Welcome to Kiss and Thrill!

Kiss and Thrill is a joint effort by nine writers, published and unpublished, and we’re here to celebrate the books we love the most. If you love mysteries, suspense, and thrillers with strong romantic plots, then visit often and enjoy as we write about our favorite genre and bring you interviews from top writers in the field.

You can expect to find new content and often a book-related giveaway on Tuesdays, with a follow-up blog announcing winners on Thursdays.  We have a great line up of guest authors planned, starting with tomorrow’s first guest, Allison Brennan!

For our inaugural blog, we decided to answer the question: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three romantic suspense books would you want with you?

Get ready to add to your to-be-read pile, because there are some fabulous book recommendations below.

Sharon Wray

SUZANNE BROCKMANN – Letters to Kelly (2003) Silhouette Intimate Moments No. 1213

After years of turning my back on fictional Happily Ever Afters, this book found me during the darkest period of my life. Within the first five pages, the fabulous Suz reminded me, in a powerful way, of how much I love reading romance.

LINDSAY MCKENNA – Morgan’s Marriage (1995) Morgan’s Mercenaries: Love and Danger – Silhouette Special Edition No. 1005

This bittersweet love story about an estranged husband and wife is one of the most emotional suspense stories I’ve ever read. It’ll be on my keeper shelf forever.

SUZANNE BROCKMANN – Out of Control (2002) Troubleshooters, Book 4

I can’t go anywhere without Out of Control. It was while devouring this book that I decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life—write romantic suspense. And I will always be grateful.

Gwen Hernandez

I love sensual, emotionally charged books with lots of action and suspense, especially those with a military/mercenary/ bodyguard/spy slant. Not sure I could live with just three books, but if I had to, these would be at the top of my list.

SUZANNE BROCKMANN – Over the Edge (2001) Troubleshooters, Book 3

Brockmann is hands down my favorite romantic suspense author—one of the first I ever read—and the one who inspired me to write it. She excels at creating characters who are both kick-butt and vulnerable. Every one of them feels real to me. Heavy on the emotion with deftly-written plots, choosing just one of her books was hard, but I keep coming back to Stan and Teri’s story over and over.

JOANNA BOURNE – The Spymaster’s Lady (2010)

Bourne combines suspense with my other favorite: historical romance. The characters and plot twists in this book left me breathless.

SUZANNE BROCKMANN – Frisco’s Kid (1997) Tall, Dark & Dangerous, Book 3

No, Sharon and I didn’t plan this. 😉

This book from Brockmann’s early days with Harlequin handled the physically and emotionally wounded warrior so well that two years after reading it, I still think about Frisco.

Krista Hall

I would need stories that offer the comfort of characters who feel like old friends, the opportunity for discovery of nuances of plot or character previously unnoticed, and the simple pleasure of a well-crafted mystery—all while magically transporting me to distant places.

WILKIE COLLINS – The Woman in White (1859)

This 1859 precursor of the modern mystery thriller promises many hours of companionship with the Hartwrights and Fairlies, the comical Professor Pesca, the evil Count Fosco, and, of course, the mysterious woman glimpsed on a moonlit lane.

TANA FRENCH – Faithful Place (2010)

A nuanced portrait of murder, betrayal, and love set in contemporary Dublin. While solving the mysterious disappearance of his first love, undercover detective Frank Mackey wrestles with the ties of love and obligation that bind him to his dysfunctional childhood.

ELIZABETH LOWELL – Death Is Forever (1992, 2004)

Political intrigue and non-stop action in Australia where an American heiress and a geologist uncover dangerous secrets associated with an inherited diamond mine and battle to survive ruthless players in the international diamond trade.

Rachel Grant

TAMI HOAG – Night Sins (1995)

The first romance I read after a long break from the genre, this book made me realize how much I’d missed the added layer of intensity that romance brings to a suspense story.  After reading Night Sins, I knew that when I eventually sat down to write a book, this was the genre for me.

ELIZABETH LOWELL – Jade Island (1998)

It was hard to choose only one Lowell book.  The suspense element of her books is always a fun ride, so I picked Jade Island because the chemistry between Kyle and Lianne is amazing.  From the first moment they meet, they sizzle, and the heat only increases from there.

LINNEA SINCLAIR – Finders Keepers (2005)

Science Fiction romance at its finest, Sinclair is a master at world building.  I can read Trilby and Rhis’s adventure through space over and over, and each time I’m left with that happily-ever-after sigh of satisfaction.

Lena Diaz

There are so many other authors and novels I would have liked to list, but here are some of my all-time faves.

