Maryanne Torres is a compassionate nurse who fails at relationships. After a string of losers, she swears off premarital sex, hoping to land a marrying type of man.
Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He's smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher's son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped.
Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby's DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision.
The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne's life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.
What’s so Special about Romantic Suspense? by Rachelle Ayala
Simply put, Romantic Suspense combines the heart stopping action of danger and mystery with the heart melting swoon of falling in love. If I were restricted to a single genre for the rest of my writing life, I could comfortably stay with romantic suspense and find dozens of exciting crimes to pair with unlikely hero and heroine combinations.
What thrills me about romantic suspense is the push and pull, the ebb and flow between two equally compelling storylines: the plot-driven, action-oriented details of crime and danger in contrast to the character-driven emotional development of the two designated lovebirds.
The complications of a romantic suspense are precisely what makes it interesting. In a straight romance, hero and heroine meet. There’s attraction and conflict. They are tested through various situations and misunderstandings, and after a crisis usually involving perceived betrayal, or impending loss, they discover the final piece of information that makes it possible for them to continue as a couple. Emotions run high and low, and the reader is roped in primarily through feeling the throes of love and despair.
Meanwhile, mysteries, suspense and thrillers are primarily plot driven maps. There’s the crime, a victim, a slew of suspects, a true villain, and danger. The process of solving the crime or staying alive is analytical and deductive. Clues are dropped and red herrings are scattered. The perceptive mystery reader knows to pay attention to any object, event, character, or seemingly insignificant detail. The reader is using his head to match wits with the author, or simply hanging onto the ride to find out whodunit.
Romantic suspense is the blend of both—a combination of heart and head. The two plotlines intersect and weave. There’s never a dull moment because either the romance or the suspense can take the lead. If things slow on one side, for example, there’s a lull from the villain, it is perfect time for the romance to advance. If the romance gets too hot, then have the suspense plot throw it off track. The added bonus is that danger enhances attraction and causes the “can’t lose him or her” feeling. The suspense plot is also useful to throw the hero and heroine together when they might otherwise part ways. And finally, the suspense climax can lead directly to the romantic moment of truth.
So, with all of these benefits. Why not make your next reading adventure a romantic suspense? Whether it’s a cozy his and her detective duo, to a military thriller complete with high tech weapons, to a steamy seduction complicated with murder, romantic suspense is the ticket to a double dose of heart pounding, breath taking thrills with the guarantee of a happy and satisfying ending.
Do you like romantic suspense? Who are your favorite authors? Do you want the suspense plot or the romance plot to resolve first? Think back to your favorite romantic suspense. Was the ending more swoon-worthy because of the dangers the hero and heroine went through?
Rachelle is currently working on a romantic suspense that touches on disability. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.
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