Monday, June 22, 2015

That BOGO feeling


Congratulations to "Janet K.", the winner in Naima's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Romantic suspense is one of my absolute favorite genres to read. Which might explain why, y’know, I love to write it, too. Honestly, I think it’s the BOGO feeling. You know, the sense that I’m reading a romance and getting a whole new book for free? Because in romantic suspense, it’s like having the best of both worlds—a sizzling, emotional read between a to-die-for hero and yeah-I-wish-I-were-you heroine, plus a serious who-dunnit that leaves me guessing all the way to the end. See? BOGO!

For me, there are certain elements a great romantic suspense must include in order to have me salivating and storing it on my TBR Again shelf.

     An Alpha hero. I’m not a Beta-hero lover. Don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with whether he’s a geek at heart or tech-savvy or scary intelligent. As a matter of fact, I prefer that he’s brilliant. Brains are as much of a turn-on as a hot body. But he must be Alpha. In other words, he must be sexy, hardened, dominant, sometimes even merciless if the situation calls for it. He doesn’t take shi—er, flack off anyone. Seriously, if he didn’t have a strong moral and ethical code, he would make a fabulous villain. Yup, that’s my kinda hero.

     A likable heroine…with brain cells. I love a kick-a** heroine as much as the next person. Think Niema in Linda Howard’s All the Queen’s Men…that her name is pronounced like mine is purely coincidental… But even if the heroine isn’t a super spy or knockin’ fools out left and right, she has to be strong. Not a wimp. Even if she loves her pedis and manis and has never so much as punched a clock, much less a villain, she has to have a strong character, a wicked sense of humor, and for the love of all that’s Vin Diesel, she has to be smart. Nothing will make me close a book faster with a “WTF???” howling in the room than a too stupid to live heroine. If it is, I’m praying the villain gets her good!

     Keep me guessing! A mystery that keeps me going, “I think it’s him, but no…” or “No, it can’t be her because…” is the hallmark of a wonderful romantic suspense. Even if I have an inkling of who might be behind the big reveal, I still want it to be just that…A Big Reveal. Make me work for it!

     Make sense. One of the things I absolutely adore about Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, and Lisa Gardner is they start off their books with all these different people from different walks of life with different issues and seemingly nothing at all to do with one another. I stress, seemingly. Because by the end, aaaall these different from people from different walks, yada, yada, yada, are related and entwined together in some way. And it’s brilliant how they make them mesh and relevant! Brilliant! But most of all, it makes sense. Nothing is left unresolved, or is there for filler. Every detail and incident is important and has to do with the mystery. Just please, for the love of the hotness that is Henry Cavill, make sense.

     Hot sex. *drops the mic and walks away*

     A great, memorable villain. Not the mustache-twirling, evil-cackling villain. But a diabolical, intelligent, deliciously deranged and amoral villain. And bonus points for psycho. I love the ones who you never see coming. Who shock the bejeesuz out of you because they seemed sane the entire read. Or even when you know they’re certifiable, but their reasons for lopping off heads and propping ‘em up on sticks in his backyard like morbid daisies makes sense. Makes you start looking at your backyard with a more judicious eye…

     Giveaway: 

Okay, what do you love to see in a good romantic suspense? What elements are deal breakers for you? Dish, and enter to win a $5.00 Amazon gift card from moi!  


WITNESS TO PASSION 

Under his protection and in his bed...

For Fallon Wayland, birthdays are just another reminder of her looming spinsterhood. This year is shaping up to be no different. Fired from her job, dumped by her boyfriend, and oh yes, witnessing the murder of a high-ranking lieutenant in the local crime family... Yeah, birthdays suck.

Ever since a disastrous, hot-as-hell kiss years ago, soldier-turned-security specialist Shane Roarke has avoided his baby sister's reckless - and gorgeous - best friend. Yet when her life is threatened after she witnesses a gang hit, he insists on protecting her...even if she objects.

The two are forced to hole up in a safe house. Alone. Passion long denied erupts between them, burning away their inhibitions. But even as layers - and clothes - are peeled away, danger closes in. Shane and Fallon might finally have a chance at love...if they survive long enough to see it.


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST June 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

                 Be sure to check out the JRS SHOWCASE for additional giveaways!

23 comments:

  1. You pretty much covered all of must haves in romantic suspense. I will toss a book so fast the pages will fly if the heroine is TSTL. As you said, she doesn't have to be "kick ass" but she does have to be smart and funny (in appropriate places). The plot has to be tight and lots of twists so I keep reading. Thanks for the giveaway! jmvarner50@hotmail.com

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    1. Hi, Joan!
      A TSTL heroine is one of my absolute pet peeves! Like, if I wish she were real so I could punch her in the throat, then, yeah, I need to put the book down...LOL!! Twists are part of what makes a romantic suspense great! I love having that palm to forehead smack at the end! That's how you know the author did his/her job. My forehead is stinging. LOL!!

