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The beauty of literature is in the creative freedom it provides the authors. As a writer, you are not limited to one specific genre. You can blend multiple genres to craft an exhilarating book.

You can mix action with adventure, perhaps give horror a comedic twist. However, one particular blend of genres resonates with audiences on a deeper level: romance thriller books.

We will talk about some of the best romance thriller books of all time so readers can experience the emotion, suspense, and thrill for themselves.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

We’re starting with one of the most iconic works of fiction we’ve seen recently. Renowned author Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl exudes all that makes for the perfect romance-thriller fiction, but not necessarily in the way that you think. Readers are immersed in the dysfunctional household of the Dunne’s’, who seem to be “done” with each other. This is peculiar, as the story shows flashbacks of Nick and Amy Dunne and the beautiful beginning of their story. However, what transpires in the build-up to their eventual fallout is nothing less than shocking. Without spoiling too much, we highly recommend adult readers deep dive into Gone Girl, one of the best romance thriller books.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

We’re rewinding the clock to 1938 with this one, where we are presented with Daphne du Maurier’s classic, Rebecca. The story is a timeless tale that weaves together a romance narrative with the right amount of suspense and a touch of damning mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat. But what is the book all about?

Readers are immersed into the haunting backdrop of Manderley, where they are introduced to an unnamed protagonist, married to Maxim de Winter. Rebecca, the specter of Maxim’s first wife, creates a glaring atmosphere of intrigue and tension. The book shines through in developing riveting characters, making it one of the best romance thriller books of all time.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

There was no way this book wouldn’t make it to the list. Author Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, introduces readers to Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Even though the book is best for its thriller and mystery sequences, the chemistry and complex relationship between the two protagonists add a deeper layer to the overall experience. Larsson knows how to tease audiences with both emotional elements and suspense that keep them hooked until the story’s final revelation.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is another fine example of a good romance thriller book. The book transcends the conventional boundaries of what we usually see in romance fiction. The story involves Claire Randall, a World War II nurse mysteriously transported to 18th-century Scotland. In the backdrop of political drama and historical turmoil, Claire’s complex and passionate relationship with Jamie Fraser makes the overall story much more intriguing for the reader.

Gabaldon’s research and knack for compelling storytelling are on full display here. Outlander is a very beloved romance thriller series that has developed a cult fan following over the years.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Before I Go To Sleep is author S.J. Watson’s first-ever book, which dives deep into the intricacies of love and memory. We see the protagonist, Christine Lucas, waking up every day with no memory of her past, eventually leading to some romantic encounters as she pieces back the puzzle of her life. Watson brilliantly demonstrates the art of building psychological tension and suspense to deliver a novel up there among the greats.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Romance-thriller readers, brace yourselves for this one. Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale invites readers into an atmospheric and gothic romance story that gives you a little bit of everything. We get to meet biographer Margaret Lea, who is summoned to tell the story of Vida Winter, a renowned author. Vida recounts her life story as Margaret is entangled in a tale of ghosts, twins, and forbidden love. The author’s knack for developing an intricate plot can be seen in this book, making it a must-have on your bookshelves.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Meet Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer ravaged by financial turmoil. Lowen is hired by Jeremy Crawford, the husband of the bestselling author Verity Crawford, who stories his wife couldn’t complete due to a severe injury.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford household, ready to begin the project. As she goes through years of notes and outlines, gathering enough material to begin, she discovers an unfinished autobiography never intended to be read by anyone. This autobiography contains some bone-chilling revelations, which include Verity’s recollection of what actually happened when her daughter passed away.

Colleen Hoover brings forth a nail-biting romance thriller that was also nominated for the best romance read of 2019.

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard Top of Form

Who do you think is the perfect man?

This is a topic that sparks much debate among people, one that is deliciously racy and pretty constructive, for that matter. Jane Bright and her three girlfriends would agree as they pondered the question at their “usual” spot. Tall, dark, and handsome? Those are the usual prerequisites. As the conversations begin to heat up, the girls’ checklist becomes an overnight sensation.

It all began as a joke; however, the story slowly condensed into a thriller as the girls found out four women were murdered. How does this all tie together?

The book has romance, suspense, mystery, engaging thriller sequences, and more for audiences to delve into.

Naked in Death by J. D. Robb

Naked in Death is the first book in the J. D. Robbs’ bestselling In Death series, which features Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.

The year is 2058, when technology rules the world. Eve Dallas, a New York City Detective, is aware that the irresistible pulses of the human heart are still governed by one thing: passion. The senator’s daughter is murdered, and her secret life in prostitution is revealed. The high-profile case is taken under Lieutenant Eve Dallas for inspection. However, what further complicates matters is Eve’s growing feelings with Roarke, one of the planet’s wealthiest and most influential men.

Naked in Death is a criminally underrated book in the genre that should be in every reader’s library

Deceptive Calm by Patricia Skipper

And now, last but certainly not least, we have one of the best romance thriller books of the year.

The story begins in the tumultuous backdrop of 1968, where racism is ravaging America. The protagonist, Vanessa, is a stunning, light-skinned beauty living in a Catholic orphanage for African Americans.

In the doom and gloom of the era, we get to witness the love story between Vanessa and Barry. Their overwhelming chemistry and wholesome love resonate with readers on a deeper level, making the subsequent sequences in the book even more potent.

Vanessa, in all her innocence, has to endure great adversities, witnessing a Ku Klux Klan attack, the death of the nun who reared her, as well as a back-alley abortion. She has to part ways with Barry in the process, which adds to the tragic turn of events.

But this isn’t just any other tragic love story.

Vanessa finds her footing and has an idea. Donning the identity of a deceased White baby, she begins her new life and climbs up the ranks in the newsroom. It seems as though Vanessa’s life has finally flipped for the better. She marries one of California’s wealthiest families and is expecting a baby with her husband.

But this is where her past begins to creep up. Vanessa’s firstborn baby boy is diagnosed with sickle cell trait, which leaves her husband perplexed. He discovers that the woman he is marrying is, indeed, black. Hence, he begins to plot his revenge.

The book is the personification of the romance-thriller genre and is already creating buzz among readers. Patricia Skipper’s ability to immerse audiences in both the romantic elements and the thriller themes is certainly no deception, making it one of the best romance thriller books of all time.

Deceptive Calm is now available on Amazon. You can also visit Patricia’s website for more information.

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