While most romance novels contain enough drama and intrigue to keep you on the edge of your seat, many authors also blend in elements of the thriller genre to spice things up. These elements of suspense, surprise and anticipation add a whole dimension to romance novels. However, it is not just modern authors that have found a lot of success by combining the romance and thriller genres. These two genres have gone hand in hand for many years already, which means there is a treasure trove of free ebooks to choose from. Here are just five examples of books that successfully blends romance and thrills to deliver enthralling tales.
by Louis Joseph Vance
Louis Joseph Vance is perhaps best known as the author of the very popular “The Lone Wolf” books featuring Michael Lanyard, but he also wrote other novels, such as The Bandbox. It is a book that contains all the best elements of a good thriller, such as mistaken identities, startling situations and detective investigations, but at its heart is also a good romance story. Although the book is not as dark as many other thrillers, it does make for very entertaining reading and might even startle fans who are only familiar with Vance’s Michael Lanyard books.
by George Barr McCutcheon
In contrast to the vaguely Gothic sounding title, Castle Craneycrow is actually quite an upbeat novel. It features a dashing hero, dastardly villain and beautiful heroine. Of course, the hero and villain both compete for the heart of the heroine, which makes for some interesting scenarios. Even more curious is that the book involves the heroine getting kidnapped and imprisoned in an old castle, but not quite in the manner you would expect. The book was published more than 100 years ago, so obviously some elements are dated, but it still makes for a thrilling read.
by John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa is known to many as the “American March King” because of his involvement with American military and patriotic marches, but he also wrote a few novels, including The Fifth String. Since Sousa began his musical career on the violin, it should come as no surprise that the protagonist of his novel is a continental concert violinist. During a trip to America the violinist becomes enamored with the daughter of a banker, but she claims to be unmoved by music. This prompts the violinist to take same rather drastic measures in order to impress her, but the consequences could be diabolical.
by May Agnes Fleming
The Midnight Queen is a romance that is far from ordinary, which becomes clear very early one when it is revealed that the tale takes place during the great plague of London. It was written by May Agnes Fleming, who was one of the first Canadians to achieve success with writing popular fiction. In addition to using historical romance themes, Fleming also made use of all kinds of fantasy and occult themes to make the book a little more thrilling.
by Gaston Leroux
Perhaps one of the best known novels that successfully combines romance and thrills is The Phantom of the Opera. Although initially serialized, the French writer Gaston Leroux published it in volume form in 1910. Leroux came up with the tale after being inspired by events that really took place at the Paris Opera. This tale of the love triangle between Christine, Raoul and Erik has had numerous adaptations for the stage and screen and remains a firm favorite amongst readers too.