Each January the AAR Annual Reader Poll is a major event here, celebrating the best in romance published for the first time the previous year. And each year many readers do a lot of last minute reading in an attempt to find the “best” in various categories before the poll ends. We’re now at the halfway point in the 2015 publishing year, and thought it would be fun to do a series of posts earlier in the year, alerting readers to the “best” in various categories, and asking for suggestions for great reads we’ve missed out on. First up, is the Best Romantic Suspense published for the first time in 2015. As a reminder, last year’s winner was River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz.


So far this year, AAR reviewers have given a DIK to only one book classified strictly as romantic suspense title, Carolyn Crane’s Behind the Mask, while Laura Griffin’s Beyond Limits received a B+.  Two books first published in 2015 received a B- review here: Erica Spindler’s The First Wife and Jayne Anne Krentz’s Trust No One. The audiobook version of Nora Roberts’ 2015 The Liar also received a B+ here. And that’s it. So far, after six months, things are looking rather grim for our recommendations for the Best Romantic Suspense of 2015.

While I don’t read as much romantic suspense as I used to – preferring to either read straight mysteries or straight romance – I do like to keep up with the best in the category. I’ve personally read both Trust No One and The Liar and could vote for either one as my favorite romantic suspense of 2015.

I asked my colleagues at AAR for their favorite romantic suspense of 2015 and they came up with a number of great suggestions that did not appear in my search at AAR for romantic suspense (and some I’ve read and enjoyed). 

Lee Brewer has read a number of books she would label as romantic suspense, and recommends the following: 

Consumed by Fire by Anne Stuart (which continues her “Ice” series books)  

Fragmented by Stephanie Tyler.

The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley.

Lee also commented that she’s looking forward to the following releases later in the year, all of which she feels would fall under the broad category of romantic suspense:

Shadow Fall by Laura Griffin (release date 9/22)

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn (release date  9/1)

The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig (release date 8/4)

Caz seconded Lee’s recommendation for The Other Side of Midnight, commenting that “it’s terrific.” (I should add that I listened to it in audiobook and found it outstanding).

Dabney reminded us that Debt, by Nina Jones, received a B+ in a midweek mini review. 

Maggie suggested another book featured in a midweek mini review, Minutes to Kill by Melinda Leigh. Maggie also read and enjoyed Circumstantial Evidence by Lisa Clark O’Neill, giving it 5 stars on her Goodreads account. Maggie is looking forward to the following yet-to-be-released romantic suspense:

The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak (release date 07/28)

One Last Time by Denise Daisy (release date 08/04)

Malice by Lisa Clark O’Neill (her website says Summer of 2015)

Maggie added readers also might consider Karen White’s The Sound of Glass, and describes it as a women’s fiction/mystery novel which deals with a mystery in the past. Maggie notes that she loved it and gave it a DIK.

So while AAR’s Annual Reader poll is about six months away, we already have a lot of great suggestions for Best Romantic Suspense published for the first time in 2015. But are we missing some great romantic suspense? What have been some of your favorite romantic suspense reads so far this year? And what romantic suspense novels are you eagerly awaiting in the remainder of the year?

LinnieGayl