The best romance books with a thrilling plot

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a big fan of romance books with thrilling plots. It’s partly how I remember the stories years later. When I wrote Flowers for Kate in the Rainbow Desire anthology, it started as a pure romance, but I added a supernatural thrill. One reader admitted checking over her shoulder in case a spectral being was there while reading the story. I love writing stories with twists and turns, and surprising readers. Maybe it comes from my childhood days of being a Scooby-Doo fan—I loved the thrill of guessing the mysteries behind each character and the villain being unmasked. I’m an ex-journalist who has published romance stories from erotic to sweet.


I wrote...

Rainbow Desire

By Annabel Allan, Estelle Pettersen, Callie Carmen

Book cover of Rainbow Desire

What is my book about?

It’s 1988, a decade after video killed the radio star. Disco’s out of fashion, and pop music dominates the dance floor. At twenty-two, Kate Calloway is a bangle-loving university student finding her way in life with her friends. She’s allergic to pollen and hates flowers until she meets the mysterious Dahlia, a florist who takes her breath away. Kate wants Dahlia, but does Dahlia feel the same for Kate?

Flowers for Kate is a story in Rainbow Desire, an anthology that celebrates life and love in its kaleidoscope of exotic rainbow colours. Published by Black Velvet Seductions, the stories in the book reflect its vibrant shades of romance from light and dark. The LGBTQ+ anthology features work by international and award-winning authors.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Patrick

Estelle Pettersen Why did I love this book?

A sexy romance, a strong female lead, a hot hero…and a psychopathic serial killer. What more can a romance reader with a craving for thriller plots want? Patrick, book one in the Risking Love series by Callie Carmen, covers all the above elements that make a great thrilling romance. I’m a huge fan of strong women, and though Jaq, the protagonist, is being pursued by a serial killer, she never lets her guard down. She is a woman with a strong voice, which does not falter, and Patrick makes a great love interesthe’s a protective man who gives us plenty of sizzle. The author did a great job at giving readers a spine-chilling view into the mind of a serial killer. 

By Callie Carmen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Patrick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jaq had no interest in a serious relationship because life at an early age had taught her that men weren't to be trusted. But she met Patrick who soon had her thinking about risking her heart. For Patrick the time for Jaq dating other men had ended. He wanted her all to himself. But would she stay if she knew the secrets of his past? Patrick wasn't the only man who wanted Jaq, and the other man was willing to kill to have her. Patrick is the first novel in the Risking Love series. The stories chart a group of…


Book cover of Her Lover's Face

Estelle Pettersen Why did I love this book?

This book is surrounded by a shroud of mystery from the start. Laryssa Mitchell reclaims her life after the death of her abusive husband. She starts taking back what was lost – her independence and her old job. But she finds herself in a living nightmare when she meets her new boss. Who is the man standing in front of her with her dead husband’s face? Alexander Richards is the spitting image of Laryssa’s ex, but instead of darkness, she finds light in this caring man in the midst of danger. The passion is hot and there are plenty of thrills in this novel.

By Patricia Elliott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Her Lover's Face as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Laryssa Mitchell is one of the lucky ones. The death of her abusive husband finally allows her to live again on her own terms, making her own choices. Her first official decision is to take back what was lost – her independence and her old job. But she soon finds herself in a living nightmare when she meets her new boss. If her husband is rotting in hell, then who is the man standing in front of her with a dead man’s face?Alexander Richards doesn’t expect to catch an unconscious woman in his arms on his first day of work,…


Book cover of Wildfire

Estelle Pettersen Why did I love this book?

Wildfire starts with the protagonist Stephanie Fournier working as an assistant in a boring 9 to 5 job. Yet, this book is anything but boring. Things heat up very fast when gorgeous CEO Robert Quinlan notices her, and the two become passionate. There’s a catch…she’s a virgin. Will his sudden disinterest in Stephanie mean the end of a romance? Or, can experts be seduced by amateurs? And, there is trouble brewing when another woman’s jealousy bubbles over Quinlan. Wildfire is book one in the Smoke Chaser series. It’s packed with great dialogue, a ruthless female antagonist who drops nasty surprises in Stephanie’s path, and a fiery romance that honors the story’s title. 