JULIE GARWOOD – Killjoy (2002)

Oh. My. Gosh. What is amazing about this book is the way Garwood busts all the stereo-types and digs so deeply into her characters. I love how the ‘victims’ in her novel fight back and defeat the villain. And talk about well-motivated, fleshed out villains – Monk is probably the most three-dimensional bad-guy I’ve ever read.

LINDA HOWARD – Mr. Perfect (2000)

Sexy, sexy, funny, sexy. Did I mention sexy? And funny? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a romantic comedy. But the sexually charged dialogue zingers between the hero and the heroine are probably the best I’ve ever seen.

LISA GARDNER – The Perfect Husband (1998)

This novel is a favorite because of its emotional punch. Both the hero and heroine have so much baggage that you can’t help but empathize with them. And the suspense is the traditional, old-school, edge of your seat, nail-biting type of suspense. Classic. Timeless. Perfect.

Manda Collins

KAREN ROSE – You Can’t Hide (2006)

You can’t get much better than Karen Rose for romance mixed with diabolical villains. The implication that our modern technologies can easily be turned against us in YCH, is chilling. Add in hunky Chicago cop with a chip on his shoulder Aidan Reagan, and psychologist with a stalker Tess Ciccotelli, and you’ve got a keeper.

JULIE ANNE LONG – The Perils of Pleasure (2008)

As a historical romance author who loves suspense, I adored the opening scene of this one. Colin Eversea is saved from the gallows by Madeline Greenway and they spend the novel on the run, searching for the man who framed Colin. And, of course, falling in love.

NORA ROBERTS – Angels Fall (2006)

Pairing Reece, a chef on the run, with Brody, a hunky crime novelist, this one is a great example of small town romantic suspense. With gorgeous Montana scenery and a cast of small town characters who are familiar but unique, Angels Fall is a must read for those looking to see how good romantic suspense can be.

Diana Belchase

How on earth can anyone manage on a mere three books? But since the gals have a gun to my head –apropos for a suspense group – I’ll try.

DOROTHY GILMAN – The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1966)

I must mention the book that got me hooked on suspense in the first place – The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.  Mrs. P is feisty, resourceful, and downright wonderful as a senior citizen who decides she wants to be a CIA agent.  Not only did Gilman put me on track as a suspense author, she made me feel I could do anything, too.


Of course, I love Janet Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum and think Hot Six is incredibly funny.  I wish Stephanie would choose between Ranger and Morelli – she’s driving me nutty with the details about both these sexy guys.

NINA BRUHNS writes wonderful books – I simply couldn’t choose – so I’d have to put them in a sack and pull out one at random.

Then there’s darling NORA/JD ROBB, and the amazing REBECCA YORK, and DAVID BALDACCI, and BRAD MELTZER … and… oh no, they’ve loaded the gun … they’re pulling the trigger…

Ye gads!  They’re cutting my word count!

Carey Baldwin

I’d choose three suspense books with special meaning for me:

CHARLOTTE BRONTË – Jane Eyre (1847)

The first romantic suspense (hey, JE has got romance and suspense in spades!) I ever read. I couldn’t put it down, and that was a real pain because it is 538 pages!

HARLAN COBEN – Promise Me (2007)

I learned from this book that thrillers can not only scare you, they can make you laugh.

TESS GERRITSEN – The Surgeon (2002)

When I read this book I realized for the first time that it was possible to write a book that wasn’t just a romance, or a traditional romantic suspense, or a by-the-book medical thriller. It’s just a great book, and that’s exactly the kind of book I want to read.

Sarah Andre

LISA GARDNER – Alone (2005)

Her ability to weave all that compelling sniper research/lingo into such a tense, twisted story still leaves me breathless.


The only book where right from page one you can’t fathom how the hero and heroine will ever, under any circumstances get together and fall in love! She’s a master at the slight-of-hand hints that point to the villain and I still can’t pick them up! Grr!

ALLISON BRENNAN – Fear No Evil (2007)

The first book in her current Lucy Kincaid Series. It’s the kind of story that makes your skin crawl even as you can’t turn the page fast enough. One of the most unique ticking time bomb plots ever, and I’m delighted to announce that ALLISON BRENNAN will officially launch our KissAndThrill blog site tomorrow! We’ve asked her some personal questions about what scares her, what authors she reads, etc. and we welcome your questions too!

Okay, so now it’s your turn.  We want to know, what are your desert island books?

Posted on November 27, 2011, in about us, book recommendations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. Wow! I’m so thrilled to be part of such a wonderful group of women. It’s an honor. And special thanks to Allison Brennan for helping us launch the blog!

