Now the thing about a romantic suspense is that it’s just like summer camp. It’s a very intense experience in a short amount of time. Things happen quickly. So it’s a safe bet that the H&H are going to get to know each other very fast, usually while they’re dodging bullets, building a bomb, trekking across the jungle, and pretty much trying to save the world. So, what’s an H&H to do? Well, in most cases it’s going to have to be sex on the run.

For me, romance is about silk sheets, chilled champagne, and soft lights. Or so one would think. But when you’re a heroine in a romantic suspense all bets are off. Forget the sheets; she’s lucky to get a cot in a small dark room. Champagne? Not likely. She’s probably had to put purifying pills in the water just to quench her thirst. Soft lights? Well if you consider the glow from the camp fire built to ward off potential jungle predators, then I guess you could say, yes there is soft light. But let’s face it, if you’re a heroine in a romantic suspense novel you have to roll with the punches and take romance even at the most inopportune times.  

As a result, you’ll find many a hero and heroine locked in a passionate embrace in some of the most unlikely places. Drake and Madeline, in Dee Davis’ Dangerous Desires, were clearly not lying around on a sun-drenched beach in St. Tropez when their feelings for each other boiled to the surface. Instead they found themselves in the middle of the Columbian jungle. Their first attempt at passion is a misfire when a roving, hungry jaguar leaps into their camp ground.  Personally, my idea of getting close to nature is riding in an air-conditioned limousine with the windows rolled up—so there’s no chance in Hell I’d even think about sex in the jungle. For gosh sakes, there are squiggly things crawling around, and animals that could potentially leave me scarred in places …  well, you get the picture.  However, Dee Davis’s H&H are stranded, in the middle of a mission gone bad, with a drug cartel hot on their heels. Do they really have a choice? I say no. Go for it.    

Cherry Adair’s On Thin Ice features Kelly and Derek on a dog race across the frozen tundra of Alaska. Okay, here’s what you need to know. Once the temperature falls below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, I don’t take my clothes off.  But Kelly and Derek find a way. Being in a romantic suspense means never having to say “No, the conditions aren’t right.” And that’s what makes me love these books. The characters are as bold, brave, and brazen as the plots. Like Cherry Adair and Dee Davis, authors like Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard, Debra Webb, and Karen Rose, are also masters of the romantic suspense. They create story lines that are intricate, compelling, and mysterious, leaving the reader just a little bit breathless and yearning for the next book.

What are some of the strangest places you’ve read where the H&H get intimate?

 

 

 

 

Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer

 

Get your daily updates of the RWA National Conference with special correspondent, author Dee Davis.

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