      Thank you so much for coming through, Joan!!

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  2. It has to keep me guessing, no question! I like thinking about the book and characters even when I'm not reading it and I posit so many different theories and I love when I can figure it out myself even as much as when the author throws something totally unexpected in there.

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Definitely, Ada! I don't mind if I guess who the villain is. Like I just finished a Lisa Gardner book and about halfway through, I guessed who the villain was. But, the amazing twist was WHY! The villain's motivations doggone near dropped me to the floor! Soooo didn't see that coming! I love the unexpected! Shock. Me. :-D

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Ada!

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  3. I love a strong heroine in romantic suspense. Think of Jess in Debra Webb's Faces of Evil series or Samantha "Sam"Holland in Marie Force's Fatal series. Women who aren't afraid to speak up and stand up for themselves. I don't, however, want someone so strong they can't be completely feminine when the time comes but I hate these books where they let the hero just walk all over them. I can understand letting your "alpha" protect you but I've read books where the woman has no backbone whatsoever. Not my cup of tea. So no snivelling, wimpy, little cowards please. Just want to say I loved your series Secrets and Sins. Yummy! debbiemac73 AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Hey, Debbie!!
      Oooh, I loves me some Debra Webb! One of my fave series by her is the one with Traceless, Fameless and Nameless. They had the best heroines! So strong but not wanting to be men. LOL! Does that sound sexist? Because I totally get what you mean about the heroine not able to be feminine. That's also what I love about Lisa Gardner's D..D. Warren. She is the toughest, smartest, hardest Boston detective on the force, but she's gorgeous and shows it off with her hair, tailored shirts, jeans and high-heeled boots. :-D I love the balance between kick a** and femininity. I'm so glad you enjoyed Secrets and Sins! Yaaay! Thank you for that!

      And thank you for coming through, Debbie!! <3

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  4. I like tension, the kind that gives me a stomach ache! The story that keeps me off balance, not really knowing if the characters I've bonded with are going to make it intact, is the kind that I'm drawn to. And none of that off the page romance stuff. Don't take me to cliff side and strand me.

    The one thing that's a story deal breaker...cheating. I'm gone for good.

    Love the premise of your book!

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi, Jonetta!
      I have a confession to make: I'm a look to the back of the book kinda girl. I know! I know! I'm like breaking a cardinal rule. But when I'm at the bookstore, I flip to the last page and make sure the hero and heroine end up together. Because that's a deal breaker for me! Buuut, I've learned to cut that out with romantic suspenses. I did that with a Nora Roberts' book and ended up spoiling the mystery! I was so mad at myself! LOL! By trying to avoid the "stomach ache" I ruined the big reveal! No more of that though. And I'm with you, as you can tell, none of that off the page romance. Nope. I'm nosy. I need to see. Hee-hee! AAARRRRGGGGHH!!! Sorry, but you hit a sore spot for me! Cheating is not romantic!! I'm sorry, it's not. I'm giving you a virtual high-five and hip bump on that point. As soon as I read that, I'm putting the book down, because it's The Unforgivable Sin!

      Thank you for coming by and hanging,, Jonetta!!

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  5. I have to want to know my characters. To care about them!
    Jan

    Janet_Kerr (at) MSN.com

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    1. Oh yes, Janet! Feeling invested in the characters are an absolute must. If I don't care about 'em or don't like them, then how am I supposed to give a sugar-honey-ice-tea about whether they have a HEA or even end up alive? LOL! I want to love them, root for them, think about them after I close the book or power down the Kindle. Such a great point!

      Thank you for coming by and visiting, Janet!!

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  6. I agree with wanting what you listed above in a Romantic Suspense... the author has to really draw me into the story... have characters that come to life for me... that bit of danger and intrigue... thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi, Colleen!
      I'm the same. I want to be drawn--no, snatched!--into a story where I have no choice but to keep reading and reading because I HAVE to know what's going to happen next. Both with the suspense and the hero and heroine! in a romantic suspense, the two have to be so cleverly intertwined, that one feeds off the other. There's that BOGO feeling again! LOL! Like bring it to life for me! And the good part is, most of the books I read accomplish that hands down! :-D

      Thank you SO much for coming by and dishing with me, Colleen!