  2. We’re here! We’re live! So excited to be a part of this amazing group! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this blog possible.

    I love the diversity of answers to the desert island books question. There is something here for everyone–my TBR pile just doubled!

  3. Welcome ladies!! You sure all share my many of my favorite authors and books!!

    Don’t forget to let me know about giveaways you’re having so I can spread the word on twitter for you!

    XO Joan

  4. Thanks Joan! We’re so glad you stopped by! And thanks for helping us spread the word. I know Allison Brennan has a special giveaway planned for tomorrow. I can’t wait to read Sarah’s interview with Allison.

  5. Yay! So happy our blog is going live. Thank you Carey Baldwin for creating this wonderful, awesome group. Good luck ladies! Cyber-toasting the blog’s future success!

  6. Hooray! So excited that we’ve finally launched! I loved seeing everyone’s choices. Rachel, you’re right on the money. My TBR just doubled too:)

    Thanks for stopping by, Joan!

  7. Clinking champagne glasses and raising a toast to all my Kiss and Thrill fellow writers! Hope to be blogging with you all for a long, long time.


  8. Congrats on your shiny new blog- I must say you ladies have excellent taste! I’m looking forward to visiting often and getting to know you all!

  9. I’m so excited to be a part of this group! And what a great list of books. Good thing Christmas is coming soon. I need a few gift cards! 😉

    Sharon: Out of Control was the first Suzanne Brockmann book I ever read. After that I was hooked!

  10. Cheers to being stuck on an island trading great books with all of you!

  11. Thank you ladies for all your hard work. The blog looks wonderful and I’m grateful to be part of such a wonderful group of writers. I just wish we were all on an island right now, sharing books, champagne, and plot ideas!

  12. Congrats on the blog, ladies. I wish you much success!!

  13. Looking forward to following your blog. These are some great books to download to my Kindle. Thanks for your recommendations!

  14. Welcome, Tess, Lark, and Trish!

  15. Thanks for visiting Trish, Tess, and Lark! Do you have any desert island books to recommend?

  16. Beautiful new blog, ladies! Congratulations!

  17. So many great books to chose from! Now where is that quiet beach…?

  18. I’m a Jayne Castle fan, so I’d want one of her books.
    But, oh boy, there are so many great authors today, I couldn’t decide on just three. Nope, I’d have so many books with me I’d probably drown before I reached the island.

  19. Always knew there was a reason I liked Rachel so much.

    I Love Elizabeth Lowell’s Donovan Series. Loved Jade Island and Pearl Cove and Amber Beach and Midnight in Ruby Bayou…so wish she’d finish that series!

    The blog looks great, ladies! Congrats on the launch!

    • Thanks, Elisabeth!

      I also love EL’s Rarities books: Moving Target, Running Scared, Die in Plain Sight. It would help if I could bring my Kindle to our island, but then we’d have to figure out how to recharge it with coconuts!

  20. Wow, fun blog ladies! And was I ever thrilled and honored to see my name on your list of desert isle favorites! 😀 Thanks so much Diana!

    And OMG, I love Mrs. Pollifax!!! It’s been a while…I may just have to dig her out this winter. Or better yet, add her to my new Kindle!

    What’s my list? Hmmm… So many fabulous suspense/thriller writers to choose from! My favorite tends to be the one I’m reading right now . However, my must-reads include Lisa Gardner, Elizabeth George, Suz Brockmann, Dana Stabenow, Steve Berry, Tony Hillerman…along with most of the others on all your lists!

    Thanks again! Looking forward to reading lots of fab blog posts on K&T!

    • Welcome Nina! We are so happy you stopped by – even if you did cause Diana to violate the island rules by trying to sneak in an entire sack of your books! Thanks for sharing your own picks with us, and please don’t be a stranger.

    • How could I leave you out, Nina? LOL — Or choose just one of your wonderful, wonderful books! Oh, I love everyone else on your list, too. So glad you’re a Mrs P fan, too.


  21. Looking forward to Sarah’s interview with Allison Brennan…can’t wait for tomorrow!

  22. The site looks great, ladies! Best of luck!

  23. Great blog ladies! Can’t wait to read some of your books. Great interview Sarah can wait to read the Lucy books and hopefully see the movies soon too. I like Selma and Matt for your pics 🙂

  24. Terrific site! I’m adding this one to my “favorites” … and adding these books to my list to Santa this year!

  25. Sarah, your parents hang out at Bentley Village with my mother-in-law (Jan Conrad), and your dad sent around an email about the new venture! Congratulations on the new “blog baby!”

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