is What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris (aka Candice Proctor). It’s a regency mystery with a love story and the first in a series (there’ll be a sequel out next month).

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  12. reader che
    Oct 19, 2006 @ 00:22:48

    After Midnight by Merline Lovelace. Love scenes are not that explicit; not that frequent. I think the suspense and romance was nicely balanced. It’s the only one I’ve read thus far by this author though.

    Probably Holly Lisle’s I See You as well. That does have a couple of hot sex scenes, but again theyre not that long.

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  13. reader che
    Oct 19, 2006 @ 00:26:30

    Now I hope you can help me. The other day you talked about what authors promise readers or some such and you mentioned one of Janzen’s crazy books about how one of the couples has gone by the way side. I’ve read the first 3 of the series and want to know who. thanks.

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  14. Diana
    Oct 19, 2006 @ 08:05:48

    Tess Gerritson comes to mind. The Surgeon won the Rita for romantic suspense a few years ago. A little surprising because I think Gerritson and her publisher consider her a mainstream novelist.

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  15. wandergurl
    Oct 24, 2006 @ 17:48:28

    Moon Calling by Patricia Briggs – its more paranormal but it also has a mystery to solve and there’s romance, though its not entirely focused on that.

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  16. Jane
    Oct 24, 2006 @ 20:14:04

    I think La Nora is my safest bet. I am going to suggest the first in the In Death series and also suggest he just skip the sex scenes. :)

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