I am deep in the land of romantic suspense at the moment with my main WIP. And it’s got me thinking about romantic suspense novels I’ve read in the past, which I could plot on a graph with two axes – one for the quality of the romance, one for the success of the suspense. As a reader, a satisfying romance happening alongside a suspenseful mystery or action thriller is hard to find. How often I think back to the 90’s movies that awoke my interest in romance before I’d ever read a romance novel. I love Speed because somehow in the midst of the action thriller and Keanu Reeves’ intense (wooden?) gazes, the romance actually draws you in. It works. I love (and miss) all those 90’s movies because they don’t make them like that anymore. I have a soft spot for 90’s Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell and Jean-Claude Van Damme because they weren’t the hard-hitting and ‘real’ heroes we get these days. They were soft touches who fell in love with the heroine, whoever the hell she was (and some of the heroines were admittedly awful).
It’s been a long time since I went to the cinema, and it’s not because of Netflix, in my case. I just don’t get that desire to see any of today’s movies. I’d rather sit and write for two hours. I’m setting out to recapture some of that spark from the 90’s, both in my romantic suspense and in my other work. I enjoy updating the heroines, especially in my main WIP. But I want to forget these trends towards dark and edgy serial killers and police procedurals that up the shock factor to outdo each other. Chasing a nasty serial killer isn’t an ideal situation for developing romantic feelings. There are so many suspenseful situations more suited to a romance and I can’t wait to try them out.
Next in line in this series is the ‘third wheel’ in my current WIP, Dexter Carlisle. I think I’m going to send him into the wilderness to protect a scientist who’s acquired some enemies. A touch of Indiana Jones (in the heroine – Dex is a city boy weapons expert), a bit of old-fashioned adventure and a whole lot of chemistry. I can’t wait to get going. Just need to help Sarah and Matt get the bad guys and fall in love!