By Annabel Allan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wildfire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephanie Fournier is an assistant at a law firm in Toronto, Ontario. Her boring 9 to 5 starts to heat up when Robert Quinlan, the gorgeous CEO of the company, takes a special interest in her. At first she responds to his obvious interest with glee... and then he finds out she's a virgin.

His sudden disinterest is not only embarrassing, but awkward around the workplace, especially with an undeniable heat still present between them. Stephanie sets out to prove she's unshaken, only to entice him back into her thrall. But can an amateur really win over an expert in…


Book cover of Ruby Red

Estelle Pettersen Why did I love this book?

This book starts with the gorgeous Ali Stinson going from riches to rags. Things aren’t looking good for her until she meets handsome blond bartender Sam. There are surprises throughout the story, a playboy ex-husband who creates mischief, and thrilling twists leading to a memorable ending. There’s more to Ali and Sam than who you meet at first glance. Strong women are my thing and she’s smart—very smart—with a spine made of titanium. Sam is more than just a hot bartender by the pool. He has a secret too. And yes, the bedroom scenes are full of steam. Did the book thrill me? Yes, very much!

By D. L. Croisette,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ruby Red as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sometimes you find love only after you lose everything else.

One night stands only need apply.

Ali Stinson is having a bad day. Her afternoon tryst was interrupted (before they got to the good part) to discover her investment manager ran away with all her money. Now she has to keep up appearances with her high society friends, find a dress for an upcoming charity event, and not fall in love with Sam, the cute bartender, who insists on helping her. Thing is, she’s 90% sure she doesn’t want help. Adulting is hard.

Looking for work, not love.

Sam Freemont…


Book cover of Michael

Estelle Pettersen Why did I love this book?

Michael by Bonnie Rose is an exciting mafia romance novel with plot twists I didn’t see coming. I love her writing style—it’s straightforward, clear to read, and it touched a spectrum of emotions, from elation to tears. The protagonist, Emily, has known her love interest, Michael, since they were children. Told from her perspective, the story takes readers on a journey of entangled love, family drama, and crime. A sweet boy grows up and evolves into a dominant and frightening mafia boss. Yet, Emily’s desire for dangerously handsome Michael becomes stronger in this gripping story.

By Bonnie Rose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Michael as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael was my best friend since elementary school. He was the weird kid, the quiet one, and no one understood him. But I did. I was sweet sixteen when I realized I was in love with him. Turns out, he loved me, too. But there were too many secrets that surrounded his family, lies that slowly tore us apart…until the day I had no choice but to leave.Now, six years later Michael stumbles back into my life, and the connection between us is still as strong as ever. But the deceptions that tore us apart in the first place is…


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The Others

By Evette Davis,

Book cover of The Others

Evette Davis Author Of Woman King

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve worked in journalism, politics, and public policy for 30-plus years and watched as the extreme voices gained the most traction on either side of a debate. On social media, these minority views often dominate the discussion. 48 States is a stand-alone novel highlighting the problems of extremist viewpoints in a civil society. I also have another book series that features a political consultant who discovers she's a witch and joins a secret society that uses magic to manipulate elections to protect humanity. Bottom line: if I can’t fix political discourse for a living, I can write science fiction novels that contemplate how to do it.

Evette's book list on dystopian stories for the bada** feminist in us all

What is my book about?

True Blood meets Supernatural in the kickoff of this urban paranormal fantasy series from an acclaimed author. Readers enter a dystopian San Francisco filled with empaths and vampires embroiled in political unrest—and Book 1 is just the beginning.

Much as she wishes otherwise, superstar political consultant Olivia Shepherd was born a powerful empath. It’s a legacy she walked away from long ago—but when she wakes up one morning to find Elsa, a tenacious time-walker, standing in her kitchen, she realizes she can no longer ignore her gifts. She is quickly plunged into the hidden world of powerful “Others” and drafted…

The Others

By Evette Davis,

What is this book about?

True Blood meets Supernatural in the kickoff of this urban paranormal fantasy series from an acclaimed author. Readers enter a dystopian San Francisco filled with empaths and vampires embroiled in political unrest—and Book 1 is just the beginning.

Much as she wishes otherwise, superstar political consultant Olivia Shepherd was born a powerful empath. It’s a legacy she walked away from long ago—but when she wakes up one morning to find Elsa, a tenacious time-walker, standing in her kitchen, she realizes she can no longer ignore her gifts. She is quickly plunged into the hidden world of powerful “Others” and drafted…


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