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  7. needs an HEA
    no cliffhangers or cheating

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Yeeeaaahh. I know cliffhangers are really popular right now, and I've even bought some. But my preference is the entire book in one shot. I'm not patient enough for installments. :-D And cheating? Let the doorknob ht ya where the good Lord split ya! I can't stand that either! I repeat...It's not romantic! I just can't say that enough...LOL!

      Thank you for coming by and sharing, bn100!

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  8. Wonderful post! I'm a big fan of romantic suspense, and one of my must-haves is a great villain. I love when there is a villain's point of view; often creepy and spine-chilling but great nonetheless. Another thing I enjoy are the stories where the villain has some human flaws or is portrayed in a way that you feel bad for him. I remember reading Deadline by Sandra Brown and feeling really sad for some of the bad guys and hoping for a twist that in some way would redeem them.

    natalija(dot)shkomare(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I love a brilliant, creepy, unsettling villain. Two of my faves are Parrish from Linda Howard's Son of the Morning--utter evil wrapped up in a pretty, seemingly sane package--and the Burgerman in Lisa Gardner's Say Goodbye. In Say Goodbye, the villain was like what you mentioned, human and almost had me feeling sorry for him. Because he had been kidnapped as a child, sexually abused and turned into the monster who stole him, I couldn't help but feel for him because I had seen him as a young, defenseless, tortured boy. But man, was he evil. I was so conflicted! He needed to die, but even at the end, I had a flicker of compassion and pity for him. See why he's one of the best villains--in my opinion--ever written? Sigh.

      Thank you SO much for stopping by and dishing with me, Natalija! You have such a pretty name, too! :-D

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  9. It took me reading through the entire post to figure out what BOGO meant. I think I need a cup of tea.

    Equals parts romance & suspense will do it.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. ROTFL, Mary!!! That's too funny! I learned BOGO from my days at Payless Shoes when I actually did pay less there. Those days are gone, but the BOGO has remained. LOLOL!! Equal parts romance and suspense, definitely! I'm even on the a little more romance top-heavy side. *nodding*

      Thank you for coming through and visiting with me, Mary!! :-)

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  10. I can't stand weak heroines - or alpha heroes that verge on the overly aggressive brutes. I don't mind having both characters be strong-willed but they need to have characteristics I can cheer for and hope they can weave their way through the story together! The worst is having one character that I can't like and the suspense is whether or not I'll get to see them suffer in the story!! Thanks for sharing your list with us!

    thebigbluewall77(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Anita, first of all...best avatar EVAH!!! LOL!! I am so guilty of disliking a character so much I hoped she was killed...yeah, it was a heroine. LOL!! I haven't crossed a hero like that, yet, but I can imagine the quiet hope of the demise would be the same. I hate when that happens because I want to root for them! Also, I'm guilty of loving aggressive, almost a-hole-ish heroes. *sheepish grin* It totally depends on why he's like that and if it's not too over the top into cray-cray-you-belong-on-Dr. Phil territory, though! If I'm tempted to hand him an 800 number than, yeah, too much! LOL!

      Thank you so much for coming by, Anita!!

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  11. Since romantic suspense is my most favorite genre I do have certain things I expect in the book to consider it good.

    First there has to be romance between a woman with some intelligence and she can't be a push over. Too often the woman is a wuse and dependent on the man. That is a turn off for me. She doesn't have to be stunningly beautiful. Actually I prefer her not to be gorgeous - just attractive. The man has to be physically attractive and well built. I also want him to be intelligent and protective but not domineering. Of course there has to be good sex but not so detailed that it is erotica.

    Second, the mystery has to keep me guessing throughout the book and I like both of them to help solve the mystery.

    joanne.boykoATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!!
      I'm so with you on that heroine. I can't stand a wus. She doesn't have to be fists of fury, but don't cower while your man does all the heavy lifting. Use your brain or a lamp! Brain or a lamp! LOL!! And y'know, Jo-Anne, some of my fave books have heroines who are not size 2s, are not stunning and have something interesting about their looks. But the man? Even if he's scarred, he has to be manly! And yes, the mystery has to keep me bound to the book, desperate to read on to find out what the heck is going on!! :-D

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing, Jo-Anne!!

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  12. Since romantic suspense is my most favorite genre I do have certain things I expect in the book to consider it good.

    First there has to be romance between a woman with some intelligence and she can't be a push over. Too often the woman is a wuse and dependent on the man. That is a turn off for me. She doesn't have to be stunningly beautiful. Actually I prefer her not to be gorgeous - just attractive. The man has to be physically attractive and well built. I also want him to be intelligent and protective but not domineering. Of course there has to be good sex but not so detailed that it is erotica.

    Second, the mystery has to keep me guessing throughout the book and I like both of them to help solve the mystery.

    joanne.boykoATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete