I have a great love of romantic suspense, but I hardly read any suspense books in 2013.
Here’s what I’d like to see in 2014 – the things that would encourage me to seek out the genre more often:
- Ease up on the Navy SEALs! It has become so clichéd it’s practically a joke. Navy SEALs popping up in stories about small town bakeries. Navy SEALs babysitting. Navy SEALs who also happen to be billionaire businessmen and Nobel Prize winners. Navy SEALs running BDSM clubs in their spare time (didn’t know they had THAT much spare time!). There’re other military men worthy of your attention. Unless SEALs particularly fit into your storyline, please stop including them!
Every man and his dog is a Navy SEAL these days!
I’ve not read any of the books above, so please don’t take this as a criticism of them in particular!
- A move back to real romantic suspense. The subgenre has divided into two parts; neither of which #1 fits definitions of ‘romantic suspense’ or #2 interests me as much. The first direction is to give all the characters magical, paranormal abilities. If I wanted mind reading and magic ocean-crossing healing powers, I’d be reading paranormal romance. If I want contemporary romance with any suspense a distant, distant, distant second, I’d pick up a contemporary romance.
- Fewer ‘secret league of stupendously strong men operating major (yet still somehow secret) security companies on US soil’ and instead, more:
- Books that deal with real life issues. The world is a messy, dangerous place. There’s no need to manufacture moustache-twirling mega-villains who represent nobody in particular when there’re so many real issues you could be dealing with. I want more Kaylea Crosses and Pamela Clares. More Cindy Gerards. More authors willing to do the research to create suspense stories involving current issues and brave enough to use settings that actually exist. Books grounded in the gritty reality, that’s what I want!